tv House Democratic Leaders News Conference CSPAN October 22, 2019 1:42pm-2:05pm EDT
adam schiff deserves to be censured for lying to the american public when nobody else can read what he's able to read . anything else? thank you all. >> now house democrats hold their weekly news conference. asked about their handlingof the impeachment process . >> good morning, thank you for your presence. we had a very active discussion earlier today about one of the top priorities of the house democratic caucus . hr three, or go to lower drug prices on behalf of the americanpeople . we consistently made clear to the president and to the set that one of the things that we must accomplish on behalf
of those who we have come to washington to represent is to deal with the outrageously high drug prices and prescription drug medication that we pay here in the united states of america. there's no justification for the fact that the american people paid more for the same drug, often manufactured in the same place as canada, australia, japan, great britain, germany andfrance. no justification whatsoever . hr three will change that by giving the federal government and medicare the ability to negotiate lower drugprices on behalf of the american people . it is a substantively significant step in the right direction and a fiscally sound these of legislation. the preliminary score from the cbo is that the bill will
save over a 10 year period, 345 billion dollars. we look forward to our colleagues on the other side of the aisle and the president and others working with us because they claim to be the party of this cold responsibility. don't talk about it, be about it. and we are here to work with them to get something done on behalf of the american people . we also continue to work towards developing a real infrastructure plan, not the fake one that was introduced in the last congress by the president. a real one that will fix our crumbling bridges, roads, tunnels, airports and mass transportation system on behalf of the american people . infrastructure has traditionally been a bipartisan issue. what is the problem, mister president? we were sent here to get things done.
we're willing to work with you on drug pricing, infrastructure and we're trying to get to yes on a us mexico canada trade agreement , but we need a partner. and so far, what we've seen coming out of 1600 pennsylvania avenue often is a petulant child. that's unfortunate. we hope that that changes area let me yield to my good friend, the distinguished gentle lady, great buys care from the commonwealth of massachusetts, catherineclark . >> thank you mister chairman and good morning everyone. this week we have another opportunity for the republicans to support a measure protecting our elections. unfortunately back in february and we passed hr one, the republicans voted no . unanimously.
on that effort to get dark money out of politics and protect people's rights to vote. but they have another opportunity this week with the shield act which is a package of common sense solutions that can protect our elections on foreign interference area requires campaigns to report illicit offers of assistance from foreign governments and their agents. it helps prevent foreign interference and deters this information in future elections by improving the transparency of online political advertisements. it closes loopholes that allow foreign nationals and governments to spend money and influence our elections and prohibits deceptive practices about voting procedures. we have heard from our intelligence community and from robert mueller when he
came and testified before congress in july that russia governments interfered in the 2016 election and is working to do so every single day. for the 20/20 election. this is a chance to come together, protect that fundamental right to vote and to make sure that we are keeping our elections free from foreign interference. and i'd also like to just pull our attention back to unfinished business. we passed over 200 days ago to commonsense provisions that can help reduce gun violence in this country. and they are still collecting dust mitch mcconnell's door. we know that americans across the political ideology are with us on these provisions. it is one of the many examples of how the house
democrats are legislating and being blocked by this administration and our republican colleagues in the senate. so with that, i will yield back to the great chairman from brooklyn and take your questions. >> weird feeling that each otherthis morning . [inaudible] >> you talk about how pelosi made the right decisions on how to handle impeachment, we heard from intelligence committee chairman adam schiff. is it truly an deference to the committee chairs to come up with how their handling this or is pelosi really the one in charge of this and making the call ? >> speaker pelosi has indicated the ultimate call will be made by the entirety of the caucus.
of course in consultation with the leadership led by speaker pelosi as well as the committee chairs and committees of relevant jurisdiction. when speaker pelosi first announced the impeachment inquiry she made clear we will be operating under an umbrella of six different committees led by the intel committee because the heart of the allegation here is that president donaldtrump betrayed the american people , abused his power and undermined the national security of the united states of america by pressuring eight foreign government to target an american citizen for political reasons. the president elevated his own political concerns and undermined the national security concerns of the american people. that's a problem, that's what chairman adam schiff and the intelligence committee are investigatingand we will see what recommendation they have at the end of this process . >> that changed things fundamentally and what the
caucus wanted to do or chairman schiff or jared nadler want to do so i am asking how would you. [inaudible] >> speaker of the us house of representatives is a constitutional officer. she has the full confidence of the house of representatives and the context of the democratic caucus. we stand behind her. you now see that i think it's over 225 members of the house and the credit caucus publicly support the impeachment inquiry that she announced last month. that speaks for itself. >> the great german from brooklyn, are you supporting your fellow new yorker to be a chairman of the oversight committee ?
>> i support the process that has been put into place. as chairman of the democratic caucus i have to preside over any possible election that would take place 30 days from the date that the vacancy was created as a result of the passing tragically of elijah cummings, phenomenal chair, find that phenomenal leader, phenomenal member of congress. she carolyn mulroney is now the acting chair of the oversight committee. i support that, i support her and we will see what the caucus decides within the 30 day window. >> we don't put bombs on the scale from brooklyn. >> they characterized beecher impeachment as a lynching, what do you respond to that western mark. >> the thousands of african-americans were slaughtered during the lynching epidemic in this country for no reason other than the color of their skin. the president should not compare a constitutionally mandated impeachment inquiry
to such a dangerous and dark chapter of american history. it's irresponsible for him to do so. and i hope that he will apologize. >> i don't know how to characterize that from a president except asgrotesque . i had the honor of going with john lewis to the lynching memorial in montgomery alabama this past march. and i recommend all of you make that journey. you cannot go into that memorial and walked out the same person. and to see those columns, that represent bodies, hanging from this incredible, excuse me. from this incredible memorial , so many of them children. or so many of them elderly. and so many of them lynched
because they tried to exercise the right to vote. you have the president of the united states any kind of comparison to a constitutional impeachment inquiry that was sparked by his abuse of power, by choosing his political gain over that of our national security. his betrayal of the oath of office, his betrayal of the protecting the integrity of our elections. it's one that is not worthy of the president of the unitedstates . and is an invocation of a terribly violent and dark period in our history. to make himself once againa victim . it is disgusting to say the least. >> on that note, should they
happen resolution of condemnationfor this comment . because the congress of the walls? >> we haven't had that discussion . >> yesterday we saw a partyline vote over representative adam schiff and i'm wondering, you think it's possible knowing the results of the intelligence committee to work in a bipartisan way west and mark. >> i hope that the intel committee will continue to work in a bipartisan way. but you can't take the things the house republicans are doing as it relates to adam schiff seriously. there's no more respected member, no more qualified member, no more dignified, cerebral, curious number on the hill and chairman adam schiff and think about this area devon nunez was a living, breathing, walking embarrassments to the institution of the house of representatives and you heard crickets from them.
in the lastcongress . that resolution was fully fake and fraudulent and the only reason it came a is because house republicans cannot defend the presidents betrayal of his oath of office, his abuse of power and the undermining of our nationalsecurity . let's hear a substantive defense. we are waiting for exculpatory evidence to be presented. it has not. going to continue to undertake this proceeding in a serious and solemn way consistent with our constitutional responsibilities . it's our hope house republicans will do the same and end the gamesmanship and thecharades . >> i would like to add to the comments of the chairman that i have every single confidence that adam schiff will continue to lead this
process in a fair way that is inclusive ofrepublicans, no matter how they want to try and characterize this . they are in these depositions, theyare asking questions . and information is being shared with them. this is the process that we have had before. and when you cannot excuse conduct which the republicans cannot do, they turn to processarguments . but adam schiff has shown himself over and over again to be someone who conducts himself with theutmost integrity . and he will ensure that this process is fair and inclusive . just as he has been doing this inquiry began. >> there are reports out that lawmakers are having a relationship to subordinates
in california. this raises ethical issues, how is the process planning to deal with this orhow do you discuss the deal with this issue . >> we had a meeting this morning, it didn't come up we had a caucus meeting, it didn't, . i'm not familiar with the nature of the allegations. until i'm familiar, i'mnot in a position to comment . >> you anticipate at some point having a caucus vote on moving into a more public impeachment inquiry with? what a boat fit into that anyplace would you expect to move into thepublic portion without a vote ? >> are going to follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the constitution and present the truth to the american people no matter where it leads, no one is above the law, not even the president of the united states. from the process standpoint, things are proceeding in a manner consistent with what speaker pelosi laid out when
she announced the impeachment inquiry and the umbrella of the sixcommittees reared that's where right now . >> audio expect democrats to deal with officials, secretary perry compiling this investigation. >> the committee chairs have made clear including the late great elijah cummings in a letter that was sent along with chairman schiff and german angle that the failure to comply with a lawfully issued congressional subpoena will lead to an adverse inference that the administration and white house and donald trump are fighting evidence from the american people. because that evidence will be damning as it relates to the wrongdoing of donald trump. and we will see whether that also may lead to a possible obstruction of congress charge as was the case with the nixon impeachment inquiry
and ultimate articles that were voted out of the house judiciary committee. that's what our chairshave said . i believe the caucus backs up. back row and then take it to the last round. >> i guess at the end of the last congress i'm reminded of something you and other democrats worked with the white house on which is criminal justice reform. there's an additional conversation could be follow-up measures . have there been continued good faith conversations and doyou see the criminal justice conversation going anywhere at the impeachment inquiry continues ? >> we were able to work together in a matter where democrats and republicans, progressives and conservatives, the left and right, the aclu and the coke brothers, naacp and heritage foundation in partnership with the administration led by jared kushner ultimately
were able to get a bill to the president's desk he signed into law. i was a meaningful accomplishment, in the context of dealing with the mass incarceration epidemic that we have in america. the judiciary committee last week at an oversight hearing led by karen bass on the first step act. where we heard from administration officials who continued to express commitment. >> .. >> .. to work with the president and the other side of the aisle. unlike, by the way, the posture adopted by the previous majority for much of the presidency of the barack obama where they had
one mantra of obstruction now, obstruction tomorrow, obstruction forever. we have indicated by working with the administration on things like the first step to act that will take a different approach and we will take the approach on prescription drug pricing, introduction, usmc and anything that makes life better for the american people. >> have they been receptive to recent conversations can smack you, i parked the bell that are working that way through the various committees of just action, primarily, primarily judiciary and the last conversation that i had with jared kushner which was a few months ago we still remain or have an open door as it relates to possible collaboration down the road. >> i want to follow-up with potential obstruction that you talked about really would hold trump more to account in the official with the subpoenas and is there anything in mind that would target those officials
whether there's an appropriations that allows you to withhold their pay or find them -- [inaudible question] >> i've not been party to any such discussion. we are in the middle of an impeachment inquiry relates to the conduct of donald j trump. the evidence of wrongdoing by donald trump is hiding in plain sight. we have the rough transcript of the july 25 phone call and his own words, do us a favor. we have that with the blower complaints that have been validated i members of trump's own in administration including the expected general in the general counsel to the cia and acting director of national intelligence and we have the 391 million dollars in military and economic aid that has been withheld without justification and no one including mitch
mcconnell was ever able to get a good answer as to why that aid was withheld. now we know it was part of a high-pressure tactic to extract political gain for donald trump by targeting an american citizen in a political opponent. we also have the white house chief of staff confession as to what the entire trump ukraine scandal was about and we will keep the focus on donald trump's behavior and the evidence continues to mount. >> another bipartisan area with u.s. mca any update on timing of that and also with your leadership team put it on the board and it's a solid majority of the caucus. >> that ultimately will be a decision the caucus will have to make in terms of process and
where members fall on that question and we continue to want to get to yes. >> i would underscore that we continue to want to get to yes and the working committee is meeting and we hope that the administration will continue to work. >> we leave these remarks to go live to capital hill to hear from senate majority leader, mitch mcconnell. >> hopefully the ice is breaking on the democratic side with regard to obstructing appropriation bill that we all agreed to move several months ago and that's the hopeful sign. if we will stay on those bills until we get them across the floor and then go to defense and labor h, two bills that amounts to a huge percentage of what we spend every year. on the syria front