Sen. Schumer Speaker Pelosi Background Checks News Conference CSPAN September 9, 2019 3:00pm-3:39pm EDT
host: next call is from new york. caller: good morning. i am retired, and i wanted to question, do you think the reason why republican women don't run -- look at what these women go through. examples, sarah huckabee. other women in the trump organization, they are called -- every -ist there is. i think they fear now coming out in public to be labeled a >> watch it live on c-span dorgan take you live for minority leader chuck schumer and house speaker nancy pelosi
good to have you here. and i want to thank my colleagues senators brown and stabenow and representative scobar from el paso, texas and representative thompson. too many americans are losing their lives to gun violence. too many families are just weeping because they have lost loved ones. i was at the airport, a gentleman came over to me and said thank you for what you're doing, i lost my nephew to gun violence last year. americans are suffering from the abundance of gun violence in america. last month, mass shootings claimed 51 lives in el paso, dayton and odessa to say nothing about the daily lives lost by gun violence. enough is enough.
congress is returning to session and our nirs order of business in the senate should be to pass the house-passed bipartisan background checks act. h.r. 8. the legislation is the quickest way to make a law that will save american lives in terms of what's both effective and can and is at the acme of that right at the intersection of what is effective and what can pass. from a policy perspective, we must close the loophole in our background check system to make other gun safety laws effective. the loopholes, i was the author of the brady law. we didn't know about online so we didn't prohibit that. and gun shows in those days were to show off antique guns and these loopholes account for 40% of gun sales and the people who
want to get around the background checks who are domestic abusers go online or go to gun shows. a red flag law would be ineffective if there are loopholes existed because you would be red flagged and go online and get a un. so background checks are the base from which we must do everything. in our view, it's paramount to pass the house bill as part of any gun safety package because it would sew the egregious loopholes, spousal abusers and mentally ill to get guns. two people in washington can make sure the background checks bill passes, donald trump and mitch mcconnell. it is totally up to them, totally up to them and it is on their shoulders.
they cannot escape that responsibility. leader mcconnell, as you know, determines the senate's business. when he refused to bring the senate back into session after each of the three shootings, he might have been hoping the issue would fizzle out before we returned. that hasn't happened and won't happen unfortunately because mass shootings are occurring virtually all the time. the issue of gun safety is going to be front and center until we do something meaningful. the question now is whether leader mcconnell will allow the senate to consider the house-passed back grouped checks bill on the senate floor. that is the number one question looming over this capitol as we return. for now leader mcconnell says it's up to president trump. if the president took up a position, he said, i would be happy to put it on the floor. it might seem to pass the blame around but truly it means that
president trump has a historic opportunity to save lives by indicating his support for the house-passed bill. speaker pelosi and i have repeatedly and personally asked him to do this. he can lead the party to support something that the n.r.a. has prevented republicans from supporting for years. that's why speaker pelosi and i sent a letter to him today urging him to give his party political cover to pass meaningful background check legislation. we have a message for president trump now, president trump, this bill is common sense, it's overwhelmingly supported by democrats, republicans, gun owners and those who don't own guns and it would save many, many, many american lives. president trump, if you announce your support, we can get something incredible done for the american people. the time to act is now.
speaker pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, leader schumer, for bringing us here together this afternoon stating that our first order of business is to save lives by passing hopefully in the senate the bill that passed in the house. i want to remind everyone that mr. schumer was the leader in the house when this legislation was passed in the 1990's. the rest of us were his lieutenants running around trying to get votes. he took the lead on passing progressive legislation at that time. as he indicated, since that time, there have been ways to evade some of the back grouped checks, some acted upon, some not. the online sales is a few phenomenon. this is a simple bill, a bill, h.r. 8, so named because it was eight years from the time gabby giffords town meeting was
assaulted by gun violence and people died. this bill under leadership of mike thompson, the chair of our task force on gun violence prevention, put this bill together in a bipartisan way. passed it and sent it to the senate as a companion bill, h.r. 1211, which modifies the timetable. just think, it is very simple, online sales, person-to-person sales, which is how one of the most recent gun violence episodes took place, someone bought it from a person, person-to-person, online and gun shows, whose purpose was something quite different at the time. this isn't radical. it's an expansion of what has been successful already. when we pass our bill and these incidents occurred during the
break, i wrote to the president and i asked him to call the senate back immediately to pass mr. thompson's bill, h.r. 8, and mr. clyburn's legislation. he was very positive about it. he said i'm going to talk to leader schumer and talk to leader mcconnell about getting something done. i had the impression that he understood that lives were at stake. my message to the president and to leader mcconnell is the following, there isn't anyone in this institution or anywhere else in public life whose political survival is more important than the survival of our children and the safety of our communities. we are not taking no for an answer. we are not going away. leading up to this, the first day of our session coming back after the district work period, i want to report how proud i am that across the country, hundreds of meetings were held
whether town meeting, a press conference, whatever, to speak out to pass this legislation. 90% at least the public supports including gun owners, members of the n.r.a. and the rest. when they say the president's base is opposed to it, 90 some percent of the american people support it, what courage does it take to support legislation that will save lives? so here we are once again asking the grim reaper, informing the grim reaper that these bills are alive and well in the public, that the public opinion, public sentiment will weigh in. and as i have said in our meetings across the country, who will make this issue too hot for him to handle. some of the gun violence groups have under the ante to say if
this bill is not passed, mitch mcconnell and the republicans in the senate and the president will have hell to pay. so let's save time. let's just get it done now. we have important reasons why. we know about the mass shootings and they are just stunningly heartbreaking, but every single night and day across the country gun violence occurs that this bill could prevent and lives could be saved. i was so moved, the "washington post" had an article about missy and her twin brother, 15 years old and so close in spirit, honor students in high school, orleft to go buy some cereal something. i wish you would read that story and the president read that
story to see how that hits home for so many of america's families. nobody can tell us a story better more recently about that than our next presenter, our v.i.p. here today, senator brown calls her the best mayor in america. i don't know if i would spread that throughout ohio, but that is he what just said. welcome to mayor whalely. thank you so much. >> good afternoon and i'm certainly greater for leader schumer and speaker pelosi for inviting me here today and always a pleasure to be with my meant or and good friend senator brown and other senators. we believe he is the best senator from ohio. [laughter] >> you know, actually, while the senate and the house are getting
back to work, i wish i was back home in dayton. but mayors have come to get one thing done and that is to get an up-or-down vote on h.r. 8. we are meeting with the white house and meeting with anyone who will listen to us about what this has done to our community. this morning, i got a note from monica brickhouse's mother who heard i was coming here and she said go get them. that's how the victims feel about this work and the victims trying to get their lives together about this work. they want us to do something and i'm here today and tomorrow compelling the senate to have an up-or-down on what the house passed in february. since february, gillry, vay beach, dayton, el paso, odessa and midland, just in february. what's going to happen next week or the week after if we could
just pass a simple vote where nine out of 10 americans agree on it. i don't know anything else that nine out of 10 americans agree on besides h.r. 8. i'm here on behalf of the citizens of dayton who called us that night to do something. this is something that can be done and fast and will save lives. i hope to get back to dayton soon. enator schumer: senator brown. senator brown: you give a lot of coverage to a great midwestern mayor from indiana and you should be paying this and not telling the media how to do its job. madam speaker, it's good to be with my colleagues, mike and debbie and misescobar. on sunday morning in early august, connie and i woke up in cleveland and checked our phones and saw wad happened in dayton.
i called the mayor and she said she heard from literally, your words, several dozen mayoral colleagues many of them had shootings, many of them were giving instructions and ideas and thoughts about what nan should do, mayor whaley should do as a result. that is the story too often in our country. connie and i drove 3 1/2 hours to dayton. we didn't see vick tips' families that day, but three days later, i came back when the president of the united states landed air force one at wright-patterson air force base. mayor whaley and i greeted him, senator portman and governor dewine and congressman turner at the bottom of the plane. nan and i looked at him in the
eye and said please call the senate, please call senator mcconnell and ask him to bring the senate back and please promise you will sign the house bill that is passed, you will sign this bill this week. the president said he would do something. later that day, nan and i and others joined the president at the hospital as he met with families, with some people who were in their hospital beds, injured, with some serious injuries. a number of people who came back who had less serious injuries. 40 gunshots were fired in 31 seconds. and after the president left the room, the president and all of us left the room where the six dayton police officers were heralded as heroes, which they were, 31 seconds from the first shot until they killed the shooter saving dozens more lives, after the president left that room, i said to the
president, he said we are going to have the biggest honors ever and congressional medal and biggest congressional medal ever for these heroes. i said mr. president, the most important you could honor them is to pass the legislation that the house has passed it and get this through and help us pass it and call on senator mcconnell and do it this week. mayor whalely said the same thing. again he said he was going to do something big. after he came back to washington and met with the gun lobby, we know what's happened. we have to act that night in dayton at a rally, a vigil and rally and people began to chant, do something. do something. do something. this is our chance for the senate to do something this week and chance for the country to do something and chance for the president to do something, to pass commonsense gun legislation
and you start with background checks and other things we need to do for commonsense legislation. no reason to delay and need to do something now. i introduce congresswoman escobar. i only met her today and seen her on tv. and seen her in the space of only eight months play a significant national role in this debate and on immigration issues and other issues. my pleasure to present congresswoman escobar. ms. escobar: thank you for being here and madam speaker and leader schumer, thank you for calling us together on this first day back from our in-district work period. representative thompson, thank you for h.r. 8 and the leadership you have shown. i returned to el paso ready for a very productive and important district work period where i intended to spend all of august meeting with my constituents
about lowering the cost of prescription drugs, about health care, about immigration, about all the things that my community has been talking about and that we have been discussing at town hall meetings and at various community events and instead of being able to do that, the first saturday back from washington in el paso, texas, as i was at a town hall meeting with my constituents, i learned there was an active shooter at wal-mart. and the three weeks that followed that or -- were three weeks of funerals, sitting by eople's bedsides, praying with families, talking to constituents who are squared and who don't understand why this had to happen. and what i kept hearing over and over and over again from the residents of el paso was, why.
why did this happen, why haven't done something to stop this, why haven't the senate majority leader felt our pain. i have had constituents ask me what is -- it's going to take for mitch mcconnell to see the blood that we saw spilled in our community and to feel the tort trouse pain that we have felt as we have tried to recover from something that has deeply traumatized a beautiful, vibrant, magical community. and it is a very difficult question to answer, because truly as the speaker mentioned, when the vast majority of americans agree on something and it doesn't take tremendous courage to take action on what people are demanding of us, we have to wonder why. what is stopping action from
happening? how many more lives have to be taken in my state, days after el paso, where we got the notice that someone who failed a background check and who purchased a gun through a loophole that could have been closed with h.r. 8, that people -- there was more blood on the streets in texas, more blood on the hands of those who choose ot to take action. we have to do something. and the american people are demanding that of us. and we deserve to take that action. you know, i have heard people tell me while h.r. 8 could have prevented odessa, would not have prevented el paso. h.r. 8 is the beginning of what
americans want from their congress. it is the beginning of what they want from their government. and perhaps that is why mr. mcconnell is so afraid, because it is the beginning of what the american people want over the long-term. they want change. they want a country that is safe. they want communities where they can walk without fear of assault weapons or people who should not have access to guns. we are going to be unrelenting. we are not going to stop until we deliver the safety that this country deserves and until people in my community know that their government works for them and the special interest groups. i want to say very quickly in spanish -- speaking foreign language]
4 ms. escobar: thank you. senator schumer: senator stabenow. senator stabenow: mayor, thank you for being with us, an honor to stand with leader schumer and speaker pelosi and all of my colleagues. i don't think there has been a more important moment for us to be standing together to push forward. this past week, my grand son started second grade in michigan and my daughter shared with me as he was going to school, they were watching the front doors being rebuilt and bulletproof
glass on the doors and restructuring how the children would be able to walk to get to their classrooms. what we wanted to be talking about is adding new opportunities with teachers and technology and arts and music and all the other wonderful things that this very, very good school wants to provide. but that's where they are spending their money right now because that's where they have to spend their money. whether it's a school, store or movie house, whether it's a child that is sitting in front of the tv and gets shot through the window by random bullets, this has got to stop. this gun violence has to stop. tomorrow, our democratic communications committee is releasing a report that shows that 100 americans are killed by guns every single day, 100. since the house passed the bipartisan background checks
people have had 19,400 killed by firearms. 11,834 gun suicides and 77 children. 777 children. they have been killed by firearms. the american people expect us to do our job. the house did their job. the senate needs to do its job and take action to make people's lives better and safer. unfortunately this isn't happening and american families are paying the price every single day. 194 days ago, think about that, 194 days ago and counting, the .ouse passed h.r. 8 194 days ago. and yet this just sits with
mitch mcam connell with it gathering dust. it is the republican leader and the president who can do something about it. not point fingers but actually take action to do something about it. this isn't the only issue certainly that they are holding up. but it is clear that we need action now. so while mitch mcconnell and the republicans are waiting approval from big money special . terests, americans are dying it's time to act. mitch mcconnell, what are you waiting for? congressman thompson, and we thank you for your leadership. mr. thompson: thank you speaker pelosi and leader schumer for calling this event and i'm proud to stand with my colleagues
today on behalf of all americans who know it's important that we pass h.r. 8 and expand background checks. too many people are being killed. 30 people every day are killed by people using a gun. if you factor in suicides and accidents, it's 100 people a day. there are so many mass shootings, you lose track of the number. the press has stopped reporting on all the mass shootings that we have. it is an epidemic that we are facing in this country. and background checks will help. we know it will. every day, background checks that are currently under the law stop 170 felons from buying a gun. they stopped 50 domestic abusers every day from buying a gun. but as you've heard, those same prohibited individuals can walk out of a gun store and walk down the street to a computer store,
go online and buy the same gun and walk across the street to a gun show and buy the same gun. it's a problem. and it's a problem that we can easily fix bypassing h.r. 8 and expanding background checks to the sale and transfer of all firearms. our constituents are crying out for help. i can't tell you over the district work period how many students came up to me and said, will our school be next. how many parents, grandparents and children said when are you going to do something? is our schools and communities going to be next? and no one is exempt. the safest communities in the world are falling victim to these problems. and as was pointed out already, with school beginning, kids should be excited about going to school, excited about learning, parents should be excited about
buying new clothes for their kids and school supplies. the number one item to purchase for your back-to-school kids should not be a bulletproof backpack. this is absolutely insane. and senator mcconnell can do something about it. he can bring this bill to the floor. he can pass this bill. the president can sign it and we can save lives. it is insanity that the only place in the united states of america where universal background checks is a partisan issue is in the congress of the united states of america. over 90% of the american people want this passed. mitch mcconnell, do your job. thank you. senator schumer: thank you and thank you for your leadership on this. we will take a few questions on this subject only.
[indiscernible question] >> why in that period of time has not that been enough? why is that interim period not enough? human shume it keeps growing and growing. look at the number of incidents that occurred while we were away. it's going -- it's getting otter and hotter and hotter. [snerble question] senator schumer: our first job is to get leader mcconnell on the floor. that's where our focus is now. we will keep pushing him to get this on the floor. >> what makes you confident or hopeful now -- senator schumer: never had we 93% of the american people for
background checks or 80% of gun owners for background checks and so many people in the n.r.a. >> when was the last time you spoke to the president and do you have a clear idea from the white house? senator schumer: i have spoken to him and he is all over the lot. he tells people right after an incident and i'm going to get the strongest bill ever and then he fades back from that. but the pressure is not going away and i think the reason that this issue is out front today not just a month ago, the pressure is mounting and people know that voters, not just democratic voters or usual and voters but voters throughout america want this bill done. did you want to say something, speaker? ms. pelosi: when the first mass murder occurred during this break, i sent a letter to the president, as i mensed earlier
asking him to call congress back. at the time he was very enthusiastic as i mentioned earlier and he said he would speak to chuck and speak to mitch, leader mcconnell, kind of most enthusiasticically imembracing the idea. it may have been diffusing the moment, because we haven't seen any evidence of good intention since then. but since then, we have had meetings across the country. we have heard from the victims and the families of victims of gun violence, we have heard from health care professionals and the trauma and what it means to our children. stop this. we have heard from law enforcement. two pages of list of chiefs of police from major communities across the country saying --
asking for gun violence prevention legislation. so, again, we are meeting today and tomorrow, tomorrow under the leadership of the task force that mr. thompson chairs, we will be having a hearing very well participated in, slept witnesses. the mayor is here. the mayors will be having their own press event. every town will be having events with some of the mayors. the beat goes on. and we want a vote now on a clean bill to get this done. and we are not going to let the subject be changed or diminished in any way. so again, the president said positive things. senator schumer: when i talked to him right after the speaker, he said he wanted the strongest possible bill. that's what he said. i want the strongest possible bill. and never, never, have we seen tmp h owe side.
it ain't going away. sheer ood wants to say something. senator brown: president trump told mayor whaley and me he would push for a strong bill. why is it different? republican senator after republican senator in states like maine, north carolina and arizona and colorado, senators that are fearful of what's going to happen in their re-election fights are out campaigning in august and hearing from voter after voter after voter, saying you have to do something. mcconnell is going to feel the pressure not just from the 93% that congressman thompson talks about but will hear it from their own members. senator schumer: thank you everybody. >> the key opposition to universal background checks -- [snerble]
- indiscernible] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org >> house judiciary committee will be working on gun violence legislation tomorrow. we will have live coming of that at 2:00 p.m. and will be on c-span 3 and listen listen on the free c-span app. the house is working on a number of energy efficiency bills and gas ng bills on on drilling in anwr. >> tonight on "the communicators"," a tech policy round table on the issues that congress and government agencies will focus on this fall such as social media bias, antitrust actions against tech with ashley
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pentagon, a wreath-lying ceremony. on c-span, c-span 3 and online at c.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. >> the trump administration says there has been a 0% drop in the number of people apprehended at the southern u.s. border following an agreement between mexico and the u.s. mark morgan briefed reporters at the white house earlier this afternoon. >> good morning and thank you for being here today. as the commissioner of customs and border protection, i'm announha