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tv   House Colloquy on the Affordable Care Act  CSPAN  February 3, 2017 10:57pm-11:34pm EST

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>> a meeting on the american revolution in philadelphia. see a preview of the artifacts discovered during its construction. >> when they got them pasted together, we see the success of the trust i know. you have to go to the newspapers. urban archaeology is this interweaving of the written record, primary record, secondary record, the artifact is what is really fun about it. >> for our complete american history tv schedule go to before recessing for the week, majority leader kevin mccarthy and house minority set out the schedule for the house next week and debated plans to reveal the affordable care act. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from maryland seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask you now for this consent. to speak out of order for one minute for the purposes of inquiry of the schedule for the week to come. >> without objection. >> i yield to my friend, mr. mccarthy, the majority leader from california. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. >> without objection. >> on monday, the house will meet at noon for morning hour at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. those will be postponed until 6:00 p.m. on tuesday the house and meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. the last notes of the week are expected during the evening hours on tuesday.
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mr. speaker, the house will considered suspensions next week. a complete list will be announced by close of business today. the house will also continue our work under the congressional review act to undo onerous obama administration regulations through three more joint resolutions. first sponsored by rep brett guthrie. this could result in fewer teachers serving some of our nations most honorable children. it could make it harder for schools to recruit the best teachers. this is the second sponsored by representative todd rokita would address how the every student succeed act is being implemented, this bipartisan law empowered states to hold schools
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accountable. but somehow when the regulation came out there was an expanded federal role. this was not what congress intended nor was it best for our students. and the third, mr. speaker, sponsored by representative liz cheney addresses how the department of interior regulates resource management plans. these plans guide how b.l.m. manages all federal lands, but the rule only addresses how b.l.m. must deal with the public as well as state and tribal government. we are rightfully concerned that there is no process of procedure for local governments in these new rules. finally, my friend may notice that a familiar face is not sitting next to me today, but ben howard is up in the gallery today. after serving eight years on capitol hill, the last six in my office, our friend, ben, has left the job. he's now working in the white house office of legislative affairs. ben was one of the first people we hired when i was elected
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majority whip. it was here that most people around the hill got to know ben through his always witte floor updates and always -- witty floor updates. when i was elected majority leader i asked ben to be floor director, a position he's served well for the last two-plus years. my friend would be happy to know that ben is from maryland. he was born and raised and currently resides in olney. is that right? with his wife, amy, and their two young sons, john and daniel. so on behalf of our entire team and the entire republican conference, i want to thank ben for his years of service and wish him many years of happiness for his hard work. [laughter] [inaudible] [applause]
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mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for the schedule of regulations to come. i'm sure we'll have discussions about that next week. in fact, we're going to have some discussions about all of these regulations, which we believe reduce the protections accorded to the american people by a number of the regulations that are sought to be repealed. however, first, mr. speaker, let me note that first of all we have another ben in maryland . he's the senior senator, a former colleague of ours, ben cardin, and he had a tv ad which ended with my friend ben, and i want to say hi to my friend, ben, who indeed as all of you know, i think the staff that served with us makes such an extraordinarily positive difference.
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and they sometimes -- most of the time rise above what might be the partisan confrontation that members have and continue to try to reach consensus so this institution will run positively and well for the american people. ben howard has been one of those people. i know my floor director has worked positively with ben through the years and appreciates very much his working with us. kelly, also, falls in that category. ben, we're going to miss you. i'm sure wherever you go you'll advantage the enterprise that you associate with. olney, maryland, is one of our thriving communities in maryland. we're always proud of our marylanders and they always do a good job. so i will say to him, godspeed.
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i don't want to wish penn state a lot of success but i do wish you success. thank you very much for your service. now, let me move on to perhaps some subjects that we might not have as much agreement on as we do have on ben howard and his quality and service he's given this institution. one of the first acts of congress as you know, mr. leader, was the plan was to begin the reconciliation process to repeal the affordable care act. the budget resolution set a deadline of january 27 for committees to report legislation repealing the law. it's now the third of february, and after voting 65 times to repeal the a.c.a., house and senate republicans, mr. speaker, do not have as far as i know and don't appear to have a replacement, as i read in the papers, mr. speaker, divided on the path forward. repealing the a.c.a. without replacing it immediately will not only cost 30 million americans to lose their coverage
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but it would increase the cost for tens of millions more and would, i suggest, advantage everybody who has insurance and clearly those who do not and would not have access. mark meadows chairs the house freedom caucus, and i quote, we need to slow down the process so we can understand a little bit more the specifics and timetable of replacement votes and reconciliation instructions. that was in "politico" on january 9 of this year. senator bob corker of the senate said, and i quote, there's more and more concerns about not doing repeal and replace simultaneously. you would think after six years -- this is bob corker -- you would think after six years we would have a pretty good sense of what we'd like to do.
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we have not seen a repeal and replace bill. the president said it ought to be done contemporaneously. bob corker and others said it ought to be done contemporaneously. we have not seen it. so my question, mr. majority leader, does the gentleman know if the repeal moves forward that a replacement bill would be considered simultaneously? and i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: well, i thank the gentleman for yielding. i'm not quite sure at the beginning of your question either you wanted me to speed up or slow down but i thank the gentleman for the question. mr. hoyer: i can clarify that for the gentleman. mr. mccarthy: well, the simple fact is -- mr. hoyer: do you want me to clarify my question? mr. mccarthy: i heard your question. your question is asked both ways. regardless who won the presidency, obamacare is a failure. regardless who won the election, we would be sitting here with a question of what we would
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replace it with. let me talk about the facts. there were 23 co-ops created in obamacare. they were given $2 billion. as of today, 18 of them have failed. there is roughly a little more than 3,000 counties in america. 1,022 of those counties, roughly 1/3 now only have one insurance company. five states only have one insurance company thanks to obamacare. all of america knows the old quotes. if you like your health plan, you could keep it. you know that's no longer true. or if you like your doctor, you can keep him. that's no longer true. so regardless when the president said that our premiums would go down by $2,500, now we know that's not true. so, yes, we would have this discussion regardless who won this election.
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obamacare has failed. so, yes, we are going to work together just as after the last election is why i put a letter out to every governor, republican or democrat, every insurance commissioner, republican or democrat, to provide us with their ideas and we welcome every idea on the other side of the aisle too because we will do this differently. we welcome your ideas, as well. if you noticed in the energy and commerce committee, they have the hearing scheduled. we will begin and it will be an open process and we welcome your participation because we want a system that works. we do not want to come back here and have a system that has failed, and i believe we have the ideas to make it work correctly. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. we are not in agreement, mr. speaker.
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what we would be doing would be 180 degrees different. we would not be pretending we're going to repeal an affordable care act that has been a success. we do not agree, mr. speaker, that having 30 million americans insured that were not insured before the affordable care act is a failure. we do not agree that people with pre-existing conditions can now get insurance is a failure. we do not agree that people who are 26 or younger being on their family's policy when they don't have a job or alternative insurance is not a failure. we do not agree that americans having the security that their insurance will not be cancelled because they reached an annual limit is a failure. we do not agree that americans having no lifetime limits so they have a catastrophic illness
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they will still have coverage, that is not a failure. what is a failure is to have pretended for the last six years that they wanted to repeal the affordable care act and have no replacement as of this time. that is a failure. the president says, mr. speaker, that his plan is going to make sure that everybody is insured, comprehensive coverage, and the costs will come down. he, of course, mr. speaker, has not offered a bill to effect that objective. we would welcome such a bill so we could consider it. no, mr. speaker, had the three million additional people who voted for hillary clinton, more so than voted for donald trump, prevailed, the electoral college
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prevailed, but the majority of the american people that voted in plurality voted to keep the affordable care act, as mrs. clinton said she would do if she were elected. so, mr. speaker, the majority leader is in deep error on we would be having the same debate. he is right, we have an outcome of a party and a president who said they were going to repeal the affordable care act. g.o.p. conference chair cathy mcmorris rodgers stated, let me be clear, no one who has coverage because of obamacare today will lose that coverage. majority leader said something about the president saying if you like your policy, you can keep it. in fact, the president was substantially right on that.
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yes, were there minimum coverage so that people weren't scammed by insurance companies in saying you got insurance but, oh, by the way, we don't cover that, by the way, we don't cover that, have you seen those ads about i bought a new car and i had a wreck a day later and guess what the insurance company wants to give me 80%, 90%, 70% less? that's what the insurance companies were doing and people thought they had insurance for something and they didn't have it. so cathy mcmorris rodgers says, you're not going to lose anything. well, i don't know if it was so bad, why don't you repeal it? why don't you offer a bill to repeal it and undermine all those factors of the affordable care act that are now available to the americans that i suggested? president trump, i said this but i want to repeat it, said last month, republicans were nearing
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completion of an a.c.a. replacement that would provide insurance for everybody. bring it on. bring it on. insurance for everybody. let's see it. he went on to say, his plan would have lower numbers, much lower deductibles. god bless him. bring it on. let us see it. let's vote on it. it's not on the floor, and i'm not sure when it will be on the floor of perhaps the majority leader can tell us. am going to yield in just second. because my question to you is, when do you expect such a bill consistent with the president's representation to the american people, everybody having insurance and at lower costs and lower deductibles, when do we expect a bill on the floor like that and i yield to the majority leader? mr. mccarthy: i thank the
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gentleman for yielding. and since obamacare has passed and now we know what was in it, you would know there are 1,400 pages in there that gives a great deal of power to the secretary of health and human services. unfortunately, today, that secretary has not been confirmed. that secretary is not confirmed simply because of politics. it's not on my side of the aisle. it's on the democrats' side of the aisle over in the senate. you know how far they have gone or how much they really want to work on health care? well, you actually said it needs to be reformed, they wouldn't even show up in committee. so how much do they really care about americans? they don't even show up in committee to ask the question. they wanted to run and hide. how much do they really want to work? if we want to go quote by quote, how do we go back to what president obama said when the
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premiums for going to lower by $2,500. what do we say to arizona when they went up 116%, or tennessee by 63%. then we go 3/4 of tennessee counties only have one provider. or minnesota by 59%. oklahoma, 59%. alabama, 58. pennsylvania, 53. nebraska, 51. can we stop this rhetoric and can we now get to work? i will tell you this. next month is when we begin because i'm hopeful we'll no longer put up with the political games on the senate side. we will confirm the new secretary because you have to have a secretary in place if you want to reform obamacare because you gave so much power to the secretary. we all know that. so let's work together on behalf of the american people and end this pain. i will tell you this, the
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unfortunate reality in today's system, coverage does not always mean care. the deductibles are so high many people don't even go to their doctors. i can tell you states prior to obamacare, their high-risk pools were cheaper then for their care than now just buying obamacare. we all know it's a failure. so let's stop playing the political games and let's put the people before politics and let's put a system that works. our door's opened. the committee is open for all ideas. and let's work together to solve it. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the majority leader for his comments. i don't think he wants me to delve very deeply into why we do not have a secretary -- health and human services. because the republicans have not
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produced nor has the nominee produced full disclosure, as the gentleman knows, of his financial dealings with respect to legislation that he introduced and supported. they want full information so that they can make a considered judgment. i won't go further into that deep well, however. but i will say to the gentleman that you don't need a secretary to bring legislation to the floor. and this is not an issue that is new this year or as a result of the november election of last year. it is, frankly, after 65 votes on this floor to repeal the affordable care act, without an alternative. without an alternative. i'll tell you, my friend, the
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majority leader, with great respect, you have had six years . six years. you can catalog all the things you think are bad. obviously you don't mention anything that's good except so many in your caucus, perhaps the overwhelming majority of the caucus say going to keep pre-existing conditions, we're going to keep 26. we're not going to eliminate annual limits because that will hurt people and force them into bankruptcy. i don't hear that discussion going on. the fact of the matter is, mr. leader, can you not get away from the fact that six years has gone by, six years of complaining about how awful it is, by the way as the gentleman knows the majority people now have made it very clear they do not want to repeal the affordable care act unless they see a replacement on the table that they consider and look at alternatives. it's now approximately -- that's, as you know, mr. leader, the first time in the six years because people said,
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yeah, we don't like the affordable care act in a vacuum. but now when it really may be repealed, they are looking at it much more closely and they don't know what's going to replace it and they are concerned because i have -- i will tell you, family after family after family -- i have somebody come up in the grocery store, harris teeters, two nights ago, with tears in eye, don't let them repeal the affordable care act. i have a son with a dire illness, but for the affordable care act he would not be covered and we couldn't keep him alive. tears in his eyes. when i hear you catalog some of the things, those cases aren't mentioned. the 30 million aren't mentioned. the pre-existing conditions aren't mentioned. that youy to my friend
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don't need a secretary of health to bring a bill forward. mr. mccarthy: yes you do. mr. hoyer: i'm going to another subject unless you want to say something. mr. leader, obviously we're very concerned about the affordable care act. also very concerned -- we talked about executive orders on this refugee ban. issued, according to almost everybody, without much consultation with anybody other than within the white house. an order banning muslim refugees from coming into this country even after very strong vetting. i know that the position is, this is not a ban. the complication you have to that representation is the president keeps mentioning it as a ban as he said he was going to do in the election. and he referred to it a ban just a few days ago.
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but i would point out to you, mr. leader, i'm sure you know this, not a single terrorist act, not one, has been perpetrated by a refugee coming into this country from any one of the seven nations mentioned in the ban. we believe this is not only contrary to the constitution, but it's contrary to our principles. nobody, let me make it clear, mr. leader, so there is no confusion, nobody on this side of the aisle doesn't want to make america's borders security. -- secure, america's land and assets safe, and the american people safe. every one of us on this side of the aisle wants to make sure that happens. and we certainly want to make sure that the vetting is appropriate. as the majority leader knows, the vetting today is a very long and very careful process.
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so we believe this ban alienates our allies and emboldens terrorists who are now saying, see, this really is a war on islam. that will not be consistent with the safety of our men and women that we have at the point of the spear and will not be consistent to the safety and security of our allies in the middle east. senators mccain and graham have said exactly that. they pointed out, and i quote, our government has a responsibility to defend our borders, but we must do so in a way that makes us safer and upholds all that is decent and exceptional about our nation. it is clear -- this is john mccain and lindsey graham, it is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that president trump's executive order was not properly vetted.
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senator graham, senator mccain, chairman of the armed services committee, the gentleman from south carolina. they go on, we're particularly concerned by reports that this order went into effect with little or no consultation with the department of state, defense, justice, and homeland security. such a hasty process risks harmful results. it continues to be a quote of senator mccain and senator graham. ultimately we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism. senator mccain knows something about increased risk. he went on to say, along with senator graham, this executive order sends a signal intended or not that america does not want muslims coming into our country. that is why we fear, fear this
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executive order may do more to help terrorists' recruitment than improve our security. they said that on the 29th of january, just four days ago. at least four times this week, mr. leader, we asked for the consideration of h.r. 724, which rescinds the defund and defunds the refugee ban. the speaker said when he took office initially, he repeated this year that we were going to have an open, transparent process, and we would consider the important issues of the day on this floor with opportunity to every member of this house to offer their alternatives. i would ask the gentleman whether -- i know the committee would not report it out, but this is a critical issue to our
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country, to our safety, and to our values. and i ask the gentleman, is there a possibility that you would bring to the floor next week or the week thereafter, preferably next week, h.r. 724 so that the members of this house, the people's representatives, could speak to this critically important issue consistent with the observations of senator mccain and senator graham. i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i listened to the speaker when he took office, too, he also said regular order. and the schedule of next week is not on the list. signed by the president is really, as you know, is based on legislation that passed this house with overwhelming bipartisan support. it was following the attacks over the past two years. it was the safe act that passed this house 289-137. and the visa waiver program improvement and terrorist travel prevention act.
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passed by 407-19. i'll point out that these two bills received veto-proof majorities. president obama signed the visa waiver bill into law. president trump's actions are temporary pauses and reassess our vetting procedures to keep our country safe. while they were certainly some confusion with how this was implemented over the weekend, the secretary of homeland security is effectively addressing key issues to ensure legal permanent residents that are returning to our country are allowed entry unless their security service vs. a compelling reason to suggest otherwise. america remains a place of refuge for those seeking, peace, freedom, and opportunity across the world. now, my friend knows because we have been in meetings this week , our rhetoric matters. other people listen to what we say. in these type of situations,
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especially with the new administration, i've always told my children, in any time of a situation, let's take a deep breath, let's not lose our head, and especially with a brand new administration, i try to give him the benefit of the doubt. they don't have their cabinet there yet. let's let them get their footing. it is not a ban. it is a pause. it is based upon two pieces of legislation that passed this house. and you love to quote people. and if i may, house democrats and house republicans have no greater priority than keeping americans safe. this is not a partisan issue nor is it a partisan difference. many americans are frustrated with the pace of progress against isis in iraq and syria. i want to see the administration in congress working together to protect our nation. the reforms in this bill are an excellent start. this legislation will make it easier for law enforcement to
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vet those visitors coming from visa waiver countries such as in europe, to ensure we're not admitting those who have traveled to places like iraq and syria and link up with isis. that was said by you. mr. hoyer: i think that's an excellent quote. which i still agree with. mr. mccarthy: so what i would say to the gentleman, let's work with this administration. let's make sure as we sat in our meeting this week with leaders of other countries, i thought their advice was was good advice. let's not say what this is not. because it -- we may get political points with one another, but it puts them in harm's way. and they know what the truth of this is. so i think you and i agree on a lot of different things, and
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we're cordial with one another when we disagree. i don't think this is an area where sometimes we may disagree, but sometimes we have shown we could agree. i know you want to keep america safe, and i know we want to keep america safe. i also know it's a brand new administration. i also know when i go down to that white house, you have been there with me, there is not a lot of staff there. i know there's going to be a few hiccups along the way. i'm going to work with them. i'm going to help them. i want you to help us help them as well. i yield back. mr. hoyer: thank you very much, mr. leader. can i ask you to do something? mr. mccarthy: the advice you give to your children, about taking a breath? perhaps before they tweet? would you do me a favor. mr. mccarthy: my kids don't tweet.
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mr. hoyer: that's good advice as well. could you give that advice to the president of the united states and tell him to take a breath before he makes policy or before he offends our allies or before he creates great fear in those who hear what he has to say off the cuff? and yes, i understand that rhetoric counts. you might talk to him about that as well. he's the one that call this is a ban. i know that everybody else is trying to clean it up and i hope that's the case, and in fact, i have seen, yes, the head of homeland security, general kelly, secretary kelly, trying to clean it up. it is a darn shame that it wasn't cleaned up before. it was a darn shame that the time was not taken to do a -- an order that would, yes, make sure that vetting was appropriate, as my quote was and our legislation. that you talked about.
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but yes, good advice to your children and good advice to this president. let me just finish then i'll yield back, yield to you. just don't, as immediately comes to mind, tweet it and have the impact not known to you or your staff or to the country but almost invariably we have seen has a negative effect. i yield to my friend. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding. you know, president obama said that he was rooting for president trump's success. i'd also give the advice, let's not root against him. he still doesn't have his own cabinet. when i watch and listen to what some on the other side, their own leadership, say about some there, i can see where the
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rhetoric continues to thrive. i think we should put that down. the election is over. now is the time to govern. there are big problems out there. and we can score as many political points as we want back and forth. but there are challenges. you and i have worked together on so many issues out here. from opioid, from the vee ka waiver so many times. nd we disagree at times. i think it would be good for us and the american public if we can show the leadership to do that. i look forward to working with you on these issues. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comment. i think we've demonstrated over the years that we ascribe to that concept. my point to you is that in the first 10 or 12 days of this administration, that concept has been put at great risk. i think the gentleman's advice
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is good. we have pursued that. i simply urge him to suggest to the president of the united states that he adopt that concept as well. unless the gentleman has something more to say, i'll yield back the balance of my time. mr. mccarthy: it's good to have these collo >> the week ahead in congress includes a confirmation vote in the senate on tuesday for president trump's secretary -- education secretary nominee. also, jeff sessions to beat u.s. and tom priceal to have the health and human services department and steve mnuchin to be treasury secretary. >> andrew covers federal policy. what is t


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