tv House Speaker Pelosi Holds News Conference CSPAN July 31, 2020 10:55am-11:28am EDT
certainly he helped organize. but was always suspicious of this kind of emotional, deeply movi moving the emmitt till rallies. >> let's give our panel another hand. ush pu ush push thank you for attending this session. i hope you enjoy the rest of the festival. >> we take you live to the u.s. capitol for a briefing from house speaker nancy pelosi. live coverage on c-span 3.
>> good morning. our dear john lewis has been laid to rest. i don't know if you saw the double rainbow over the capitol on tuesday night. it was quite a remarkable sight to see. it wasn't even raining and there was a double rainbow. as i said yesterday at his service, the night he died the flags that waved over the capitol were saying goodbye to him as he made his transition. on the last night, before he would be leaving the capitol, he said his goodbye to us with a double rainbow. saying as he would say, i'm home in heaven. i'm with lillian. may he rest in peace. our dear john. we mourn him as a death in the family. but now we pass 150,000 americans dead from the coronavirus.
many of them were not necessary to have met that fate. today on the floor of the house, we'll have a moment of silence to observe the loss of 150,000 americans. ten weeks ago, we passed the hero's act, more than ten weeks ago we passed the heroes act which had a path of containing this virus, testing, tracing, treatment, mask wearing, sanitation. the republicans said they wanted to take a pause. well, the virus didn't. since then, 65,000 americans have died. 300,000, huge number of americans have -- 3 million americans since then have become infected. so much for the pause. now the beginning this week, the republicans in the senate came
back with a piecemeal approach. clearly they and perhaps the white house do not understand the gravity of the situation. 150,000 americans died. almost nearly half of them since we passed our bill. 3 million. you know how it goes. the first million took 100 days. to get to 2 million took 43 more days. to get to 3 million took 27 days and to get to 4 million took 16 days. we're now approaching 4.5 million. this is a freight train picking up steam and picking up speed. that acceleration is not add guy thing. it must be stopped. we have a plan in the heroes act to do just that. science-based.
testing, tracing, treatment. distancing, mask wearing and the rest. that's the way to open our economy, to more safely open our schools, to reduce the number of infections instead of an accelerating pace of infections spreading across our country. children are -- it's really sad to even say. children are food insecure. families are food and rent insecu insecure. 19th straight week, this week the 19th straight week of people applying for unemployment insurance. 30 million people doing that. we really need to, again, stop the spread. that's first and foremost. to do that, we need for people to work and have the equipment to do it. that's why, the heroes act
has -- god bless you -- has the funding for state and local government to honor our heroes, our health care workers. our first responders. our teachers, our teachers, our teachers, our transportation workers, our sanitation workers, food suppliers and rest. meeting the needs of the people in our cities and states. that's why we have our strategic plan for testing in the heroes act and that's why we have a robust, a robust, put money in people's pockets so that the consumer economy that we are can continue to be and to curtail the deepening of their recession will end. in this time of all of that, what are the republicans proposing, cutting the benefit to america's working families. put $200 on the floor yesterday. $200 from $600.
they want to make it sound like -- they don't have a -- why don't they? because they're too busy -- in the cares act, they had $150 billion benefit to -- high income people, shall we say high rollers. had nothing do with coronavirus. it was retroactive in terms of tax benefits. to certain high rollers in the economy. and yet, they resent america's working families getting the $600, which is essential to their needs. so they've offered $200, we're saying we have the heroes act. respond to us on that and we'll go forward. but the $600 is essential in light of these families and they question, well, maybe somebody is staying home making more
money than they were. why don't you subject the high rollers to the same scrutiny whether that money was justified. we have data showing that people stayed home. we have data. we have data showing that is not the case. anecdotally, if you want to name somebody, name them. we'll anecdotally name some of your people. it's not data when it comes to millions of american families benefiting from this. so that's where we are on the negotiations. we'll be talking again today. chairman powell once again said this week, read his words. the path forward for the economy is uncertain and will depend in large part on our success in keeping the virus in check. this pandemic and its fallout represents the biggest shock to
the economy in living memory. and then, of course, he has called upon us to do more. we stop the spread, open the economy. reduce the infection rates so you can open schools. recognize that the biggest thread now has been among people of color who haven't had the access to testing. it all comes back down to what i've talked to you about before. it's about equipment, we don't have enough tests because we don't have enough equipment. we don't have results soon enough because we don't have the equipment to get the results of the tests soon enough. we have our health care providers at risk and others who come in contact early contact with people who are infected at risk because we don't have the ppe, the personal protective equipment. we once again call upon the president to get serious about
that. no, testing is not overrated. now we've come to see about masks. if he had done that months ago, we would be in better place right now. then it was a hoax. everything he says is really about him. hoax. overrated. he projects. but i'll take any questions you may have. >> yes, ma'am. >> republicans and the administration got a lot of heat when they released their bill. there was a lot of unrelated things in there, including money to the fbi bill, the money for defense to replenish. there's things in your bill not directly related to covid. like they're talking about cannabis or the salt reduction. are those things you're willing to -- >> i don't agree with you that cannabis is not related to this. this is a therapy that has proven successful. by no means, it's of the caliber
of money or misrepresentation that remodeling the federal building is for over a billion dollars. so that another hotel doesn't come in there and compete with the president's hotel. that's what that's all about. that has nothing to do with cannabis -- with coronavirus. so we're going to have to come to some compromise on the legislation. i just don't accept there's any equivalence in what you've put forth there. we'll see. we'll see what they come back with today. do not accept any thought in their mind that they want to continue the -- they distrust, they distrust american workers. they're condescending and disrespectful of the needs of america's working families. why else would they not have had
food in their proposal? food. children are hungry. families are in food banks that they never thought they would ever go to food banks. let's calm this. let be prayerful. let's turn the page on it. let's say that the path that they have taken us down with their delaying, their denial and distortions have caused death. speaking a lit tiffly. let's say we should concede that scientists should be making the decisions about how we stop the spread of disease and not a quack that the president seems to tweet about. and, again, after all is said and done, we'll have an after action review. right now we need them to recognize the gravity of the
situation. any other questions? >> madam speaker? >> yes. >> last night white house chief of staff mark meadows offered you a one week extension of benefits for $600 which you rejected. after that he called you a politically motivated party that won't take yes for an answer. can you explain why you rejected it and your reaction to his comments. >> they're into projection. every time they say something, i say perhaps you are character tie advertising yourself. this is -- characterizing yourself. when you have a six-day extension on a provision, is has always been to accommodate the legislative process. if you're on the verge of an agreement but it has to be reviewed by the cbo and the legislative counsel, go to the
rules committee, take the day to bring to the floor, take the -- god knows in the senate, how many days it takes to bring something to the floor there. to bring members an adequate amount of time to review things in there and perhaps 72 hours. then you go to the rules process and the rest. then it takes -- then the president's signature. so a week would be a time for that if you have a bill. what are we going to do in a week? what are we going to do in a week? first of all, they don't have the votes for it in the senate. let's get real about what -- who says what. we passed a bill ten weeks ago. it was bipartisan. we passed a bill over ten weeks ago. they couldn't even get a shell bill. they couldn't even get a $200 which we totally reject. they couldn't even pass something like that among their
own members. forget 60 votes. talk 51 votes. so it's no use -- why don't we get the job done. why don't we just get the job done. there's just -- the only accommodation that such a bill is, is on the path. >> we talked about this. the new mitt romney proposal that would extend unemployment insurance for three months. >> we have to have -- look people, the business community talks all the time about needing certainty in their lives and this or that. somehow or other we think that we can diminish the recognition for that. god bless them for having a proposal. i don't think he can pass that in the senate either. but we'll see. he'll see what he can do. but the -- all of it is predicated on a lower benefit for america's working families at a time where the virus is
accelerating. more people are applying for unemployment insurance. 19 straight weeks of over a million people applying for -- they're saying let's do this. no, let's sit down and get this done. let's recognize people need $600. let's recognize state and local needs, help with allaying -- the money spent to fight the virus and the revenue lost. cities and counties, states, all over the country saying they need that money. bipartisan way. then, of course, let's get real. and scientific about stopping the spread of the virus. so, no. >> madam speaker. >> yes and then yes. >> if you look back at march and april, there was a lot of partisan bickering, but at the end almost every vote was by unanimous consent, unanimous vote or a voice vote. what is so different now?
what changed in the last three to four months? >> well, let me just say with all the respect in the world for your question. we weren't bickering. we were having major policy disagreements about how we meet the needs of the american people. i know that you all are engaged in characterizing us as bickering when we want to help the working families and they want to give tax cuts to the richest people. why can't they come to the agreement. we don't have shared values. it's standing our ground. we're trying to find common ground. it's not bickering. it started out. the cares act, the first bill was a small bill but it was about testing, testing, testing. they really didn't do it. scientifically. then the next bill was the cares act. that came out as a corporate trickle-down bill.
we said that's not what we need. we had our take responsibility bill, which was bubble up from working families and we came to agreement. some bad things were still in the cares act, like $150 billion to the richest people in america. retroactively having nothing to do with the coronavirus. but nonetheless, we -- four bills we did in a bipartisan way. the next bill was the ppp extent -- the additional ppp bill. what did they say? never, no way, never will pass in the senate. we're having this and this is what it is. then they ended up doing what we had, a $60 billion set aside for small and women and minority owned businesses. they ended up having the money for the hospitals. more money for testing because that -- we made the case and got to that place.
it didn't mean we swallowed their first offer or we swallow their first offer. it's the legislative process. we put forth what we think is urgently needed by the american people because we recognize the gravity of the situation. they don't. like, what, food? food? i mean, really. the one that gets me is food. i guess as a mom and italian american. food means a lot to me. people are hungry and we're not doing anything about it? that's not in their bill. we have food in one of the early packages. snap, food stamps, those things. but not since. they haven't accepted it since. we anticipate that we will have a bill. but we're not there yet. >> i just said chad would be next. >> thank you. i'm having trouble understanding. where is potential compromise for you? i know you said okay, no interim bill right now.
unless something is on the table that you're working toward. >> there's something on the table -- >> unless there's something on the table. >> yeah, yeah. >> i'm sorry. >> if they were doing a bill. is it within -- where is the area of give on the democratic side. you insisted on the $3 trillion, food. what are you willing to give to get this across the finish line? >> you expect me to tell you right here and now? >> we don't know. nobody seems to know where the democratic yield is. >> because it's a give and take in the negotiation. so far we don't see that they want to -- in other words, negotiatin negotiating, there are two things to remember. one is the person you're negotiating with has to want something. you have to think, they might want something for the american people. so far so bad. the second part is that the people you're negotiating with have to know that you'll walk.
you'll walk. if it isn't there, it isn't there. i don't think that we are in that place. i do think that with the public view of all of this that the urgency from a health standpoint, a pandemic, 150,000 dead, 450-plus infected, the number growing in an accelerated way. again, this is an imperative that may take them to a place where in order to get something they want, they may concede something for america's working families. yes, sir. >> $3.6 billion for states to spend on elections, you've heard the president, rail on mail-in voting. are you open to approving a bill that would be silent and have no money to provide for states to have mail-in voting?
>> thank you for that question. i've been thinking about it during the night in light of the president's statement yesterday. we all respect the constitution of the united states. i respect the office of the president. and i have acted in a way in terms of policy and legislation keeping government open, u. u.s./mexico, canada, trade agreement. some of the things to find a common ground. i do conclude that i respect the office of the presidency and the president doesn't. and just every single day he degrades the office that he took an oath to serve in. to say yesterday that he thought that we should postpone the electi election, you have to wonder, is
this -- i would say, what does he have on his mind? but i'm not even sure that's a logical territory to go into. this is very serious. very serious. so we need to have an election that does not jeopardize the health and well-being of the american people. i was a party chair before i came to congress. a chair of the largest party in the country. california democratic party. and voting by mail was always what the republicans did best. we could win an election day of getting out the vote and you see the absentee ballots, you know that that's where they would have their greatest success. that has always been the case. what we're talking about here is not necessarily a political advantage to us. and republicans want it. some secretaries of state want it and they want the money without the restrictions.
that the republicans put in the last bill. we have a letter i can show you from the association of state -- state secretaries of state. but right now, we have a situation where going into polling places, having to stand in line for hours and do people keep the distance and all the rest is a health issue. but it's also health of our democracy issue. so that if people do want to go to the polling places, there are enough of them open. there are enough of them open hours and days-wise. so this isn't just about absentee. now, the president is making a distinction between absentee and vote by mail. i rest my case. it's the same thing. i vote absentee. that's okay. vote by mail, what do you do?
you mail it in. now, what they're also doing, since you brought up the subject, is they're trying to diminish the funding and the rest. they're not accepting our funding for the postal system. post office needs funding. what we've put in the bill was the proposal of the u.s. postal system board of governors. the u.s. postal system board of governors is bipartisan. 100% appointed by donald trump. and they have recommended the figure that we have in the bill. in fact, they actually recommended more. but we put some of the rest of it in the infrastructure bill, the part that pertained -- and all that. this is about -- what they want to do is diminish the money for the post office because if you -- if you mail in your
ballot and it has a stamp, then they have to date that. sometimes they don't. but they have to date that. postmark it. if it is a prepaid postage. they don't necessarily do it. they don't necessarily do it in a timely fashion. passing it on in a timely fashion. because they don't have the personnel. he wants to postpone the election. they want to diminish the capacity of the postal system to work in a timely fashion. they want not to give any money for -- that we have in the heroes act. we had $100 million in the cares act. not enough. but they have voted for the
principle that we should be helping to protect our elections. we know that russia is interfering again in our elections. the security, the intelligence community has told us they're continuing the behavior of what they did in past elections. there may be other foreign governments that are trying to intervene. so we need to have -- protect the security of our electoral system and we have to give people the opportunity to vote the way they want to vote. whether in person or by mail but recognizing in the time of the coronavirus, hopefully it will be diminished by then, but in the time of the coronavirus, this is an answer. >> will you not accept the bill that zeros out -- >> i'm not negotiating, telling him what we take. but that is in a very essential priority for us. anybody who has been here?
yes. you just came in. you just arrived. yes. >> congressman gohmert tested positive and yet other members of congress have now gone to quarantine because of contact and you mandated masks on house side. is it time for you and senator mcconnell to reverse your di decision in early may to not have testing for staff, for people on this complex every day? >> well, first of all, it is not a decision of mine. it is a decision of the capitol physician as to the need for testing. it would be -- you think of members of congress, ore there are 535. no, there are 20,000 people who make the capitol run. and the capitol physician has in the said yet that he thinks that we should be tested. but it is not just us. it is not just us. it's others as well.
and as i said earlier, there are many people in the country who should be tested, should have access in order to -- to quantify the problem but also to trace and to treat, so that people don't die. and i don't think it is a good idea for members of congress to say we should have it, but maybe not necessarily that people work here at the expense of others. it comes back to equipment. it comes back to equipment. we would probably have to do thousands of people, some would say every day, some would say every week. it is not up to senator mcconnell or me, as far as i'm concerned, it is up to the capitol physician. and i hope, i mean, we had called for masks for a while. but it was a question of enforcement. what happened now really made it certain that we had to do that and the capitol police and the
rest had to enforcement it. not only on the floor of the house, but throughout. and then they could make their own decision about requiring masks. the other office buildings and other places in the capitol complex, the whole capitol hill complex. so it is something that you would have thought as a matter of courtesy or just safety that the republicans would have agreed to before, and some did, but not all. and now they must. and what is brilliant of concern to me, because we think of capitol hill as us. it is about the staff and the support staff that make it all run. and now you're seeing messages from staff of members stating
the concern they have about how their offices have been treating the issue of the coronavirus. >> -- being here today and the soundness of dr. manahan's guidance. >> well we're separated from each other. i'm not coming anywhere near of you. >> you say it is not just members, it is staff and other people. >> yeah. >> but because members are the ones that tend to get on planes and fly back to districts and then come back, wouldn't it be -- of you, both chambers, to reverse the early decision where the president offered to send rapid testing here so members could be tested. >> it is not up to the president or me. it is up to the capital physician. and i have from time to time asked him, when nadia velazquez was diagnosed in a picture in the paper, it looks like we were closer together. we were very apart. i said since that picture, people are asking me and he
said, well first of all, i know you weren't that close together, a., and, b., no, you shouldn't be tested. thank you all very much. >> we'd love to have a briefing with dr. monahan if he could show up sometime. we'd love to have dr. manna hon if he would like to show up. >> that is up to him. >> okay. thank you. tonight on american history tv, beginning at 8:00 eastern, living hist or orians from amer art fakes. a u.s. army battalon surgeon in carlisle, pennsylvania, dr. moody was set up at a 101st mobile emergency room close to the front lines. watch american history tv tonight and over the weekend on
c-span. american history tv on c-span3, exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend. coming up this weekend, on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki, japan, saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on real america, the 1996 film the spirit of hiroshima, featuring the stories of bombing survivors. then on sunday at 4:55 p.m. eastern on oral histories, eugene desabbatini talked about his assignment to the manhattan project and working on the nagasaki bomb. at 6:00 p.m. eastern on american artifacts, an exhibit marking the anniversary of the bombings. at the american university museum, exploring the american story, watch american history tv this weekend on c-span3. and now on c-span3, a house education and labor