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Kevin McCarthy
  House Minority Leader Mc Carthy Holds Legislative Agenda Briefing  CSPAN  July 23, 2020 4:45pm-5:26pm EDT

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apple's tim cook appear before the subcommittee on anti-trust, commercial and administrative law, as they examine dominance of online platforms and market power. live coverage begins at monday noon eastern at seespan 2. tuesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern, william barr appears before the general oversight of the justice department hearing. watch live hearing coverage monday on c-span 2 and tuesday on c-span3. watch any time on or listen on the c-span earlier app. >> kevin mccarthy earlier today held a news conference at the capitol and talked about the upcoming house agenda and future kr coronavirus relief legislation. this is 20 minutes.
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>> good morning, everyone. >> good morning. >> millions of lives and livelihoods have been impacted because of the coronavirus. my own district, we are experiencing a recent surge in cases. these are our families, our neighbors, and our friends that have been hurt because of this problem. when i think of the pain, i think of the damage china's responsible for inflicting on countries around this world, and right here at home. china's deception has directly led to americans' deaths. china covered up the truth about the virus. china hoarded personal protective equipment and tried to extort other countries for
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political leverage. now china's trying to hack our vaccines, which will harm our ability to serve the world and solve this problem. china is no friend to the united states. that fact is clear to everyone except the democrats. china tries to undermine the united states with every chance they get. let's just look at the recent headlines. the chinese consulate in san francisco is harboring a chinese military researcher wanted by the fbi acued of visa fraud and who lied about her connection to the chinese military. we recently discovered the photos of her in the chinese people's liberation army and found out they have spying and committing espionage from within our own borders in a consulate in houston. they have set fire to documents and would not even let the houston fire department in. makes you wonder what they are
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hiding or even what they are burning. a few months ago u.s. authorities arrested a chinese researcher in boston and charged him with trying to, caught him trying to smuggle 21 vials of stolen biological research back to china. last month they caught another individual at lax trying to fly back and then we just found in january of this year top professor at harvard being paid by china. think of that. the very country that created this problem is now trying to sabotage our effort to save the lives. that is why i introduced legislation earlier this week to hold these criminals accountable. my question to my democrat colleagues is simple. are you willing to step up to stop these escalating threats from china or will you continue to defend the actions of the chinese communist party? their actions and words continue to show democrats have a china
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problem. why did democrats back out of a bipartisan task force after working for almost a year to get one stood up? why did democrats vote against a common sense piece of legislation to punish those who are trying to hack our vaccine research, on the very day that we arrested two chinese for doing it? or let's watch this, the chairman of the armed services, adam smith. >> one of the gentlemen's arguments was in china, hid the true risk of the virus from the american people, and yes, that is terrible that china did that. it's not actually their job warning our people. 'the president's job to warn the american people. >> why does the democratic chairman of the armed services committee, adam smith, say that it's not actually china's job to warn the american people or the
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world? they lied to us. they lied about the virus, and thousands of people have died, and now the democrats do not believe it's the chinese's fault. chinese fault. why does the speaker promote their propaganda by trying to blame the president of the united states for the chinese communist party lies, even calling the virus in the name of our president? why did joe biden just yesterday say it's wrong to hold china accountable? when i look around the world from italy to the uk to australia, no one else is saying that. they have felt the pain of the lost lives. they have seen the heartache and the economic damage that has been done, and they understand the lie that china has given. if we want our children and grandchildren to live in the same country we are blessed to
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live in, it is time democratic leaders in this country wake up and stop cowering to the chinese communist party. the stakes are too high for an apology tour and leadership by appeasement. my final question would be, what does the chinese communist party have on the democrats? why can't they hold them accountable? on a day that they are arrested for hacking in to the companies to steal a vaccine to save millions of lives not just for america but around the world, the voice of the democrats, it's not the chinese fault and let's not hold them accountable, and they vote against an ability to sanction those who are hacking in, slowing the pursuit of a vaccine. that's unacceptable. and most of all, it's un-american. open up for questions. yes, julie?
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>> today president trump was going after your colleague liz cheney and retweeted rand paul and calling for her to step down. i wonder what your response is? >> in our party we're allowed to have differences of opinion, especially when it comes to foreign policy. i think liz cheney and the president agree 98% of the time and there's nothing wrong with having a discussion about different ways of going forward. but i think the best thing is we're united and we don't air these in public. yes, ma'am? >> alexandria ocasio-cortez went down to the floor this morning and said the apology was not enough and that having a wife, having a daughter doesn't make a decent man. and she said his comments were indicative of his disrespect for her and women, more generally. do you agree with thher on that? do you think it goes far enough? >> i watch congressman yoho went
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to the floor, apologized not once but twice to the congresswoman from new york. i watched the majority -- >> said i refuse to apologize for my passion. >> i watched the majority leader of the house accept his apology. in america, i know people make mistakes. we're a forgiving nation. i think when someone apologizes, they should be forgiven. i don't understand we're going to take another hour on the floor to debate whether the apoll jazz was good enough or not. he said, i'm sorry to the congresswoman from new york. but the democrats won't take an hour to debate the accountability of china. they refute it. they don't even give us ai moment of time, but that's what we're spending an hour on while i know in my own home community that we're getting a surge. i think that's a wrong opportunity. yes, he made a mistake, and yes, he apologized for it, and yes,
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the majority leader accepted it. and yes, we have big work to do on this floor, and people should not be called names. people should be treated with respect regardless of philosophical differences, and i stand by that. and i think it's appropriate that he apologized. i just think in a new world, in a new age, we now determine whether we accept when someone says i'm sorry if it's a good enough apology for them. >> how do you classify where republicans are now in terms of single package? and on the senate side we've heard disagreement about spinning numbers. we've seen 1 trillion floated, but there are some senators on the republican side that think that the trillion dollars is far too much. where do you stand on that? >> there's a real concern the amount of debt we have. i watched the democrats want to spend 3 trillion and talk more about cannabis than they did for research. i want to make sure the money we
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spend is the money that's needed. we have a large debt, and we want to make sure we're able to take care of it. we're going through something we have not seen before because of the lies of china. people need help because people are uninsured. we need liability protection so small businesses can open back up. there is money that has been appropriated already but not spent. there's more than a trillion dollars sitting out there that is in the same position. we could actually utilize money that we've already appropriated to get the job done here as well. i hope that we take an approach that we find common ground to help the individuals who need it, to make sure the schools and the others are safe when they go to open again for the children and the teachers, to make sure from a small business and economic that we have pro-growth agenda in there, that we make sure we bring back the supply chain from china into america. and i think we can do all that and we still have money inside that is appropriated but not
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spent that can be better used where we are today in this battle. >> do you know how long -- is there a timeline of when we might see something on paper? >> do you know what? these are important bills. there's new data coming in every day. there's nothing wrong spending a few more moments to make sure you get it right. i won't give you a deadline. i would rather have a bill done correctly than set by a certain date. >> there are a number of senators concerned about the deficit at this point and how a large coronavirus response bill is just going to add to that. have you heard concern in your members and are you personally concerned or would you rather see a higher number? >> i have been very concerned. it doesn't take a senator to tell me this. it's something i've been concerned with for quite some time. that's why when we made a budget agreement, the democrats didn't even hold to it. in one year, they went and spent $250 billion more. i watched senators on the other side blow through that budget agreement too thinking they
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would get democrats to move with their appropriation, but they did not. if there's an individual that wants to hold very firm and make sure our grandchildren are not held with this big debt that's sitting before, but if you watch history and study history, every great society has collapsed when they've overextended themselves. we are at that tipping point. we're going through a crisis. government has to be there to help. but we should not put us in a place that we cannot come back from. yes? >> thank you. >> sure, sure, sure. >> so, president trump is tweeting about congresswoman cheney who's in your leadership. do you think she should stay in leadership? >> yes. >> do you support her as a leader? >> yes. no question. >> are you concerned this might be a fracture in the gop heading into the 2020 election? >> no, what's different between the democratic party and republican party, we can have differences of opinion. everyone's welcome in the
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republican party. we're proud of the fact of how we were created. the first republican president ever was abraham lincoln. do you know who was in his cabinet? those who didn't even agree with him because he believed in people having difference of opinion being able to debate. the greatest challenge ever to our constitution was the civil war, but he was able to mend the country together. one of the biggest losses we've had in this nation is the assassination of president abraham lincoln. if you thought for one moment some of the crisis we're going through in this nation would have never taken place. if abraham lincoln was never assassinated, it's easy to think about what america would look like. malice towards none. the first 23 black republicans elected to congress, but unfortunately a democrat-controlled south decided that was wrong, so jim
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crow laws came about. they may have never came about had abraham lincoln not had to be assassinated. when the jim crow laws came about trying to top people from being able to register to vote, perpetuated a challenge we have in this nation that abraham lincoln wrote about, that believes in this country that was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that we're all equal so we all strive for a more perfect union. we lost a dear friend, but an individual that changed this nation in john lewis. i spoke about him on the floor today. yeah, he made this nation better. there was a lot of reasons why he could be upset with america, but he never believed in being upset. he believed in working on america, making it more perfect, what we should all work towards. he didn't believe in violence that we see on the streets today. i think there's a lot of lessons that can be learned from both men, and i'm proud of the fact that i grew up in a family that we're not republicans.
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but i chose to be in this party. why? because i see the difference. i see what one stands for and what another one stands for. >> can i follow up on that? >> yeah, please. >> she asked about liz cheney. between liz cheney and aoc, don't you guys have a woman problem? >> no. so, you just took a question -- let me paraphrase what you just said. in no way did she say liz cheney is a woman. she said liz cheney is a member of my conference. she's not defined by being in my conference because she's a woman. she's defined by being in my conference because she got elected because she's the best person for the job. if you think we have a woman problem -- >> the polls show you have an incredible problem with suburban women if president trump loses the election, that's why. >> let's weight it in the areas you want. the question she had was in regards to two people. never did she relate that one person is a man and one is a
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woman. she related two people based on the positions they had. you took the question to relate it to a woman. let me take the question back that's the question. there are more women running in the republican party for congress than at any time in the history of this party. the record was 143. we're well over 220. so, if you want to measure it based upon that, i think we're improving. do we have rooms for improvement? 100%, yes. do we have places to grow in the suburban area? 100%, yes. our newest members elected to congress, mike garcia, is not a woman, but he's a first-generation american. he understood why his father left a country to come to america because he believed in a life better for his own children. he graduated from high school, got to the naval academy and lo and behold, he gets to congress. so, do we have areas to improve? yes. but are there improvements out there? i see it each and every day. why? it goes back to the core of the answer i gave her, the way the party was designed, the way the party was created, and our very
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first president. her question related to two people disagreeing. so, i related back to a man that happened to be abraham lincoln. i related to abraham lincoln based upon the cabinet in which he picked. there are books written about it that are best sellers. he did not pick his best friends. he picked people that ran against him. he picked people in his party that disagreed with him because he thought that was the best way to govern. so, i took her question not based upon the gender of the people she was talking about. i took her question to be based upon the idea of discussion. >> so, setting that aside, the president attack the highest ranking woman in washington. >> i think they have a difference of opinion when it comes to national defense. i think it's better when people talk one on one. but i don't think in a party that our party disallows thought and disagreement. i think we actually welcome it. i think in this country, you have a first amendment right. in today's society, it's really interesting to me. but if you wear a t-shirt and go fishing with your children, you
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could lose $1 million in your contract because someone disagrees with the news station that your t-shirt says about. that's wrong. so, i don't have a problem with people having difference of opinion. i think that's okay. but thank you. i appreciate it. yes? >> on the next stimulus bill, how much of a priority is it in your caucus to include the president's tax cut, payroll tax cut? >> that is one of the elements we would request. there's also a number of pro-growth elements we thank to help bring the supply chain back from china when it comes to expensing and others. we also think there's a real challenge out there for individuals that they should be able to use their tax savings, maybe it be within private school. we think businesses should have a ability to pay for more ppe and making sure they have a secure and safe environment,
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maybe that should be able to be written off as well. there's a number of ways we can help this economy grow, keep it safe and make sure we combat and defeat this virus. thank you all very much. appreciate it. we're live at the white house where president trump will brief reporters on the coronavirus pandemic shortly here on c-span3.
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got it? good.
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this is representative bill johnson, republican of ohio. he serves on the budget committee. thank you for joining us. >> good to be with you. thank you. >> as a budget committee member i'm sure you look at prospects of another coronavirus relief bill through that kind of lens. what are your concerned about what's being discussed in the house versus the senate, and what portions of the relief bill are you comfortable with supporting? >> i agree with senator mcconnell that we have to make sure that any kind of future relief bill, it's got to be targeted. we've already spent almost $3 trillion, and a lot of the money that's already been appropriated by congress has not made it down to the american people that it was appropriated for in the first place. i mean, there's still money in the paycheck protection program
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that needs to get out to small businesses. you've got money that was appropriated to the states for state and local government help. that money has not all made it down to the local communities that it was designed for, that it was appropriated for. so, we've got to make sure that whatever we do going forward, that it's targeted, that it meet an actual need of either stymieing down the pandemic or economic recovery. i think things like liability protections, making sure that businesses are not held accountable if someone gets covid and then files a frivolous lawsuit claiming that they got it at this business, that kind of thing. is there more help that needs to go out to small businesses. i think that yet remains to be seen. but i am certainly open for discussion. and another big area is
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broadband access. you know, every decision maker understands that in the 21st century, access to high-speed internet is as important as access to plumbing and electricity in terms of opportunity and quality of life in america. and whether it's telehealth, whether it's distance learning or remote working, there's a lot we can do to build out broadband into rural parts of america. so, those are some of the kinds of things i'm looking at. >> so, the broadband aspect is tied -- and you mentioned it to -- to schools. there's a discussion of more funding for schools, particularly should they reopen this fall. >> look, i am a public school product myself. the teachers that i had for -- i went to 13 schools in 12 years. a lot of different reasons for that. that's a different discussion. but i remember most of the teachers, and the teachers that i had played such an influential
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role in my life, in my development. and these young people, these children need to get back in the classroom. they need their teachers, and believe it or not their teachers need them. that's why they chose that profession. i have a 16-year-old going into his junior year in high school. i believe he needs to be back in the classroom. so, we need to figure this out, how to get kids back to school and do it safely. if it were possible to do distance learning for every student in america, that might be a different story. but in rural america where many children, and even the teachers do not have access to high-speed internet to do their school work, even in a regular -- on a regular basis, even when school is in session in the classroom, students struggle with being able to do their school projects because they don't have access. so, getting students back in the classroom is the right thing to do. we just need to do it safely, and i believe we can do that.
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>> two more topics. there's discussions this week going on, especially as the unemployment benefit boost that was previously passed by congress is set to expire. where do you stand on that? also should the next round include a direct payment to families? >> the unemployment insurance, i get that question a lot from business owners in my district. you know, they say, bill, congress is incentivizing people to stay home. they make more on unemployment than i can pay them. and this unemployment extension is temporary. how do we get these people back to work? so, i think that's another one where senator mcconnell and republicans in the senate and the house believe that whatever we do, that unemployment extension has got to be tailored back. it has got to incentivize people to go back to work, not incentivize people not to work.
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as far as another stimulus to individuals, i think the secretary of treasury has indicated that there might be another round. i think the white house has indicated that they may support that. how much, i don't know. but clearly americans are still suffering from the results of this pandemic and being shut down. we've seen millions of jobs created. but the best thing we can do is get americans back to work. but anything that we do in the future package has got to be targeted. we don't have a limitless, bottomless pot of money. that's not the way it works. >> this is representative bill johnson joining us until 8:00. you can ask him questions about discussions on capitol hill on coronavirus relief by calling 202-748-8000 for democrats, 8001 for republicans, and 8002 for independents. if you want to to text, text at
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202-748-8003. representative johnson n your state wh state, a new mandate when it comes to a mask. >> i'm going to wear a mask. it's easy to sit on the sidelines and throw rocks that are being made by decision makers. i think there is a universal acceptance now in the health care community with physicians and the medical community that masks actually do work in flattening the curve and stamping down this virus. so, our governor has mandated masks when you can't social distance in public. and i'm certainly going to be wearing one. i think that's the responsible thing to do. >> when it comes then to masks overall, should this be a mandate from the white house to impose some type of national mask enforcement? >> you know, i think this is a states issue. i think rural america is different than metropolitan and
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urban areas, and i think the governors are more than qualified r to ma qualified to make this kind of decision. i think this is a state issue, and i think governors should be responsible in their actions. i think ours, governor mike dewine, is being responsible. >> you've probably seen as much as anybody that the direct questions to the president of him wearing a mask, pictures of him doing so the last few days. is this a practice he should have been doing? >> i'm not going to criticize the president. the president works in an environment very different than you and i work in and most americans work in. he's able to social distance. that is essentially the rule that governor mike dewine in ohio has put out. you have to wear a mask in public when you cannot social distance. so, i think that's up to the president, and i'm glad to see -- and i think every american is glad to see the president has acknowledged that masks are important and he's
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showing leadership by following the example -- setting the example. >> our guest with us until 8:00. our first call for you, sir, comes from massachusetts. this is on the independent line from william. caller, go ahead. >> caller: hi, mr. johnson. i've got a question for you. the h.e.r.o.e.s. act, they pass local aid for big cities and small towns. but for some reason, there's a delgado out of new york amendment where small towns have been getting 327 per resident for their fiscal budgets. but for some reason, big cities will be getting $1,200 per resident like boston, massachusetts, and springfield, massachusetts, get $1,200 per resident. but west side and many other small towns are getting $327 per resident. how come no one debated that when it was passed? >> well, it was debated, and some of us expressed concern about that. ultimately, the rules that came
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out of the treasury department was that if you are a county of 500,000 or more people, then you get that money directly from the federal government. otherwise, it's up to the states. your governor in massachusetts has some flexibility in how that money is rolled out to local governments and local communities. that is not a federal decision. in the state of ohio, governor mike dewine has that decision. and that's what i was talking about earlier. some of that money, the state and local government, local community money, has yet to make it down to those local communities because the states are struggling with figuring out the rules about how to make it fair. it's not a perfect system, but we, in congress, did what we thought was appropriate in passing legislation that would give the states that money. but we also gave the states the flexibility to figure out how to send it down.
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so, i would encourage you to talk to your state rep, talk to your governor, ask them those questions. >> the h.e.r.o.e.s. act also highlights $10 billion for the economic disaster loan program. is that something you would say wait until the money is spent or something you could support? >> the economic injury and disaster loans through the small business administration, those are loans that small businesses benefitted from and are still benefitting from. so, i think i understood your question. yes, i support that program. and many businesses benefitted from that program. >> we'll hear from mike on our democrats line. go ahead. >> caller: yes, sir, you've got to excuse me. i'm a little nervous. i'm sitting here listening to you talking and you're saying it's giving people the sense not to work. but if you know it's stopping people from working, why not
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raise the minimum wage and then y'all just passed -- y'all got a 2% -- y'all just gave rich people this whole tax cut, and congress goes to work anywhere. i'll sit back and hear what you've got to say. >> i hear your question, and there's a lot of misconception and misperception of what the tax cuts and jobs act gave a t cut to nearly every category of american. everybody was in the same boat. businesses benefitted. employees benefitted. individuals benefitted from that tax cuts and jobs act. i am all for raising the minimum wage, but i think that decision needs to be up to employers to raise the minimum wage. i think it should be market driven, not government-mandated. if you start raising the minimum wage across the board in a
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government mandate, many businesses, how is that going to be handled in a small business? businesses are going to have to layoff employees in order to pay some of their employees a higher wage. employees are going to end up unemployed, having to go work multiple jobs. so, i'm with you. you know, i was born and raised on a mule farm, so i understand what working for a living means. and i loved it when i got jobs that paid me a higher salary. but it was my employer that made that determination. it wasn't a government mandate. if we have a strong economy, we can get people higher wages. and if you've seen, if you've looked over the last two years, under the trump administration and a republican-led congress, wages increased for the american people across the board more so than they have in decades. so, we're making progress. we're not there yet, but we're making progress. >> so, from a matter of budget
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representative, there's a viewer, richard in florida, who asks this question. has congress developed any plan to pay back the 26 trillion as it cannot be paid back by our grandchildren with all the other promises congress has made. >> oh, my goodness, you've struck a tone there with me. i absolutely agree with you. we have a tremendous, tremendous problem moving forward about how we're going to address the national debt and the deficit. if you look at what the federal government spends as a pie and you cut that into portions, only about 1/3 of what the federal government spends every year is argued about during a budget and appropriating process. only about 1/3 of it. 2/3 of what the american government spends every year, that goes completely under the radar that the american people are never told about in the national media, is mandatory
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spending. large mandatory spending programs that have built up over years and years of frivolous out of control spending by the federal government. and if we were to zero out the entire budget that we argue about every year, zero it out, if we didn't spend a penny to keep the federal agencies open and we didn't spend a penny on our national security, our spending trajectory is still going in the -- thank you. we've had a tremendous week uniting the country in our fight against the china virus. i've reminded people of the importance of masks when you can't socially distance in particular. a strong message has been sent out to young people to stop going to crowded bars and other crowded places. yeer