tv House Speaker Pelosi Senate Minority Leader Schumer Hold News Conference CSPAN December 21, 2020 1:43am-2:05am EST
>> an update on the government funding bill and the coronavirus aid package from house speaker nancy pelosi and senate minority leader chuck schumer. >> we have it on. >> not twofold. >> -- too full. >> no, they have the space. good evening, everyone. i am very honored as well as tonight, happy to welcome the distinguished leader of the
democrats and the senate. i want to salute them for the masterful work he did last evening to find a solution, to give us a path to bring the legislation forward that will help america's working families. been toose has always put money in the pockets of american people, which we do in this legislation. sadly, our third purpose, to honor our heroes, was not fully appreciated by our republican colleagues, so our support for state and local government, while significant in this legislation, requires work to be done. we consider this a first step and that, again, more needs to be done. we are so excited that will be happening under the biden-harris administration. about 700 hours from now.
is thism excited about bill is really the democratic difference, what it does for america's working families. as we see food lines all over the country, it was our legislation that had the initiative for food, for nutrition, for our children in school and seniors as well as america's working families. many, assistance when so maybe 15 million children in america are food insecure. people,lt food insecure highest percentage of them i believe is in the state of kentucky. nonetheless, the food, the nutrition piece of it has always been essential to our democratic postal's. with the millions of people on the verge of eviction, we have
rental assistance and a for the biden administration. food, rental assistance, earned income tax credit, child tax credit, america's working poor families, the democratic difference. the assistance for community development, finance -- financial institutions to help small business minority owned businesses, women, veterans, native americans, businesses to participate because they are not big and they do not have financial relationships. sometimes, they are overlooked and that's essential to what our legislation has done. childcare. children learning, parents earning, very important, especially in a time of pandemic when children cannot actually in many cases go to school.
therefore, their parents cannot go to work. childcare. issuesnd so many other that are so essential to the kitchen table needs of america's working families, that has always been my focus and that is the democratic difference between what we have succeeded in doing and what was not even present in any way in any bills the other side put forward on the senate. in addition, we are pleased that investments in the transportation system and what that means to our economy, jobs, etc., it's in this legislation. we are pleased that bipartisan, bicameral support, that is a job as well. retention tax credit. some of these things made it in late this evening and that's why it's taking us longer to write the bill to bring it to the floor. these are some of the later
developments. of course, we are very proud that is part of this. one thing we did not achieve with the money that was left over from the cares act, we wanted to have flexibility so it could be used for revenue losses as well as coronavirus expenses by our communities and state. republican and democratic governors alike supported that. we did get an extension of one perhaps, unfortunately, with this spread of the virus, they will have those kinds of expenses. in any case, whether it's education, transportation, that me just say this one thing -- let me just say this one thing. what took so long? what took so long is because we could not get our republican cross the virus.
why would they not want to invest in the science that has told us so importantly that it tracing,testing, treatment, separation, sanitation, and the rest? and when we had the bill and the heroes act, even the smaller heroes act, because we reduced want to, they said we touch on your language on testing. 53% of it to take out everything that referred to minority communities. communities of color work so hard-hit in all of this. and now we see why. they did not believe in the science but they did leave in herd immunity. and that's why we never could come to that first bill to cross the virus. reasons, wed other are on a new path now.
the legislation is a first step. we need to do more. what gives us hope is a vaccine and we have to make that available free and equitably distributed in our country. that ines me hope is 700 hours, joe biden will be president of the united states and bring his values, his commitment to america's working families to the four as we prepare for an legislation. to welcome ourd distinguished democratic leader of the senate and praise him for his masterful work last evening to take us from a place where american working families were shortchanged and left out to dry except for his brilliance in getting the job done for us. in that spirit, i welcome leader
schumer to the podium. you, speaker pelosi. thank you for your steadfastness in focusing on the working families of america and their needs. this bill is far from perfect, nor is this a bill that we would pass them across had a majority in the senate, it is a strong shot in the arm to help american families weather the storm. the 20 million people who would lose unemployment benefits the day after christmas, help is on the way. to the millions of small business owners who were worried their businesses would go under, help is on the way. so families struggling with less payments being help is on the way. to people who might have been evicted from their homes because they did not have a job and could not afford it, help is on the way. to those who need food because
they have no money for the pandemic, help is on the way. and to all of america, who wants to make sure that the vaccine is distributed free and fairly and quickly, help is on the way. is certainly not everything we wanted. our republican friends stood in ae way of so much, but it is strong, strong shot in the arm to get things going. we all know that president trump has made the economy a mess. by how he treated the pandemic. we all know that president biden is entering his presidency in an economic hole caused by president trump. this will help him begin to get out of that hole. million dollars. that is the second largest
stimulus amount of dollars that has ever gone into the economy. the first thing, the cares bill, which we negotiated with secretary mnuchin. it is a lot of money. unfortunately, the troubles are so deep, the abyss is so long, that we need more. this is just the first step. this is an emergency. we need a second bill to continue dealing with the emergency and to start stimulating our economy. so we get back to where we were. that will be job number one in the new biden administration. either we have the majority in the senate or the minority, we democrats are going to push like anything to get a bigger, stronger bill. this bill is a good bill. tonight is a good night. but it is not the end of the story. it is not the end of the job. anyone who thinks this bill is enough does not know what is
going on in america. does not look into the eyes of a small business owner who is losing his business. there's a lot of things in this bill that helped new york. i'm proud of the mass transit provisions, of the save our stage of provisions. when it comes to state and local , even though the republicans were relentless against it, we found other ways to aid the states so the states will get at least some of the aid they need, the localities and tribes will aid they need, but the republican relentlessness against state aid is just the filing. whens it any different someone who works for the local government loses his or her job and cannot feed their kids or someone from a small business loses it? they are all for helping the small businesses. so are we peak has -- because they employ people.
ideology gets in the way. ideology gets in the way. bill gives us hope and confidence that we can do more and we will do more. we must do more. when we come back in january, that will be job number one, to fill in the gaps, the many gaps left by this bill and to make sure this bill, a strong measure, does the job by making sure it gets the money to the people as it was intended. thank you very much, mr. leader, and thank you for your leadership in ensuring that as we go forward, the important role that our state and local government plays is recognized in the states in particular, when it comes to the vaccine and how it is distributed and how it goes from vaccine to vaccination ,rom the lab to the arm
important legislation there, recognizing the role of the state and that so many other things, education, casper take in, so many initiatives that help the states, but i associate myself with your comments. we had $325 billion in this legislation for small businesses . it's bipartisan. we support that. however, if we had 325 billion dollars for state and local government, our heroes, our health care workers, who risk their lives to save lives, and now, they might lose their job, our police and fire first responders, some of the first on the scene when they have to minister to the needs of a victim of the coronavirus, sanitation, transportation, food workers, teachers, custodians of our children, we are not forgetting them. we are going to go forward and help them and recognize and
honor them for how important they are to enable us to live again,es we live so ofht now, we had a readout the release package and now, we are going through the omnibus in a few short moments and we will have time for a couple questions. >> given how hard it was to get this deal, are you under any illusion it's going to be easy to get this next year? >> i believe in public sentiment. you know that. we have a great leader who has the confidence of the people that he is there for them, joe biden is, and he -- i think the soapbox, the bully pulpit that he has to say we are here for and we know what you need, we are going to fight the fight for you. i think that we are going to have a much easier time than we have had in the republican
senate with a republican president. >> let me say something. the number one reason we did not get the bill we needed was the republican senate. and donald trump just obfuscated the whole issue. a democratic president, joe biden, will be able to focus the american people's attention on the senate, the republican members of the senate, who are getting in the way of what they need. if joe biden says we need $1200 checks instead of the $600 checks, they did not have any money in their bill. well, he will focus on the american people. if we feel we need more money for unemployment insurance, he will focus on the american people, and i believe the republicans who have had -- you have been able to hide under trump's circus almost will no longer be able to do it. i'm very optimistic that we can get a lot more done in a senate,
certainly if there's a democratic majority, but even if a republican majority remains with a new president who will focus the issue. he said he's making covid his number one issue. tings will be easier, better, and we will produce even more. many of you have reported we have delays because of bickering. it isn't bickering. it's a big difference in how we meet the needs of the american people. a budget should be a statement of our values. clearly, we have a different set of values when we are given $150 billion to the wealthiest people in america to get the cares act passed and shortchanging those more,e -- who need money and who is receiving that money injects demand into the economy. >> given all the demands still out there that you talked about,
how would you like to see president-elect biden introduced next year's president and how much money in state and local aid do you think should be in that package? >> we make judgment all the time about what the needs are. i think that when you see the surge in the coronavirus, you know that we cannot just think it is over or that we can ignore it. the denial, the delay, the causedion, it has hundreds of thousands of deaths. not all of them attributed to president trump, but most of them. they could have been avoided. this is a matter of life and death. the lives of the american people and the livelihood of our economy and their economic security. we will make a judgment as we go forward as to what has changed, maybe for the better or maybe for the worse as we go forward.
>> i think we will have a more robust bill under president biden's administration. >> the difference -- people will see the difference. i do think that there will be senators whoan will see the light when the american people see what the difference is. >> what is not in the bill is important also. we succeeded in removing a nasty corporate immunity provision which would have prevented even fromost reckless employers having recourse and of course, we allowed the fed to move forward. it's not just what is in the bill but what we got out of the bill that is important as well. so three things about this bill.
one, more relief than any bill but the cares bill. good shot in the arm to the economy. two, lots of help for people in many different ways which we have outlined. many different ways, which we have outlined, which, by the way, none of which were in macconnell's bill. unemployment insurance mcconnell's, zero. snap, zero. rental assistance, zero. transportation, zero. sba grants, zero. covid research, nih, zero. broadband, zero. his bill had next to nothing in it, and he is saying that this bill is close to his bill. thank god it is not. thank god it is not. pelosi: what he did say, which is amusing, is it falls in the ballpark of what senate republicans have been proposing since the summer, i guess it was , falls in the ballpark. what ballpark is that? let me just say to the extent we
can work in a bipartisan way, we are happy to do so. and as the leader said, this is a big bill, second only to the cares at, changing it from a corporate, trickle down bill to a people bubble up bill, because they still got their $150 billion for the wealthiest people in the america, but as we go forward on all of this, to avoid what they tried to do with rightsbility, the civil act, americans with disabilities act, fair labor practices act, osha, you name it. they were trying to prevent people from having any safety in the courts in many categories that had nothing to do with the coronavirus. oh, and i asked one of the republican senators, why do you have the americans with disabilities act on your agenda to prevent them from filing a , let met, and he said
have the chamber of commerce call you and tell you why. i said, well, do not waste your time or mine. right now, i have to go, so thank you all very much. >> and here is senate majority leader mitch mcconnell announcing the deal on the senate floor. iding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: for the information of all senators and, more importantly for the american people, we can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time. more help is on the way. moments ago in consultation with our committees, the four leaders of the senate and the house finalized an agreement. it will be another major rescue package for the american people. if our citizens continue to battle the coronavirus this holiday