tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN April 5, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PDT
>> politics has funny business sometimes. today up on capitol hill, ivanka trump will meet with the house committee investigating the january 6th insurrection. sources tell cnn, ivanka trump who we all know served as a senior adviser to her father is appearing voluntarily and that discussion will be held virtually. her husband jared kushner testified last week. hope to see you back here tomorrow. ana cabrera with the coverage right now. this is cnn breaking news. >> hello, thank you for joining us, i'm ana cabrera in north. the full depth of human tragedy. the scope of unthinkable human cruelty and unbearable pain inflicted by the russians on the ukrainian people have yet to be entirely revealed. but what we know right now is hard to even put into words. ukraine's president zelenskyy tries to dough just that, as he addressed the united nations
today describing in horrific detail what took place in bucha, and pleading with the world to punish putin for war crimes. a warning, his words, and the images, are disturbing. >> translator: civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road. just for their pleasure. they cut off limbs, cut their throats, slashed their throats. women were raped and killed in front of their children. they were -- their tongues were pulled out only because the aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them. the massacre in our city of bucha is only one, unfortunately, only one of many examples what the occupiers have been doing on our land for the past 41 days. and there are many more cities, similar places, where the world has yet to learn the full truth. >> that truth, that more cities
will be found like bucha, now confirmed. cnn's fred pleitgen is on the ground in makarie, this report is disturbing. >> reporter: we came in, the folks said we need to go to the outskirts, actually what's going on right now is unfortunately more of the same. i'm sorry i show you this there's a body-collecting team. they found a body here, someone apparently riding his bicycle here when he was gunned down. the ukrainians say he was gunned down by russian forces, for us, very difficult to tell. but the teams here are doing something similar to what we've seen in bucha as well. they're going around, getting called to places, now that the ukrainians are back in control of the area, being called to pick up the dead. they say they have picked up 15 dead bodies, you can see in the car there there are several of
those socks which are unfortunately filled with corpses. >> russia keeps denying the horror. we're on the ground to uncover the truth. let's get to cnn's ed lavandera in southern ukraine. ed, we got additional video from yet another city destroyed. >> reporter: hey, ana, the ukrainian officials are saying what we're seeing in bucha is the tip of the iceberg. all of this continues as video starts to emerge from a city, from a city -- and videos and drone video of this scene is just devastating. it's almost as if the city no longer exists. the main thoroughfare from the city, every building demolished in some sort of way. there's a sign that reads "civilian traffic is prohibited." this is just devastating, entire apartment buildings reduced to rubble. it goes on for block after block. this is the devastating reality
of that cameras are now able to capture, as russian forces have evacuated these areas north of kyiv. and journalists, independent journalists from around the world are able to get in there and see the devastation and the havoc that was reeked by these forces on these communities. and it is just devastating to see these pictures emerge. and the horrific stories that will continue to emerge, vitally important to tell all of this that is going on. this is the city of borodyanka, just in that area, suburban area, 30 miles northwest of kyiv. ana. >> it's incredibly sad, so dishearten, heart-wrenching. and that's where russians have left. but in towns like mariupol they're not done. the bombing is still relentless. in that decimated city. an estimated 100,000 people are still believed to be trapped. the aid can't get in. what more are you learning about
the situation there right now? >> reporter: it still remains a humanitarian disaster. the international committee of the red cross has been trying since saturday to take a fleet of busses in there to removing civilians that are still trapped. 100,000 people, according to officials need to be evacuated from that city. and right now, the only way out is for civilians to drive themselves out. to get to a city, i believe that is about 20, 30 miles away. that is incredibly dangerous to do. in a russian-occupied area. we've heard over and over from people who have escaped villages and small cities like this is a driving these roads with russian forces surrounding you is a death sentence. that is just incredibly troubling to do. it's not possible in many cases. but humanitarian organizations have been pleading for weeks now, in attempts to open up these corridors to get to mariupol have failed day after day after day. this is a place where officials
are saying they have run out of adjectives to describe how bad the situation is in that city. ed, thank you, standby. let's go to brussels with nic robertson. nic, russia says the atrocities that we're seeing in mariupol and bucha and others are forgeries. their words but the proof and evidence against them is solid. do they think they can lie their way out of this? >> reporter: the satellite evidence that corroborate grea -- the point on the round, in bucha that russian forces were in control on the 18th of march, bodies were discovered lying on the ground. in the same places when recovery teams went in after russia pulled out. the ambassador of united nations saying they have gone into ukraine as peacekeepers, not as aggressive. and he said to the gathered chamber of the united nations,
there aren't any eyewitnesses for this. it is groundless and baseless. russia continues to throw up these denials. this is their default position. it's what they've done in syria, it's what they've done in georgia, it's what they've done in other conflicts they've been involved in, which is deny, obfuscate, assemble lies so that people are told false narratives. and they want it to become a situation where it's so confusing people don't know what the truth is. but the technology has shown that. and russia doesn't seem to care that it's ultimately going to be found out. or it even may be ultimately punished. why? because all they're trying to do is buy enough time to limit the support for ukraine. to limit the sanctions on them. this is what they're trying to do through their lives, so they can continue their land grabs in ukraine. they want to go to a negotiating table over ukraine with the land that they are setting out to get which seems to be the south and
the east of the country. this is why their lies, their bold face lies are being told against all of the evidence of the country. because they're just buying time it seems. nothing else. not credibility. >> nic robertson, ed lavandera, thank you both for your ongoing reporting. we have breaking news out of the white house. phil mattingly is joining us, what can you tell us, phil? >> reporter: well, ana, the horrors of bucha accelerated the nonnegotiations between western leaders about what to do to impose costs on russia because of what they put in place in ukraine. we now know tomorrow, according to a u.s. official, the u.s. in coordination with the eu and g7 allies will roll out a sweeping new sanctions package. a package that will ban all new investment to russia. it will also ramp up sanctions, many in place at a lower level, scaled those sanctions up on
financial institutions on standard enterprises, on the capacity of the russian economy to this point. this comes just a couple hours after the treasury department announced that russia can no longer use dollar denominations held in u.s. banks to pay off its debt payments. these are all really critical steps being taken. you're seeing immediate action on the global stage in response to bucha, that. >> phil mattingly, thank you. secretary of state antony blinken did not mince words when he talked about the horrific acts carried out in bucha. >> what we've seen in bucha is not the random act of a rogue unit. it's a deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities. the reports are more than credible. the evidence is there for the world to see.
this reinforces our determination and the determination of countries around the world, to make sure one way or another, one day or another there is accountability for those who committed these acts. for those who ordered them. >> let's discuss this with ambassador steven rapp, he is the former u.s. ambassador at large for war crime issues. he's now a distinguished fellow for the prevention of genocide at the u.s. holocaust museum. ambassador, you just heard the secretary of state there. how will russia be held accountable? >> well, it will be held accountable in a court of law. the case is before the icc, jurisdiction has been given by ukraine, 41 countries to move the case then before the prosecutor. these are war crimes, there's no question about it. that willing people on bicycles, old ladies in their back yards. the horrendous crimes that people have with hands behind
their back. but what russia is doing in its denial is actually it's implicates itself each at a higher level for the countries to punish the leaders that are responsible for the acts directly in an international court. i'd note also the ukrainian prosecutor would look for ukraine to remain a defendant and be prosecuting other people at the lower level. all of us have to work really hard with them and with the actors on the ground to develop the strongest evidence to make possible these cases. but they will happen. >> but what's so painful, and the thought of it eventually coming is a hard pill to swallow right now, when these horrors may be continuing. you know, russia's still there. and they still have cities like mariupol cut off from the rest of ukraine. things could be uncovered there that are worse than we've already learned in cities like bucha. so what could be done to stop
the potential war crimes that are ongoing? not to be, you know, retroactively punishing and holding people accountable. but to be ending and preventing more crimes from being committed? >> well, obviously, we want to see the russian forces defeated and defeated according to the laws of war and stopping the crimes. but it's important to note that the international system of justice involves prosecuting crimes that have already happened but by doing it a consistent way you send a message to actors not to mess with them in the future. frankly, russia has gotten away with murder in other situations, of other individuals, through poisonings and the way in which it participated in the attacks on the civilian population. and the destruction of aleppo and duria, and attacks on hospitals and humanitarian attacks. all of those things they got away with, that's part of the problem. if we focused more on syria with
the accountabilities of that, we wouldn't have, perhaps, these crimes today. but all we can do now is to build a solid case. and then press the advantages that we have with these sanctions. if they don't answer the arrest warrants, the sanctions don't come off. that's what happened with s serbia, and liberia. and even though it's hardest to imagine today. >> we just reported that new u.s. sanctions are coming. we're seeing countries like italy and netherlands today just expelling russian personnel. why is that just happening now? why hasn't the world levied the maximum penalties at this point? >> well, you know, there was hope, i suppose, that there would be graduated sanctions and things -- if they got worse there would be another step, another hammer to fall, you know. and of course, we all know that
these things are two-way streets. we obviously see it at the gas pump. when you take action against a powerful country like this, there's going to be a rebound and effect on us. but we've got to be prepared. to pay the price. it's nothing like the prices people in ukraine are paying with their lives and their blood. and the destruction of their country. with death raining out of the sky when they haven't done anything to russia. what did these people ever do to russia? you know, we need to be prepared. and that's a difficult political calculation for every country. certainly for the countries like germany that depend heavily on russian oil and gas but i think that will have to come, too. if we really want to stop, of course, the essentials, that we provide the defensive weapons to prevent the russians from succeeding in ukraine. and then not require ukraine to
accept the occupation of their territories in return for peace. we see what happens when russians occupy these territories. >> yeah. >> people don't accept it. and the answer is horrible, brutal action, torture, rape, murder. >> ambassador stephen rapp, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. >> it's an important discussion that is not over yet, obviously, as we continue to cover the atrocities happening in ukraine. thanks again. an unsettling warning from a popular general. joint chiefs chairman milley said the world is becoming more unstable. and it's more than 75 years since former president obama stepped foot in the white house. that all changes today. did i mention she made the guest list?? digital tools so impressive, you just can't stop. whwhat would you like the power to do?
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we are witness to the greatest threat to peace and security of europe and perhaps the world in my 42 years of service in uniform. the russian invasion of ukraine is threatening to undermine not only european peace and stability, but global peace and stability, that my parents and a generation of americans fought so hard to defend. >> the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff general mark milley there, testifying on capitol hill earlier today. let's discuss with major john spencer, chair of urban warfare studies at the modern war night and cnn military analyst colonel cedric leighton. colonel, your reaction to general milley there, calling the greatest threat to peace and establishment in europe and perhaps the world in 42 years of
his service. do you agree? >> i do, ana. it's one of the statements that the general could make. when you look at atrocities in ukraine, what you're looking at is a complete game-changer in not only the way we're going to be reacting to this war but also in the way these wars are fought. so it's going to require a major relook at the way we do things and a major relook at how we posture our military for these kinds of conflicts. >> what do you mean it's going to be changing how wars are fought? >> well, i think one of the big things, ana, we're looking at here is not only do we have to worry about counterterrorism like in afghanistan and iraq, but we have to be look at places in europe, on broad planes like this, where we thought this kind of thing was not going to happen because we had assured peace after the second world war and after the cold war. but that's in fact not the case, as we see with everything going on here and what can happen in
the future. then, of course, we've got major spencer here to talk about the urban peace of this. >> yeah. >> that's going to be a may have factor, i think, in the future. >> the battle in ukraine is during a crucial face, nato says with an area in the east now expected, major, the donbas region, vastly different than the warfare we saw around kyiv. what's ukraine's best strategy out there? how do they avoid getting pinched? >> yeah, one is the intelligence. the ukrainians have the best intelligence in the world. that's one of their biggest weapons just to prevent the russians from doing what they know they need to do. they need to surround those elements and they need to defeat them. but russia already lost the war to take kyiv. so they're trying to do anything they can to create some type of win. there is plenty of urban to be clear in donbas. and the defense is always the
strongest part of war but the ukrainians have also shown the ability to be effective at counterattacks and attacks with logistical supplies. and one of the things this has taught us that trains still matter. there's only a few roads where russians need to go, so tear them apart. >> colonel, you're there at the map. what areas or cities are still in the most danger right now, based on what we know about russia strategy. >> yeah, ana, so, i would say kharkiv. izyum and mariupol with the most destruction here and odesa. i would pick these four cities being in the most danger at the moment. the area right here, the city of dnipro, probably the most suspect in terms of where the russians may go. because that would then -- if they go here from either the north or the south, they could
then cut the country in two. and that is one of the biggest dangers, i see from a strategic perspective at the moment. >> major spencer, i want to talk about mariupol, that city that's been under constant russian bombardment cut off from the rest of the country. people are trapped there. red cross officials can't get in. and yet, u.s. defense officials say that city isn't under complete russian control yet. what does that signal to you about strategy and strength of the russian forces? >> well, i want to share that russians are really bad at urban warfare. they've had weeks to surround that city. they're committing war crimes. they need to let the civilians out and get aid in. they're showing with overwhelming numbers and tactical situation they can't do urban warfare. one of the paradoxes of urban warfare, the more you bomb in an urban area that you need to take the harder it's going to be.
that's a lesson they'll learn really fast. in mariupol a bombed out building is easier to defend than a nonbombed out building. globalism is a national military bunker. defenders in a rough place in anything we can do in aid in all forms of national power, whether diplomatic, information or military, needs to go there. but the russians are going to pay a high price to take mariupol, even to this day. >> major john spencer and colonel lleyton, i appreciate you. it's been ten years since former president obama signed the affordable care act into law. and who would forget that moment. >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states of america, barack obama. >> former president obama is back at the white house today
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he's back. former president barack obama is at the white house today. his first white house visit since he left office on that morning of donald trump's inauguration back in 2017. former president obama will be speaking alongside president biden. any minute now, you see the podium all set up. and we will bring those remarks to you live. today's event is all about health care and the affordable care act. president obama's signature piece of legislation which was signed into law 12 years ago. today, the focus will be on expanding access to coverage. joining us now is cnn senior white house correspondent phil mattingly and our chief political analyst gloria borger. phil, this is a reunion for obama and biden. set the scene for us. >> reporter: it's interesting even though they live a couple miles apart they have not met publicly at all for the entirety of president biden's term up to
this point and yet they're re-engaging what they did for eight years, with a little difference in terms of titles at this point. the president, president biden and president obama meeting for lunch in the oval office, the same place they met weekly for eight years. and the former president will serve as a head liner for access to coverage for the affordable care act. i think when you think about what this means in terms of the current president when you're dealing with inflation, when they look at understanding how health care costs are one of the primary drivers for the american people, having an event talking about reduce be health care costs but more importantly than that, talking about the affordable care act which had a very complicated and difficult passage to this moment. by far and away being stronger and from the democratic perspective, more effective than it's ever been. it's a story they want to tell and better nobody one else better to tell it than the
former president. >> and gloria, these are two friends, yet president obama who lives ten minutes away, hasn't been back to the white house since president biden was in office. what do you see is the significance of the moment? >> well, look, the relationship under any circumstance between a current president and former president gets complicated. particularly when that president is your former vice president. they've had a little bit of a rocky road in the past. you know, barack obama did not come out and tell joe biden you ought to run in 2016. he endorsed hillary clinton. in 2020, he kind of stayed out of the presidential race. and i presume biden would have liked his support from the get-go, but that did not happen. however, they are friends, and they were in this together on the affordable care act. joe biden was in charge, or one of the people in charge, along with nancy pelosi. you see her there, getting a pass in the congress. and now, ironically, of course,
obama lost seats in the 2010 midterm elections. and now, the affordable care act is so popular that joe biden wants to use to help him stave off losses in the upcoming midterm. and that's what obama is going to do. he is so popular, they want him out there talking about the affordable care act. talking about what joe biden can do for you. talking about the gains the economy has made, the recovery from the pandemic. and they believe that there's no better spokesperson than barack obama. and i believe he'll be willing to do it. >> as we get ready to listen to these remarks. obamacare is gaining in popularity, as you point out. it is now viewed favorably by the majority of americans. i think it was 55% in the latest kaiser family foundation poll. a record 14.5 million people have signed up for coverage through the exchanges this year in 2022. so, gloria, do you see health
care and specifically, obamacare playing into the midterm strategy for democrats? >> sure. sure. i think -- you know, you're going to brag about things that people like that you've done and tell people, let them remember, that republicans tried to get rid of it, although they couldn't. very difficult to take something away from people, once they have it. but there were many opportunities to repeal it when republicans controlled the congress. and donald trump was president. and they did not do that. so, it's a -- along with economic issues, of course, health care always plays into economic issues. people are worried about inflation right now. they're worried about gas prices. there's a war. but i think if the democrats want to tell good stories, they're going to talk about things like infrastructure. and they're going to talk about health care. and this is so important to that message. >> so, the increased enrollment this year is, in part, due to subsidies that president biden
wants to expand and make health care costs lower for more americans. walk us through that and other moves the biden administration has made to try to strengthen obamacare. >> yeah, ana, it's a really good question, because i think it's probably one of the most underappreciated elements in the actual elements that the biden administration has taken over the last 14 months, and that is taking very significant and substantial tangible steps but legislatively, to the american rescue plan, that's where the expanded subsidies came from. obviously, they're trying to keep them expanded for a longer period of time, that's in the legis legislative morass at the moment. in relation to health care there has been a dramatic shift. ideological, it's a polar opposite of the administration that did everything in their power to take away the affordable care act, either through legislature or regulatory perspective. when you look at the signup
measure, obviously, and the affordability, and the program running more than designed conceptually than tell ever has since signed into law. and i think that's why you see the administration really want to talk about this. i don't think they felt they got enough credit for what they've done to strengthen the affordable care act over the last 14 months but as gloria alluded to, it was a message in midterms and it would be a message to highlight. >> phil mattingly and gloria borger, thank you both. we're going to try to squeeze in a quick break as soon as either the former president or current president take that podium. we'll bring it to you live. stick with us. you're in the "cnn newsroooom." s an innovator in n all of us. ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business...
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as the world bears witnesses to the atrocities carried out by russian forces in ukraine, the u.s. says russia's position on the u.n. human rights council is, quote, the height of hypocrisy. in an address this morning, u.s. ambassador to the u.n. linda thomas-greenfield again called for russia to be suspended from the council, saying that clear war crimes committed in cities like bucha are not only horrors being carried out by vladimir putin's forces.
she says they are credible reports of ukrainians being sent to so-called filtration camps where families are separated, their passports, i.d.s and phones are taken away. so, we're going to continue to monitor those situations happening in ukraine. and what comes of that call today for russia to be kicked out of the u.n. human rights council. in the meantime, let's go back to the white house, because any moment now, we expect to hear from president biden, along with former president obama. in president obama's first visit back to the white house since he left office back in 2017 when he, you know, gave the hands-off to president trump at the time. and obviously, president biden was his vice president. the two are friends. we're told they had lunch today, as he came back to the white house. and today's event, phil mattingly, is all about highlighting successes related to obamacare. which, obviously, was major
legislation passed during the time these two men were in white house together with president obama in the driver's seat at the time. and we see people standing. i believe this is -- you know, signaling this is about to get under way. i may have to cut you off. but just talk a little bit more -- oh, hold on. let's see why they're talking. ♪ >> okay. we'll talk through the pomp and circumstance -- wait, no, we can't. let's watch. ♪
23rd, 2010, the affordable care act was signed into law. in the 12 years since, the aca has delivered high-quality affordable health care to more than 30 million americans. yes. and those americans are working parents and young children. college students. and older americans. millions of people who had never been able to afford coverage before. or who have been denied coverage altogether, often because of a category of denial called pre-existing conditions. conditions such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, or even
asthma. the aca has been a consequential health care legislation passed in generations in our country. and it is something more. the aca is a statement of purpose. a statement about the nation we must be. where all people, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much they earn, can access the health care they need, no matter the cost. you know, when i served as attorney general of california, it was that purpose that led our office and ten other state attorneys general to submit a brief to the united states supreme court in defense of the aca. and it is that purpose that
brings us all together today. to continue to expand affordable health care and its coverage to families across our nation and to call on congress to take action to pass legislation that simply allows medicare to directly negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. and if there's any question why, i'll explain. more than 60 million americans are enrolled in medicare. that would give medicare significant bargaining power to negotiate prices for all those americans. so, instead of sourcing individual patients to negotiate by themselves, to require them
to pay whatever price the drug companies set, they would have that kind of representation to stand there with their fellow american and negotiate those prices so that they would simply be fair. so, today, we also call on congress to make permanent the aca subsidies that are included in the american rescue plan. subsidies that are currently lowering insurance premiums for millions of americans. and which are set to expire in december. and more must be done. currently, there are 12 states in our nation that refuse to expand medicaid for no reason other than petty partisan obstruction.
as a result, 4 million people in our country are locked out of coverage, and that comes at a cost. for example, women who do not have healthcare coverage and are therefore less likely to have access during pregnancy or before or after to pelvic exams, vaccinations, postpartum, depression screenings and all the other essential care they need to be safe and healthy before, during, and after birth. we know that expanding medicaid coverage significantly reduces the number of mothers who die as a result of pregnancy. so, the sooner coverage is expanded in those 12 states, the more lives we will save. protecting the health and well-being of the people of our
nation should not be a partisan issue. every person in our nation should be able to access and afford the healthcare they need to thrive, not as a privilege but as a right. and that is why our administration will continue to use every tool at our disposal to strengthen the aca. and with that -- [ applause ] it is now my great pleasure to introduce the man whose vision and leadership led us to this day, whose unwavering commitment to the people of our nation laid the foundation for this groundbreaking legislation. a leader who showed us the way forward on this important issue. please welcome president barack obama.
all the members of congress who are in attendance today, members of cabinet, it is good to be back in the white house. it's been a while. i confess, i heard some changes had been made. by the current president since i was last here. apparently, secret service agents have to wear aviator glasses now. the navy mess has been replaced by a baskin robbins. and there's a cat running around. which i guarantee if bo and sunny would have been very unhappy about. but coming back, even if i have to wear a tie, which i very rarely do these days, gives me a chance to visit with some of the incredible people who served this white house and who serve this country every single day.
a lot of times, i'm in the limelight. they make this government function. and they help people in ways big and small. and from the outside, sometimes people don't understand just how grueling this is and how many sacrifices people make. because those of us who are in front of the cameras oftentimes get the credit. but it's a lot of people who are devoted, day in, day out, to making this country better that matter, and a lot of them are represented here. and that's not just in the west wing, by the way. it's also in the residence. there were a lot of people who looked after our families that i will always be grateful to. so, it's wonderful to be back to say thank you to all of you. but most of all, coming back here gives me a chance to say, thank you, and spend some time with an extraordinary friend and
partner who was by my side for eight years. joe biden and i did a lot together . we helped save the global economy, made record investments in clean energy. we put guardrails on our financial system. we helped turn the auto industry around. repealed don't ask, don't tell. but nothing made me prouder than providing better healthcare and more protections to millions of people across this country. so, when president biden said he was not going to just celebrate
the aca but also announce actions that would make it even better, i had to show up. i think it's been well documented just how difficult it was to pass the aca. there's -- you can get a lot of testimony here in case folks haven't heard. as a country, we have been talking about reforming healthcare for a hundred years. unlike almost every other advanced economy on earth, we didn't have a system that guaranteed access to healthcare for all of its citizens. millions of people didn't have health insurance, often because their employers didn't provide it or because it was too expensive. but despite the fact that our healthcare system didn't work well, it was hard to change. healthcare represents about one-fifth of our economy.
that's trillions of dollars. so, there were a lot of different economic interests that were vying to maintain the status quo. and because the majority of americans did have healthcare, some people, naturally, worried that they'd lose what they had. the media was skeptical of past failures. there was a lot of misinformation, to say the least, flying around. and it's fair to say that most republicans showed little interest in working with us to get anything done. that's fair to say. but despite great odds, joe and i were determined, because we'd met too many people on the campaign trail who'd shared their stories.
and our own families had been touched by illness. and as i said to our dear friend, harry reid, who is missed, wish he was here today, because he took great pride in what we did. i intended to get healthcare passed even if it cost me re-election. which, for a while, looked like it might. but for all of us, for joe, for harry, for nancy pelosi, for others, the aca was an example of why you run for office in the first place, why all of you sign up for doing jobs that pay less than you could make some place else. why you're away from home sometimes and you miss some soccer practices or some dance recitals. because we don't -- we're not supposed to do this just to
occupy a seat. or to hang on to power. but we're supposed to do this because it's making a difference in the lives of the people who sent us here. and because of so many people, including a lot of people who are here today, made enormous sacrifices. because members of congress took courageous votes, including some who knew that their vote would likely cost them their seat. because the incredible relationship of nancy and harry. we got the aca across the finish line. together . and the night we passed the aca,
i've said it before, it was a high point of my time here because it reminded me and it reminded us of what is possible. but of course, our work was not finished. republicans tried to repeal what we had done. again. and again. and again. and they filed lawsuits that went all the way to the supreme court three times. i see don here who had to defend a couple of them. they tried explicitly to make it harder for people to sign up for coverage, and let's face it, it didn't help that when we first rolled out the aca, the website didn't work. that was not one of my happiest moments. so, given all the noise and the coro