tv Senate GOP Leaders Hold News Conference CSPAN May 18, 2022 12:26am-12:49am EDT
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mitch mcconnell and other senate republican leaders briefed reporters following weekly party meetings. they talk about aid to ukraine nato membership in the baby , formula shortage. this is just under 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. obviously the biggest issue in the world right now the most important issue on the floor of the senate this week, is assistance for ukraine. as i think you know, i along with senator barrasso, collinson , and senator cornyn, had the opportunity to visit with president zelenskyy in kyiv. i think i can report what you have heard over and over again. the determination of the ukrainian people to defeat the
russians, to push them out of ukrainian territory, all they are asking from all of us is help, and we are providing significant help this week. we are not in this alone. this is not a cheerful operation -- charitable operation. european countries have contributed mightily, not only in absorbing refugees, but in providing arms and support in every way. it is also important to remind those who think we ought to be focusing on asia that both the prime minister of japan and the defense minister in japan say the single most important thing we can do to push back against potential chinese aggression is to help the ukrainians defeat the russians in this current conflict. president xi is watching.
as this unfolds what is the , message he takes out of this? it needs to be this kind of aggression is counterproductive and will not produce an outcome that he wants. we then went to stockholm and to helsinki. and had the opportunity to be there just as they were debating their decision to request admission to nato. that was the prime minister in sweden and the prime minister and president in finland. enjoyed witnessing their enthusiasm for this big step. to show you what a big step it is in sweden, they have not been a part of any alliance in 200 years. this is a big step for the swedes to go in this direction.
as you know, finland also has declared a kind of neutral position in between russia and nato. they are enthusiastically anxious to be a part of nato now . another outcome produced by vladimir's aggression. -- vladimir putin years and arel prepared to become part of nato now. finland already spends 2% of gdp. sweden is rapidly approaching 2% of gdp. they both have highly successful militaries, much more successful militaries than the current members of nato. they are value added to the nato alliance. but they are curious about is
-- what they are curious about is how long it will take us to ratify their admission. i told him it is our goal on an overwhelming bipartisan basis is to get that done as rapidly as possible. some procedural hoops through which we have to jump may prevent us from being first. but i would love to be first. we are going to do everything on a bipartisan basis to push admission to nato as rapidly as possible. >> there is not a day goes by where we do not seem to see a new spike or new hi i should say in gasoline and diesel prices. at the very same time the president's approval ratings hit new lows. i don't think that correlation is any coincidence. the high fuel prices in this country are attributable to this administration's policies, many of which have discouraged oil
and gas production, energy production right here in united states. most recently as last week when the president took the gulf in -- and alaska, some leases off-limits, shut them down. it absolutely makes no sense if you are concerned about the pocketbook pain the american people are experiencing on a daily basis, the continually higher prices they are experiencing at the pump, you would think you be working aggressively to try to open up more energy production in this country. but this administration seems intent on doing the opposite. that is been the plan from the beginning. if you look back in the earlier stages of this administration, whether it is oil and gas leases on federal lands, even some of these places they are issuing leases, you have to get a permit to drill but they are not doing. they are forcing long delays, shortages, and constantly higher prices for everything in this
biden economy. i would hope that the administration would think seriously about revising their strategy because at the moment all it is doing is making the american people and the american economy harder for more working class families in this country. the latest example of course is the shortage of baby formula. and again these are basic issues that this administration when it comes to taking care of the basic needs of the american people seems to be completely out of step with. i think the only thing that is honestly going to change that is a republican majority in congress. and i hope as people think about these issues as we head into the midterm elections next fall, they are going to be thinking about pocketbook issues. those issues that affected their economy and their families economy in such a profound way.
>> today is the eighth day in a row gas prices in america hit a new high. today at $4.52 a gallon. that has profound impacts of people all across the country specifically in my home state of wyoming where people on average drive more because the distances are further into the the average miles driven is higher. joe biden seems committed to a longtime situation of high gas prices all across the country. it is not wise he continued to choke energy production in the united states. last week he canceled three major lease sales oil and gas in the gulf and in alaska and he cannot have it both ways. the president one day says it's putin and the very next day cancels these major oil and gas production leases. the american people see through this. the president has lost all
credibility in terms of dealing with inflation in the cost of energy. at the same time the american people have lost all confidence in the ability of this president to relieve the pain they are living with every day. for people driving past the gas station and they see that number over $4 a gallon most people wince because they know it's money they are not going to have for food and groceries, for clothing, or to do things with the kids. the president has as a gimmick where he's going to release a million barrels of oil a day from the strategic petroleum reserve all the way up until the election. that has had no effect in relieving the pain at the pump. the only thing he has done is make us more vulnerable if a real emergency comes on fast because that is what the strategic petroleum reserve is for. real emergencies. the american people know we have the energy in the country is in the ground and this
administration will not let us get it out. this president is beholding to -- beholden to the climate elitists. and that is why i say this president is committed to high gas prices for the long, long future which is why three out of four americans this weekend polled said they believe the country under joe biden and the democrats is heading in the wrong direction. >> with the baby formula issue, another example that hits a whole other group of american families that often are not thinking about the big economic issues of the day, of just making the decision without thinking about the consequences. since about january 1 the fda knew there was potentially a problem at one of the big manufacturers of baby formula. about 60 days later they shut that down or negotiated a shutdown of that factory that is
still not established up until today the likelihood the factory and the problem they were trying to solve were at the right factory. more importantly you cannot eliminate maybe 40% of the supply and not have impact. i was talking to some of the other day who spent four hours in the car, went to six different stores to try to get the unique baby formula that their baby had to have. talk about stress for families. you can look at things $28 million i think is what the house is talking about now. whether it's $28 million or $228 million it will not make any difference tomorrow. it will not make any difference probably a week from tomorrow . looking at every option before you make that decision like eliminating tariffs on western european baby formula that meets all of our standards would have been something the administration could have easily done months ago before the shelf
supply in store after store after store went away. >> our american families are really feeling the weight of all of these biden crises. we have the crisis at the pump. iowans are feeling that, very hard hit. the highest inflation we have seen in 40 years. and now the biden administration seems to have lost all control over things as simple as baby formula. who would have ever thought that we would have a shortage of baby formula right here in the united states? i got a text a couple nights ago from a friend in iowa. he was imploring me because a young couple he knows had a preemie baby. that baby is being released from
the nicu very soon. mom and dad are struggling to figure out where the formula is going to come from for their newborn baby. these are things that could have been foreseen. things the biden administration could have planned for and encouraged the fda to work through. so, i understand abbott's and the fda have an agreement to reopen their plant to produce baby formula. but the courts have to agree as well. so what are we to do in the meantime to support and help these families that need this baby formula? this is not some ordinary product you can live without for a number of time, a period of weeks. when you need it, you need it. so whether it is importing from those other countries as senator blunt has stated, solving our
supply chain issues or do something as simple as opening a plant, we need to do it. these babies are in need and we should not be turning our back on these babies. so again, implore to the biden administration, let's get these crises under control. let's the people in place that actually know what they doing when it comes to supply chain management issues. we should not be facing the type inflation we are, the gas prices we are, and we certainly should not be facing a baby formula shortage. >> i'm getting texts, i've gotten phone calls of parents that are struggling. they are spending hours trying to find formula. some of them cannot find it . they are trying to figure out can they take their baby off of formula and put them on milk now? some parents are having to do that and they know there might be some risk with that. you cannot imagine that in the united states of america parents are worried about feeding their
children. this is an american problem. i can give you pictures from all over the world. this is panama. they've got plenty of baby formula. this is the united states. no baby formula. i can give you pictures in canada, israel, brazil all over the world. there is plenty of baby formula out there. the biden administration is to -- needs to figure this out today. they need to figure that out and have all hands on deck. this needs to be solved this weekend. it cannot be two months and wait until after the abbott facility is open. i am from florida we have a lot of people from latin america. the biden administration decided to be appeasers again to cuba and venezuela, that is despicable. after the obama appeasement let me give you one story about lady had her hand chopped off right
here, stuck in the mud. this was after obama's appeasement. do you know what she did wrong? she complained the school is closed in cuba. we are getting nothing for this other than there's less of a chance cubans or venezuelans are ever going to see democracy. reporter: [indiscernible] does it give you any concern? >> i know you are a pretty astute reporter. the election is today and we will take a look at it after we see who the nominee is. reporter: do you have any responsibility to speak out on replacement theory which is one of the things that motivated the shooter in buffalo? some of your members and candidates have talked about it to some degree. >> well certainly the episode,
this horrible episode in buffalo, is the result of a completely deranged young man who ought to suffer the severest possible penalty under the law. reporter: senator manchin says the proposal to expand background checks -- do you see 10 republican votes? >> i love to be the majority leader. hope to be after november. that is a better question to ask of senator schumer. reporter: [indiscernible] does the republican party -- >> look, the -- racism of any sort is abhorrent in america. it ought to be stood up to,
everybody, both republicans, democrats, all americans. reporter: is it your belief democrats are seeking amnesty for undocumented immigrants for the purpose of influencing and changing the political advantage ? >> what i am concerned about with regard to the southern border is the relative openness of it. this administration has taken a number of steps in the direction of just throwing our border wide open once again and that ought to be addressed. something that could be done by the administration itself with the absence of any additional legislation and keeping title 42 in place would be a good first step.
>> "washington journal." we are taking your calls on the news of the day and we will discuss policy issues that impact you. wednesday morning we will talk about abortion rights and reducing gun violence with sylvia garcia. then a discussion about campaign 2022. and a recap of the congressional hearing on ufos this week. watch "washington journal" wednesday morning on c-span or on c-span now, our mobile video app. join the discussion. >> officials from the internal revenue service and government accountability office testified wednesday on how the irs treats taxpayers based on annual income. watch live on c-span, c-span
now, or anytime online at c-span.org. >> at least six presidents recorded conversations while in office. here many of those on c-span's new podcast, presidential recordings. >> season one focuses on the presidency of lyndon johnson. you will hear about the gulf of tonkin incident, the march on selma, and the war in vietnam. not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> johnson's secretaries knew because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. they were the ones who made sure the conversations were taped as johnson would signal to them through an open door between his office and there's. >> you will also hear some blunt talk.
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>> next, the wife of pennsylvania lieutenant governor john federman speaks to supporters after he was declared the winner in pennsylvania's 2022 u.s. senate primary election. lieutenant governor fetterman's campaign announced he suffered a stroke days before the primary and was recovering from surgery on the day of the election. >> hello everyone. thank you so much for joining us this evening. what a night. what a few days. you may have noticed i am not john federman -- fetterman. the next senator of our great state. so before i get started, i would like to take a moment. my
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