House Speaker Pelosi Others on Extending COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits CSPAN July 24, 2020 1:01pm-1:37pm EDT
[silence] >> good afternoon. it's been two months and about ten days since we passed the heroes act on the democratic side. that was our position, the democratic caucus. we took the position that it was a challenge we needed to get out immediately, the cares act helped mitigate circumstances for people in terms of wage replacement across the country. it's here the $600 added to the
weekly unemployment benefit has offered some conflict but here is the reality. the reality is you can't quit your job to get an extra $600 a week. second, knowing the pandemic with 30 million americans filed unemployment insurance, contingent of the healthcare system would make its way into the economic system and people would have trouble paying rent and their mortgage. that's what this is about. wage replacement issue, along with the extra $600 has gone a long way toward that pressure. the other side knew this was coming. they knew eventually despite the
procrastination, the argument they were waiting to see how this would play out, it now brings us to the eve of the economic catastrophe of unemployment insurance is not extended. you can see right now is great uncertainty, it confronts the american system. again, a record number of covid cases, resurgence of the pandemic, resurgence of the virus is causing great economic uncertainty. it's linked to childcare, linked to a chaotic system of how states deliver, unemployment compensation what is important to remember is the united states senate has refused to act. complacency would be the worst strategy to adopt right now. i think of all the issues we were able to put together the cares act including tax credit, unemployment insurance, aid for
hospitals, was really the most successful endeavor was unemployment insurance largely because it addressed the issue of liquidity in the system and because people need substances for day-to-day life and helped create consumer demand. those were the important considerations. we can't lose the momentum we developed in the cares act by not getting immediately to the heroes act. they can't say they haven't had time. two months and ten days they've gone through this. the evidence was overwhelming about the pandemic. it wasn't getting better, it reached the ceiling for a while, it began to slow down but i remind governor of connecticut is taking a different position. the governor of massachusetts has taken a different position on out-of-state visitors.
whether it's california, texas or florida, the truth is the recovery will be slow largely because we are in the stages of stability and relief. i think unemployment insurance, not only is it compelling but it's overwhelming. chairman has had a great deal to do with this, he's said time and again during our zoom calls, he believes this is one of the most important things we did and he's made a big contribution to the subcommittee on this. >> thank you chairman neil. these past months have demonstrated, was on linking territory, systemic racism on every aspect of our society. i'm not going to say, they continued to fail on the 600
dollars a week, it would represent a racially discriminatory action. anyway your credit. anyway you look at it. african-americans and latinos make up a disproportionate share of the central work of those hospitalized by the virus. of those dying from the virus and of those facing evictions to just simply stay in that. we cannot allow republicans to take a colorblind position on who's harmed by cutting off the $600 supplement for unemployed workers. unemployed individuals don't work because they can't work. they can't work because it is dangerous for them to work. they can't work because there is no work and they can't work
because there is no childcare. no place to take their children. house passed an extension of the $600 in may and the senate republicans and president have yet to act while millions of americans teeter on the edge, wondering what's going to happen to them next. will they be able to make it through the next week? through the next month? i reject the idea that we could let the $600 supplement expire just give workers after the fact. one thing i know is retroactive benefits are not the same. you can't eat retroactivity. you can't forward medicine retroactively. businesses can't survive retroactively.
now republicans have decided to push an approach that the ministrations own labor department rejected is unworkable. the republican plans can't work, the stark reality is that the republican plan remains cutting off the $600. what kind of leader punishes unemployed workers in the midst of a crisis? the homes of these businesses are not theoretical. we let emergency unemployment one of its last in the home to individuals and retailers was immediate and substantial. in illinois, if republicans with the $600 expire, the average benefit will be cut by 63%. hard work in america deserves relief. we must protect workers and
families we must do it now. there's no time to wait. no time left. now is the time and we must act immediately. i'd like to present representative. >> thank you. joined by mr. evans in the committee, appreciate your efforts. we are here today with one message for the president and senate majority leader. do your job. millions of americans are at risk of losing everything they've worked for and the only thing holding them together has been this unemployment benefit and the only thing that prevents them keeping it is the inaction
of the president of the united states senate. covid-19 is simultaneously an economic crisis and a health crisis. 140,000 americans have lost their lives. 40 million american workers have lost their jobs, these simultaneous crises are far from over. yesterday for the 18th week in a row, over 1 million people filed for unemployment benefits. unemployment rate is over 11%. worst than the great recession. in my home state, the hardest hit states, 2 million michiganders have lost their jobs. we've passed legislation, not just having a conversation, we are legislating. someone once told me a long time ago you can't fund a conversation. we passed a bill that protects these important benefits. in addition, it provides other critical support for testing, frontline workers, state and local governments for schools
and extends that $600 a week benefit. for months, brogans failed to act, they know everything they need to know to make a decision on this. the heroes act sits on mitch mcconnell's desk gathering dust. why isn't there empty from these republicans? millions of americans are about to lose everything they've worked for and not be able to put food on the table, not to take care of the families and the senate republic and are literally dining on this. while americans are trying to figure out how they're going to put food on their own tables. because of the inaction, we find ourselves staring down tomorrow's deadline were americans. getting that essential lifeline. this pandemic is not over, this is no time to tell the american people you're on your own. even as we begin to open, reopen
parts of the economy and in some cases too quickly but even when the economy does begin to reestablish itself, the jobs won't come back as fast as they were lost. unemployment will still be a significant problem. the highest levels we've seen and now eclipsing the levels of the great recession. without this, 25 million americans could lose everything they've worked to create. every one of these matters to these families and as chairman neil said, this is not just about supporting those families but this supports the american economy. imagine taking away lifeline, and him only puts the families in jeopardy but it takes significant spending power out of the economy without unemployment benefit, unemployment goes up in this country. the problem gets worse. i've heard from thousands of my constituents, we were chatting,
all of us for the most part, the majority of the calls we get have to do with unemployment benefits. i just want to mention a couple, rick from michigan wrote to me to say please vote to extend the $600 unemployment, it's a much needed plan, and helps with basic needs like housing in medicine, we nearly lost our home and everything, we don't know what we will do without the extra $600. this seems cruel, we're barely hanging on. jeffrey wrote, basically the same story. he said i'm still, i am at least able to get by with this. chris says i fear my children and i will be left homeless and without food. i don't know what else we do. these are the stakes. these are the stakes. this is about real american lives affected permanently, do we want to create the first generation of another round of multiple generation poverty?
we don't. the leader in this effort and all of our efforts has been our leader, the speaker. she's been determined to get this done so it's my pleasure to bring forward speaker pelosi. >> thank you all for focusing on this very essential issue, it goes to the heart of the kitchen table concerns of american working families. we could talk about a number of things, everything is about time. the time it's taken for the administration to recognize you should wear a mask, the time it took, 98 days, 100 days to reach 1 million people infected in the united states. at that time to reach 2 million. forty-three days, 27 days to reach 3 million people, 16 days
to reach 4 million. terrible. thank you mr. evans and mr. chairman neil for bringing us here. you want to open the schools, opened the economy, defeat this virus. and yet, delay distortion, denial has taken us to where we have 4 million people. there are many other concerns we have with state and local government having to fire people. the concerns we are trying to address what he rightly called injustices and how they disproportionately impact communities of color and the rest but right now, we are focusing on this one subject. extension of unemployment insurance benefits.
it's essential to the well-being of america. what do the republicans and white house have against working families in our country? that they would begrudge them $600 necessary sustenance. it's about paying the rent and buying food so with this, we have people on the verge of addiction, millions of children food insecure in america. we need this, we've had legislation and heroes act and independently to help with rent so people are not evicted and we have this money in the unemployment benefits so i think the members of the committee for always recognizing, always
recognizing the connection between our policy and livelihoods of america's working families. we have calls all the time, people crying on the phone, crying on tv, it's about their dignity and how there are children and why? republicans are lifting their duty, taking up for the weekend instead of being ready all these months without preparing something to begin with when we had them make their offer, two months and ten days have gone by and where are they? their disarray causing great damage to america's working families.
it needs to be sounded as loudly as possible about what we are doing here if we are not addressing the needs of people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own and as mr. davis said, tell them to go to work, you must go to work. when you go to work and there are no protections, you know requests. if you don't go to work because you're afraid bring the infection home to your children, you don't get unemployment. always been there for people who need it the most. as countered by the republicans there for people who have the most, the $600, want to review, they put $2 trillion onto the national debt to get a tax break
>> has a built in a short time. >> hold a hearing on unemployment insurance. >> money for housing, he want money for housing? we have this benefit, i would be very much adverse to separating lose all leverage for meeting all the other needs, it's a fraudulent passage and with all due respect to you, on worthy when it comes to meeting the needs of america's working families will grab your keeping the spotlight on it. they could have done their job. this is their election of judy
and now you're saying you bailed them out so they can ignore the needs we have for testing. all the needs we have for state and local government, for food security, for osha benefits as in the bill, all the needs we have for other priorities we have. >> republicans have every bit of information they need to make the decision.
>> senate republicans want a bill of trillion dollars. unemployment insurance benefits is another $600, you think it's possible to extend that benefit at that level? what you sent to the brookins, our house is burning down in terms of economic security of americans family and they are wherever they may be this weekend.
while they want a trillion dollars, how can we do $600 for those in the most need when they got all the things you need to do? put your bill on paper and then we'll see what you have included and what you have left out. the american people will see what you have included and what you have left out. i'm telling you, you can have any more patients. it's a wonderful thing i read, it's amazing how much patience people can have other people suffering. we don't have patience on our side of the aisle. for them to say trillion dollars, when they spent $2 trillion tax cut for the richest people in america, -- they followed it. he put it on the backs of our children, future generations so
let us see what get them and what are they excluding? they have nothing for state and local where people are working, recession of food supplier sanitation workers, people who make the system run. because of the needs of coronavirus and it lost because of it. take that out, but those people go. what money have they done? and have testing, testing. they shut them the cafeteria minute somebody got infected in the white house. they shut it down. why can't they put that money for the state in a substantial way with the strategic plan to
do that? what money do they have there for that? then we have the money for mortgage forbearance and food stamps. how they can even show their faces, he want more money a trillion dollars, is everything we need. there's a trillion dollar and not have them use that as a reason why can't get working families $600. don't get me started on that. [laughter] >> it's important to note, even if somehow the republicans can't conjure some empathy for these
families, which is hard to comprehend, they ought to at least be able to comprehend the fact that to the extent this economy has been barely held together, it's because these families have had this unemployment benefit and the spending power to go to the grocery store and pay their rent and take care of families, that money goes directly into the u.s. economy so even if they can't figure out to have sympathy and empathy for the families that would be hurt and harmed by this, they ought to at least enroll in entry-level economics and understand if you take that money out of the economy and it will collapse.
>> obviously, is 3.4 enough? they are suffering more than they were two months ago. we were that be? i know you mentioned -- >> we are a consumer economy. an economy that grows strength and by consumer confidence that is there. they should know that. at the same time to bolster the stock market so it has a four and we should be spending trillions of dollars for america's working families because it's the right thing to do. it's also the most pragmatic thing to do if you put money into businesses, got no customers, it's no used to have money to pay the rent if there's no business so this money spent,
it needed, it's into the economy and create jobs. for education, we need much more money. we had $100 billion in education, we also knew that wasn't quite enough that we were trying to be with the budget and they came in with 105 but of course you had to see where they want to spend that money but we probably need to double that much at least. by and large we are in good shape with the budget if we could spend it now. they want zero four state and local. the governors and mayors across
county executives across the country that we have to have, they are not going to be a trillion dollars. if you see their trillion dollar list, it's going to be a big embarrassment to the republican party for who they cut out into they include and they were willing to spend double that. >> is in this issue on a different level in the sense that it's immediate, it's going to expire and some of the other things while also important, elections and education is in going to have the effect that he
has described? they are worried about? >> if you're going to be evict evicted, you might not think the same way. if you couldn't put food on the table for your children, you might be thinking a different way. that's why we have to have safety net for this system. it's a catalyst system safety net so they can wheel and deal and in the cycle of things, when people need help, there is a safety net. if we are going to have a system which i fully support and want to strengthen, we strengthen it by removing all doubt that when things go one way or another, people are going to have to explain to the children why they don't have food on the table. this is very important, you want to see how many people will be on the street being affected because they cannot pay the rent? and they can't pay rent
exponentially because they're not getting the $600. going to lighten up the mood here. were all too young. a great comedian, 98 years old. i called his son, rob, i called him. rob, this is nancy pelosi, recalling to share my condolences, i'm so sad. your dad was so funny and wonderful. he says, i think you have the wrong number.
[laughter] i said really? i'm so sorry, i thought this was rob, he said i know who that is but i think you have the wrong number. i said i'm so sorry. [laughter] he says but i'm so glad you called me. i have one question for you. i said what is that? he said in my going to get my $600? [laughter] i'm very proud. i have two granddaughters. what he said is what we all know, president of the u.s. gives license to people to speak that way for at ease with that kind of disrespect, condescension and keeping with the president saying for how he
treated the fear mongering, discrimination, disrespect, condescension, i was very proud. thank you all so much. >> coming up, joe biden, his wife takes part in his discussion on the coronavirus pandemic, she's joined by texas democrats, represented eddie and mark, live at 2:45 p.m. eastern here on c-span2.
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