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tv   House Democratic Leaders News Conference  CSPAN  December 17, 2019 1:59pm-2:16pm EST

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cover-up? can we live up to hamilton's fine words with dignity, independence, confidence. to preserve the necessary impartiality to conduct a fair trial. that question should weigh heavily upon every single senator. >> the u.s. senate now in recess until 2:15 eastern as they attend their weekly party lunches. today lawmakers work finished work on the bill which includes the establishment of a space force within the us air force and among other items of 3.1 percent military pay raise and 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. when the senate returns at 2:15 we will have live coverage right here on cspan2 area today, house democratic
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leaders spoke to reporters about the two articles of impeachment against president trump and the democrats legislative agenda . >> thank you for making the adjustment in terms of time. the house democratic majority this year has passed approximately 400 bills and sent them to the senate area approximately 275 of those bills are bipartisan in nature. hundred bills have made it to the president's desk and then signed into law. we have passed legislation to lower healthcare costs, to drive down the high price of life-savingprescription drugs . to protect people with
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pre-existing conditions. to increase pay for every day americans by raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. to address more than 1 million dreamers who are americans and contributing to their community and deserve toremain . we passed legislation to reauthorize the violence against women'sact . >> .. to fully fund the government and to invest in domestic program after domestic program after domestic program to benefit working families, middle-class folks and a senior citizen we will also pass the united states and mexico canada trade
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agreement consistent with our commitment to the american worker and to organized labor and to do it in a way that would have the overwhelming support of the labor movement in this country for the first time in history and we kept our promise to the america people that we would we would fight for every day americans consistent with our for the people agenda this week alone sows the difference between the democratic majority in the house and a republican majority which we had in december of 2018. in the prior congress, the signature legislative accomplishment was to pass the gop tax scam where 83% of the
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benefits went to the wealthiest 1% in america. it was a sham, scam and a shakedown. this week we will move legislation on the floor that restores some fairness to everyday americans, to middle-class folks and to those who aspire to be part of the middle class. by beginning the process of restoring the state and local tax deduction which was stripped away to give a tax increase to the wealthy, well off and the well connected. that was unconscionable but the house democratic majority will begin to reverse the damage that was done by house republicans in the last congress. last year at this time we were beginning the process of heading into a reckless 35 day
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government shutdown because donald trump wanted to hold the american taxpayer hostage in order to get billions of dollars for a medieval border wall to satisfy our political promise that he had made on the campaign trail and we stopped him from doing it this year under a democratic majority we are fully funding the government. let me now yield to my distinguished colleague, my good friend, dynamic vice chair of the house democratic caucus, catherine clark. >> thank you, mr. chairman. because i am always second i never get to introduce you as our dynamic chairman. i will take that moment today. to continue on the words of the chairman one of the areas that we were able to make great
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progress for the american people were in the 12 appropriations bills that came out of the house committee on appropriations back in june that represented tremendous progress, areas of research, investment in childcare and education and apprenticeships making sure that we are building resiliency for climate change in our communities that we are investing in clean air and water and the epa. we put $50 million into gun research for the first time in decades and we waited. we have waited for the senate to take up these bills. it caused acr back in the fall and today we stand here with an agreement. with many of the priorities of the house captured but we still have work to do.
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some of the highlights are for the first time the house has been able to superior $425 million to help states protect their elections. as we are working on multiple tracks this week we know the threat to our 2020 elections from this president and the way he has corruptly invited foreign interference into our elections. this funding will be critical in helping states keep the ballot box between the american voters and their decision and their decision alone on who to vote for. there is also $25 million for gun research. again, this is the first time in decades we are going to be able to research how we can prevent gun violence in this country. as we just, sadly commemorated,
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the seven year anniversary of newtown. it is way past time that we start making this investment and two of the key bills that are being held up by the senate are two bills we passed back in february around expanding universal back ground checks. we want to make sure the loophole for background checks that allow the charleston shooter to get his gun illegally is closed once and for all. we've also included over $7.5 billion for the census which will be critical as we go forward to make sure everyone is counted and make sure that we have the full count that is necessary that states are counting on for their federal funding. there is a 9 billion-dollar,
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which is over $200 million increase, for the epa to try to protect our clean air and clean water. we know how the impacts of climate change and we know that the impact of this administration that is trying to rollback protections that are so vital for how we address this crisis. there is a $1.1 billion increase in childcare that will enable the children of this country to get the best start they can and we know if we help kids read at grade level by third grade that is a game changer for them and opens up opportunity throughout their lives. we did not get everything we wanted. these were difficult negotiations with the administration and with the republican led senate.
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but our commitment to the american people was to keep government open and make every bit of progress that we could. as we have the impeachment vote wayne on this congress very heavily that we will be taking up tomorrow we will continue to move forward with the for the people agenda and we will continue to be clear that we came here to uphold an oath of office that includes upholding the constitution and that we are going to continue as we did from the beginning of this impeachment inquiry to follow the facts and to let the truth be our guide. it is not an easy vote. i greatly admire the unity that we are seen out of this caucus that it may not be politically expedient and it may not be easy
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but we don't know how this may or may not affect the 2020 election but we know this -- we have this opportunity in the history of our country to stand up, defend our constitution and send the clear message, not only to this president but to every president in the future that we are coequal branch of government that is going to insist that no one is above the law. >> thank you, catherine. questions? >> on impeachment, the polls coming out showing the american people do believe the facts and agree but the poll numbers show the country is still pretty much evenly split. if not leading towards again, impeachment but what is the democratic response to this given that you will be building
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on this in 24 hours? >> we are a 50 -- 50 country divided on a whole host of issues and we decided to proceed based on our constitutional response ability in terms of the president's abuse of power which continues to hide in plain sight. in fact, the president's abuse of power is a constitutional crime in progress. over the last few days rudolph giuliani, the president's political henchmen, returned from ukraine to continue the out-of-control effort to acquire dirt on a political opponent which has been reviewed and is at the heart of the trump ukraine scandal. the polling numbers i have seen most recently from fox news have suggested that more americans support the effort to hold the president accountable by
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impeachment and removal than are against it. in fact, in one poll, i believe it was a team point split. in an otherwise evenly divided nation we are not concerned with poll numbers. we are not concerned with the political implications and we are not concerned with the impact on the 2020 election. we are concerned with the constitution and were concerned with abuse of power in concerned with the undermining of our national security and concerned with the effort by donald trump to corrupt our free and fair elections. >> we were talking about the gop so why aren't you concerned about the majority if you do want to pass these other items in the democratic agenda? it seems like you could prevent
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that [inaudible] >> today we will fully fund the government assisted with our responsibility including constitutionally the house of representatives through the origination cause is a preeminent institution to allocate taxpayer dollars and today we will fund the government and tomorrow we will hold the president accountable and on thursday we will pass a historically aggressive trade agreement. the business of the people has continued. last week, we passed the national defense authorization act that includes paid family medical leave for millions of federal workers and military families for the first time in american history. that will lay the foundation to do so much more so we are continuing with the business of the people but we do have this
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response ability to hold an out-of-control president accountable we will not shirk from that responsibility but the senate center of gravity for the house to a credit caucus will remain getting things done for everyday americans. i yield to catherine. >> we don't know politically where this is going to land us and whether it will be a threat to the majority or whether it won't but there is no choice here. what we have is a constitutional crisis and what we have is a president who keeps telling us exactly what he did and what he will do in the future and we have to believe him. back in june he said he would take political dirt from a foreign government again and no, he would not let the fbi know. we all know his call with the famous line, do us a favor, though. he was willing to sell out the integrity of our election and willing to sell out our national
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security and willing to sell out a country that desperately needed our help in a war. >> we leave this program now to fill our commitment to bring you live coverage of the u.s. senate. earlier today at lawmakers passed the 2020 defense programs and policy bill. it now heads to the president for his signature. later this week they are expected to work on executive nominations and 2020 federal spending legislation. current government funding expires friday and benign. live coverage of the u.s. senate.

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