tv House Speaker Pelosi Holds News Conference CSPAN July 22, 2021 3:35pm-3:58pm EDT
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speaker pelosi: good morning, everyone. my apologies for being a few minutes late. on my way here, we had the pleasure to visit chuck shumer and his first grandchild, noah. and noah looked in at the house and saw the american flag. he got some chocolate at my office. it was the perfect way to begin because he's the future and all that we do is about the future. as we speak right now, on the floor of the house, we have the allies bill. promised made -- promises made, promise kept to those who need the visas and the opportunity for them to be safe. i've been to afghanistan nine times. bringing the best wishes of our -- the american people to our men and women in uniform and also thanking those who helped keep them safe.
this is a very important measure in that regard. and then -- and then, when i leave here, we will be welcoming the king of jordan, his majesty, king abdullah, to talk about peace in the middle east. so it's a busy, it's a busy time. in terms of where we are on this, we have the fact that the bipartisan agreement in the senate looks like it has prospects to be brought up soon. i don't know when. i hope that it will because that infrastructure legislation is very important. i want to talk about our men and women in uniform. we always promise them we will build for them a future worthy of their sacrifice. president biden's build back better initiative does exactly that. we are -- jobs are coming back. going to about 60,000 every three days. wages are rising. paychecks are growing.
the strongest rate before the pandemic since 2006. the economy is booming. the c.b.o. -- the c.b.o., i.m.f., federal bank, others say we will reach the highest level of growth in nearly four decades and we'll do that this year. we need to build bold infrastructure investment to build back better, better jobs. when we ran in 2018 and then in 2020, we said we'll lower health care costs -- have lower health care costs, bigger paychecks, cleaner government. that's what we have set out to do and are in the works to accomplish. jobs are coming back, as i mentioned before. now, as we go forward, it is important for us to, again, have them pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill. as i said earlier, we don't know
when. it is imminent. i hope it succeeds. while we're eager for it to pass, we will not be taking it up until the senate passes the reconciliation bill. and the timing of that, of course, is up to the senate. as you know, january 6 was a day of an assault on the capitol. it was one of the darkest days in our country's history. it was an assault on our democracy. it was an assault on our congress. it's an assault on our constitution. as the rioters tried to undo or prevent us from honoring our constitutional responsibility to ratify, to certify the electoral
college vote and officially name joe biden president of the united states. in the time since then, six months or more since then, we tried to have a bipartisan commission. in the house we passed it. it was -- we yielded on many scores in terms of makeup, process, and timing. it was bipartisan in terms of the committee. i salute our chairman, benny thompson, and mr. katko, the ranking member. even though it was something that was bipartisan and yielded on many points to republicans in order to get bipartisanship, the leader of the republican party whipped and voted against the commission. we had the votes. 35 members on the republican side voted with us to send it to the senate. it was very hopeful we could pass it there. we had seven republican votes
but not 10. we needed 10 to get up to 60. hopefully one day that will still -- that opportunity will still present itself. but because it was not possible in this time frame, last month we passed our legislation for a select committee. the select committee is bipartisan and it has a quorum and it will do the job it sets out to do and that is to investigate the causes and -- of what happened on january 6, to find out how it was organized, who paid for it, who messaged to get those people here for the assault on the capitol. as you well know over 100 people were injured, some died. it was a horrible, horrible thing. i'll never forget the trauma that it caused, not only for our
members, but for our staff and for the people that work in the capitol to make our work here possible. some of you were here that day as well. so you can attest to the fact that it was not all love, hugs, and kisses, as has been characterized -- mischaracterized, shall we say. so as you know, we named our commission and it was -- committee and it's bipartisan. and we have a quorum. staff is being hired to do the job. we're there to seek the truth. we're not -- we're there to get the truth. not get trump. tru -- t-r-u, truth. i did not accept two of the five people that were appointed. they have made statements and
taken actions that i think would impact the integrity of the commission -- of the committee, the work of the committee. this is deadly serious. this is about our constitution. it's about our country. it's about the assault on the capitol that's being mischaracterized for some reason at the expense -- at the expense of finding the truth for the american people. i'm very pleased the response we have received across the country and from my caucus on this subject, and we will -- i'm very pleased with the leadership of bennie thompson, our chairman, the bipartisan nature of our committee with liz cheney, the other members on the committee who have experience and patriotism as their calling cards. so we will proceed. as i said, they're in the process -- the committee is in the process of hiring staff to
that end. it's my responsibility as speaker of the house to make sure we get to the truth on this, and we will not their antics stand in the way of that. on another subject, again, we are working very hard to get the job done for the american people, to lower health care costs, lower pollution, raise -- when we ran, i said lower health care costs, bigger paychecks, cleaner government, and that's what we are about. the cleaner government comes with the h.r. 1 -- h.r. 1, s. 1, combine them, the senate resolution, the house resolution to get this done. so in any event, as i mentioned, we are here to get the job done. we cannot respond to some of the
legislation until the senate acts, as i said. we will not take up the infrastructure bill until the senate passes the reconciliation bill. with that i'm pleased to take any questions. yes, ma'am. reporter: would you [indiscernible] additional republicans on this select committee given the fact this resolution says you have the power to [indiscernible] the speaker: well, i did suggest to the leader that the three -- make sure you understand this. people -- i hear the press saying, well, they didn't vote to accept the -- that didn't have nothing to do with it. right from the start when the members acted in that way and said they were not going to vote for the certification that joe biden was president. i said to members, do not let that stand in the way of you finding bipartisan agreement on legislation here. i'm not encouraging that at all. you find your common ground. we strive for bipartisanship. so how they voted on that bill
is not relevant to how we are legislating. on the other hand, the two people that i -- of the three i appointed, one of them voted against the ratification and other two voted for it. having said that, though, the other two made statements and took actions that just made it ridiculous to put them on such a committee seeking the truth. at the same time, we have a committee -- a committee to address economic disparities in our country and the leader gave they six names for that committee. five of them voted against making the election of joe biden official but i approved all six of them. that has not been a factor. somehow you all think it might
be. it has not been a factor. the chairman of that committee, jim himes, is already staffed up and ready for a hearing next week, as is mr. thompson for a hearing next week. but the leader may want to rescind those names. i'm happy for them to be accepted on the floor of the house. so we'll see. we'll see. there are some members who would like to be on it but we'll see. reporter: can you elaborate more specifically what statement and what actions cause you to -- the speaker: no, i won't. i'll give you the statements. i think one of them, it was sort of the -- of mr. banks was that the biden administration was responsible for january 6. there was no biden administration on january 6. let's not go into that. have you -- are you up to date on their statements? i'd like you to see them because
they completely impossible to seek the truth and it's about not -- as i said in my comment, with respect for the integrity of the investigation, with concern to -- that the american people want to know the truth and in light of statements and actions taken by them, i could not appoint them. i said that while this may be unprecedented, so was the attack on the capital. i am not going to spend any more time talking about them. reporter: on the bipartisan question and ms. cheney because this is bipartisan, when you talked and told republicans, they, many of them believe that the election was stolen from him.
how do you convince people on the other side of the aisle that what's going to go on in this committee is going to be bipartisan and truly get to the truth? the speaker: it's not even -- it's nonpartisan. it's about seeking the truth and that's what we owe the american people and probably the biggest incentive for that is that the more -- the less partisan it is, the more it will be accepted by the american people. reporter: kevin mccarthy is promising to have his own probe. speaker pelosi: i am not concerned. let's not waste each other's time, ok. reporter: madam speaker, there's a bill before the house that would prohibit taxpayer funded abortion. it's been brought by republicans 37 times for a vote on the house floor. but has been blocked by democrats. can you explain why? speaker pelosi: it has been blocked by democrats? reporter: it has been blocked for a vote to allow a vote on
the house floor. speaker pelosi: it hasn't been blocked by democrats. reporter: it hasn't been accepted, i should say. speaker pelosi: it passed in committee. we think it's the right thing to do. it is something that many of us have been coerned about for a long time as an issue of health, as an issue of fairness. we will send the bills over to the senate. we'll see -- reporter: sorry. i think you misunderstood. it's a bill to prohibit taxpayer funded abortions, to have money go to taxpayer funded abortions. speaker pelosi: well, that's in the law for medicaid. you're talking about medicaid. what we have in our bill is to overturn that. there's no need to have that. there is the law now. reporter: the reasons why to have it overturned? speaker pelosi: because it's an issue of health of many women in america, especially those in lower income situations.
in different states. it is something that has been a priority for many of us a long time. as a devout catholic and mother of five in six years, i feel that god blessed my husband and me with our beautiful family. five children in six years, almost to the day. but that may not be what we should be -- it's not up to me to dictate that that's what other people should do. it's an issue of fairness and justice for poor women in our country. yes, ma'am. reporter: given how divided the country is at this point, do you risk an american public not -- with your finding in this? talk about liz cheney's role now after leader mccarthy withdrew
his members? speaker pelosi: i don't accept your stipulation that half the country -- there is a percentage of the country who is in denial about covid and getting vaccinated and it's sort of the same crowd. but overwhelmingly, if you look at the polls -- if that's what your measure is -- they want to know the truth. it's like in the 70's that people want to know more about what happened on january 6. and 59% of republicans, according to the polling that came out this morning, think we need to know more about what happened on january 6. i think, just to take this to an end, we -- these people are going to act up, cause a problem, and people said to me, put them on. and then when they act up, you can take them off. i said, why should we waste time on something as predictable? the republicans that they put on will have their own point of
view. nobody's saying that it's all should be one point of view going on in the committee. when statements are ridiculous and fall into the realm of you must be kidding, there's no way they're going to be on the committee. ok. i got to go. reporter: latino voters in the election and should the democratic party be preparing for the mid-terms? speaker pelosi: you want to talk politics? obviously, the latino community is the future of america. the -- if you actually study the numbers, there was a very strong vote for joe biden in that. the message -- part of our issue in the last election was that we could not go door-to-door. we could not go door-to-door to get out the vote. we will be able to go
door-to-door next. regardless of that, we should be paying a great deal of attention, and i'm so proud of our congressional hispanic caucus for the work that they do in the congress to bring the concerns of the community into a priority place in our debate, in our discussion. and their communication is helpful to us to understand more fully what some of the issues are. some of the issues are newer issues to the discussion. the latino community is a young population. it's a young population. and we really have to reach out better to young people as well as the latino people. but i have to go to the floor. i have the king of jordan coming. reporter: should dr. king's "i have a dream speech" required be
taught in public schools? there's an effort in texas to scrap that from being part of the curriculum, should it be required? speaker pelosi: you know, what is taught in the schools is a local decision. that's the way it has been. i think it's a sadness for the children if they are not able to hear or learn about that speech because it is so inspirational about our country. it's not partisan. it's patriotic. it's fair. you remind me that this weekend we had the privilege, many of us, to go to san diego for the launching of the john lewis -- the ship named for john lewis. it was such a beautiful occasion. and i recalled when i made my speech, i recalled two years ago around this time, the end of july, little bit later, john lewis and the black caucus and i went to ghana and we went to
where -- the door of no return, where the first slaves that came to the united states, 400 years ago -- well, to america -- it wasn't the united states -- went to that door of no return and got on those death ships, if they surrived -- survived, slavery was their destination. so tragic. john, you should have seen the reception he received. it was so beautiful there. but john said to us, you know, the -- this is as part of marketplace history as the -- american history as was the march over selma. he said, we may have come to america on different ships, but now we're in the same boat. and that's how we view this. same boat of america for a more perfect union. he's such an inspiration to us, as was dr. king. mr. clyburn has i think
constantly going in his office, because no matter how many times you hear the speech of dr. king, it continues to inspire, strengthen, and keeps us focused on the purpose that we are all on the same ship. thank you. >> thank you, thank you. >> house minority leader kevin mccarthy talked to reporters about speaker pelosi's decision to block two republican lawmakers from serving on a select committee to investigate the january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol. leader mccarthy also talked about federal spending and inflation.