Skip to main content

Nancy Pelosi
  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Addresses National Governors Associations...  CSPAN  February 10, 2020 2:15pm-2:54pm EST

2:15 pm
>> over the weekend house speaker nancy pelosi addressed the national governors' association winter meeting and talked about funding for infrastructure and paying down the deficit, the cost of prescription drugs and how congress can work with governors.
2:16 pm
>> let me welcome madam speaker today at our winter meeting. we know you have a very busy schedule and you are very kind to be with us. as a matter of full disclosure. i'm not objective and i'm a big fan of madam speaker and we have been personal friends for many, many years. as my children will tell you, when the speaker comes on the television, we have a mandatory silence policy so we can all hear what the speaker is talking
2:17 pm
about at the time. will not ask madam speaker about anything new that happened to come up in washington over the past few days. i think we all understand that. but i would like to start, madam speaker, on a slightly different tone and talk a little bit about your background. we are in this hyper partisan, hyper political time and i think some people lose the humanity of what we do in public service. we focus on labels and titles and positions and we forget that we are all people trying to do good things. and you have an interesting background. you're from california now, but you were born east coast person, that bi your father was a congressman for eight years, mayor of
2:18 pm
baltimore for 12 years and your brother thomas was also the mayor of baltimore from 1967 to 1971. your mother was involved in politics. you come from a family business of politics. and i'm curious. did you always feel that you were interested in public service? did you know you wanted to run for elected office coming from that background? ms. pelosi: good morning, everyone. it's an honor to be here and thank you for the invitation to be here, governor hogan, my maryland, i always say. our governor from california, whom we are very proud of you, governor, as well. i know of the national governors' association because of the weight of all you do is so significant, so significant and so in awe that we sent you some of our very best from the
2:19 pm
house of representatives, garrett and his honor, governor myis, governor walz, where's new mexico? >> you never know when we are going to need each other in this
2:20 pm
public service that we are in. i have been in awe using the term again of the governor's father and i knew him when he was i guess in college at the time, advising your father then and so proud of your leadership and the tradition in your family. your family and mine, public service really, if i may on this, sprang from our deep faith that we had a responsibility, a sense of responsibility, gospel of matthew. in our family, i was never -- in your point, i just wanted to be normal, in other words, have a weekend. and you understand what i mean. you have no weekends. and so, that was it. my brother was always interested. he became mayor and very wonderful and his public service
2:21 pm
was an extension of his faith as well. and we were all taught that public service was a noble calling. didn't mean you had to run for office but engaged in public service and recognize our responsibilities to each other as americans and in our family again, very much part of our faith. the family -- the family -- you have some idea of this and congratulations to your father and the public service and your family and the courage of your father. thank you. [applause] ms. pelosi: governor hogan's father was the only one to vote for impeachment, very courageous for your service. our family was this, we grew up in little italy in baltimore, maryland. we were devoutly catholic,
2:22 pm
our patriotic, proud of italian-american heritage and staunchly democratic and we saw it as a connection. and that's how we grew up. the governor can attest, in politics, it wasn't -- and we all knew each other and respected each other for our involvement in public service. wasn't any politics of personal destruction, it was more competition of ideas. so that was it. and then -- and i say in this will room, you never know, be are are ready. i absolutely zero intention of running. my husband was born and raised in san francisco. we have raised our family. four of them were born in new york, governor. so we have that connection. and four of five children. and got involved in the
2:23 pm
community and people in the community asked me to run and same thing in the leadership, i never intended to run for leadership and people asked me to run and now i'm speaker of the house. [laughter] [applause] is the american story. let me ask you this, you mentioned that politics now is so difficult and you reference it is almost hard to have a normal life now and do what we try to do. your children, some are interested in government on public affairs, alexandra has done many films. christine i have had the pleasure to work with is a great political mind.
2:24 pm
ms. pelosi: big fan of yours. >> if your children said i'm interested in running for elected office. what would you say to them now? is it so tough and so toxic that you might be careful in the advice that you give them? ms. pelosi: we used to say before it got the way it is now, we love our children so much we hope they don't run for office. it is not for the faint of heart and more difficult now especially for women, women are -- as i say to them, you are in the arena. once you get into the arena, this is not for the faint of heart. sunday morning, i just came from mass, but nonetheless, when you are the arena, you have to be ready to take a punch and throw
2:25 pm
a punch, for the children. [laughter] ms. pelosi: for the children. aren't we all about the future and how we envision the future and it's about the children and their future and people ask me the three most important issues, i always said the same thing, the children, children, children, health, education, clean environment, gun safety violence protection in which they can thrive. a world at peace which they can reach their fullfulment. and i do think they should seek as much common ground as possible. when they come to me and say how do you take all these barbs. it's worth it for what we are to do for the children. my daughter alexandra, she is a
2:26 pm
film maker and made 13 movies many of them what's going on in america, but she thinks that politicians are boring and only in the popular culture and whatever aspect that elections have to the popular culture and what people feel and how we meet their needs. christine is a great organizer. she was a prosecutor and worked with h.u.d., but it's a funny thing because we do believe from many, one. that's what our founders taught us. they didn't know how different we would be from each other but they knew in our differences and they had theirs that we had to be one as a country. that's the politics in which i was raised and our kids see it. and so trying to pull it back to a place where everybody is thinking we're one, now how do we resolve our differences to
2:27 pm
get dep to that place. they are more in that than wanting to run for office as far as i know. but i had absolutely zero intention of running for office until people came to me and encouraged to me to do so. >> parents are the last to know. ms. pelosi: a lot of things. even grandparents. >> that does it all. one of the great expressions and on the country's seal from the very beginning and i proposed adding it to the seal of new york this year, to add that because it does sum up our overall policy. let me ask you the first substantive question and we have been having a good conversation over the past couple of days and i'll turn it over to them. one of the topics we have been talking about is infrastructure
2:28 pm
and we are going to get a new word because that word doesn't have the appeal that we need to seduce all our partners into the business. governors tend to be a practical group and pragmatic. we have to function every day. we wake up in the morning and shovel coal into the boiler to start the heat. so infrastructure is a tremendous need. everybody knows it and everybody talks about it. $1.5 trillion deficit in sfrarbg -- infrastructure needs by 2025. federal government has talked about a significant infrastructure program over the past five administrations. it has been the same basic pledge. the infrastructure deteriorates and the states are stepping in but it is very hard for us because it is about funding at the end of the day and we spend a lot of time of creative
2:29 pm
funding mechanisms and p-3's to find the financing on the state side. but without the federal government really stepping into this arena we are not going to do what this nation needs. and everybody feels the shift globally and we see development all over the world and see our stagnation. two-part question. a, why is it so difficult if there is one topic that we should be able to find common ground, it is infrastructure,/ infrastructure/economic development. what can we be doing as governors who represent democrats and republicans all across this country we would be implementing vehicle, the federal government is not going to go into the business but will
2:30 pm
defer to the states so we would be the vehicle. what can we be doing to get to a resolution? ms. pelosi: thank you for the question. i don't know another word for infrastructure except perhaps growth for america. there's probably $4 trillion maybe more according to the society of civil gears -- engineers deficit in our infrastructure. this is not about bricks and mortar and paving roads and the rest, it's about growth. it's about quality of life, it's about public health in terms of clean air, clean water, getting cars off the road, public transit, it's about clean water. some of our water systems are 100 years old. it's about broadband into rural
2:31 pm
areas and some of the urban deserts but into the usual and areas. it's an education issue, and the rest. so this is -- it's never -- i mean i have been in congress a long time, this was never a partisan issue. we all came together and worked together to build the infrastructure of america, to eate jobs and promotion of commerce, quality of -- timing of product to market. and it affects everything. and in our agenda for the people in which we won 40 seats in the last election, for the people we were going to do three things, one, we were going to lower the cost of health care by lowering the cost of prescription drugs and i hope i have an opportunity to talk about that and protecting the pre-existing conditions. two, building infrastructure of america. lower health care costs, bigger
2:32 pm
paychecks by building infrastructure of america, three, cleaner government by decreasing the role of big dark money in politics and having people have more confidence in the political system. on the first two, we had a lot of common ground with the administration and we have been working with them on the frippings drug bill. but the infrastructure, it's all about money, it's all about pay-for. and that takes us to another place which is the national debt is growing at such a rate that we have to pay as you go. and that's one of the issues that i have in my own party. pay as you go, substitute it for something, take something away or find a revenue source, but we have to pay as we go. that doesn't mean that certain
2:33 pm
aspects of building infrastructure of america don't have an impact of bringing money back in. but by and large if you want to go $2 trillion as the president said he would be willing to do, we have to find revenue sources. ome are within -- harbor maintenance fund and some pockets we can put our hand in. but others we have to pay as we go. so that's the obstacle. because we have talked about all these things whether it's transit, tion, mass high-speed rail, are issues that relate to infrastructure and water and the rest, grid, all of that. we have to do that. but when it came time to talk about paying for it is when the president walked out of the room. my chairman, richie neal, would
2:34 pm
say some of the things we can do and did successfully in the stimulus build, build america bonds. we got democratic and republican mayors came to us and said we have a lot of that because the interest rates are low and now even more so, so we could use build america bonds. we have to be entrepreneurial, transformative in our thinking of how we pay for it. but we have to pay for it and we have in the past. this is nothing new, but it's not usually political. we agree to this big plan, not agreeing on a pay-for yet and we didn't have it two different points of view, we just hadn't come to and clution. $200 ey sent us over -- billion bill and this is what we
2:35 pm
was painful. it was so small. it wasn't meeting the challenge in any way and wasn't even a trillion dollars. and in it, they reversed the formula. 20% d to be 80% federal, state or local. they reversed that formulation and said it is going to be 80% outside and 20% federal. again, i'm a budget hawk. i want to reduce the deficit, but who is going to come up with 80 to get the job done unless it is a small initiative. so this is something we can all work together. the mayors are very bullish on doing infrastructure as well. you all could be a tremendous resource on this. and we chose those two things, reducing the cost of prescription drugs and this because these are things the president was advocating. we are finding our common ground
2:36 pm
on two areas that he was advocating that he thought we could work together and get what you get, results for the american people. but we don't have a big choice because we have the whole issue of climate and some ex uberans n our part that building infrastructure in a green way is a way to help the planet. it is a common ground place for us to go. another thing that you are on the lead on if you are going to do this and do it big, you have to have the talent. you have to have the development of the talent for all of this. so education, training, tasking, chools to train people to be able -- workforce development is a critical part of building
2:37 pm
infrastructure, work force development you know so much of that in terms of education. don't see everything as a fight. see everything as an opportunity. how can we make the moist of this for the good of the american people to get results and to do so in a way that does $2 add as the tax scam did, trillion to the national debt. this is unsustainable. and by building the infrastructure, we create jobs, again in the media, promote commerce to create more jobs and that brings revenue into -- increases paychecks, brings revenue into -- people get bigger paychecks and more confident in their consuming activities and with all of that, they inject demand into the economy, which produces revenue. it has a full circle of
2:38 pm
advantages for all of us to do that. as nonpartisan that it as used to be and get to the place we have to make decisions. if we are not going to pay for it, we have to understand the consequences as we weigh the equities of it all. i'm optimistic because we must do it. one thing that the public appreciates and wants. they don't necessarily like the word infrastructure, but if you say we need to have some revenue so we can repair the bridges, this is a safety issue as well. we are going to repair in your area, there will be more facilitation of transportation. he people see the impact as in california, governor, we had a gas tax and assaulted the gas
2:39 pm
tax, but when people saw what it meant in their areas, it was sustained overwhelmingly and thank you for your leadership. >> let me turn it over to my colleagues. i think governor hogan had the first question. >> on behalf of america's governors, we want to thank you very much for joining us here this afternoon and thank you for giving the economic development plug for little italy plug in baltimore and i hope the governors can visit. governor cuomo stole my first question. i'll do a followup. i have been leading a year-long initiative on rebuilding america's infrastructure and many of the governors around the table have been working together in a bipartisan way to try to come up with some commonsense
2:40 pm
solutions and trying to address these issues in our states and come up with some recommendations that maybe we can come to washington with. ms. pelosi: that would be great. >> to give advice to our leaders about how we might reach an agreement. because it says that it is a top priority. in both houses of congress and on both sides of the aisle and in the administration and all of us here believe it's an issue that needs to be addressed. i guess -- and you have discussed it already and i want to get to the other questions. what do you see are the possibilities of us getting something done in this election year? or is it possible for us to move forward on this issue? ms. pelosi: thank you, governor. and thank you for your leadership on this issue. if you promise not to tell anybody, richie neal, our
2:41 pm
chairman of ways and means, will fast with reck secretary mnuchin. you get that done, we'll talk about funding on infrastructure. they will be meeting about what the possibilities are and begin it's not just about adding -- there are never going to be enough appropriated funds to meet the needs that we have. we have to be entrepreneurial and creative of how we come up with it. but build america bonds is one of them. it is within range and we want to make sure that it is and saying to people, it's going to be a compromised. it's a negotiation, but weighing the equities justify whatever you are suggesting or justify however you think you should be paying for it. i think there's a real chance.
2:42 pm
the president wants it. but, again, the deficit this year -- i'm not talking about the national debt, the deficit this year is a trillion dollars. now, again i'm a big believer of pay as you go. and if i may be allowed a moment here, republicans say pay as you go for any initiatives that you have on the domestic side, shall we say, but don't pay as you go when you do tax cuts. 83% of it going to the high end and adding to the debt. think if we had that money for infrastructure. we would be well down the road which would bring much more money into the economy. if i may, governor, thank you and mrs. hogan's presence as elijah cummings' service. it was service and
2:43 pm
long, but you stayed that you just lovely. and we named our h.r. 3 the elijah cummings lower health care cost now legislation. i hope we get a chance to talk about that again. i look forward to working with you on infrastructure structure. he was an extraordinarily gentleman. >> thank you for your leadership and your service, madam speaker. ms. pelosi: thank you, governor. >> i wanted to ask you about the crens success and thank you for the your leadership and making sure that funding is available and making sure that the crens success is moving forward. how can we as governors be supportive of that effort? ms. pelosi: thank you for your
2:44 pm
question. our founders -- this is in the constitution. united states of america, who are we? an accurate thorough count of who we are without any limitation in terms of citizenship or the rest. and that was unfortunate that that was in there because it had a chilling effect on some people participating. but i believe -- you correct me if i'm wrong but it's everybody's interest at this table that you have the biggest count for your state in terms of what it means, in terms of services. i don't have to tell you that but i'm saying that. and it relates to your representation in congress as well. but we are most interested of what it means in the lives of the people that we are here to serve and we are better served if there is an accurate count of how many there are. on the dly negotiations
2:45 pm
caps -- we mad a big increase -- sense us. us just, respect yourself be counted. don't avoid this for some fear that you may have. this is about who we are as a country. we did win in that. part of it was, we didn't think it should be counted as a regular domestic spending because it is an expenditure for this period of time. cannibalize t to for children under title i. we kind of split the difference and came up with a good number for that.
2:46 pm
thank you for asking, that is the d.n.a., who we are, the people and we want the full reflection of who that is and the beautiful diversity and numbers. sometimes maybe to the disadvantage of one state or another. we are watching in california when they lose one, it has to be the accurate count. thank you for your question and your leadership which gives people real confidence that they are important. they count. sign me up. >> i think we have time for one more. go to our dean, madam speaker, is governor herbert. > madam speaker, good to see you and thanks for coming to the nation's governors. we thank you for your many years of service. i do remember when we met last time me along with a couple of
2:47 pm
other governors talked about issues of the day and you quoted one of our favorite quotes, states are the laboratory of democracy and we are and we are doing good things. every state is doing wonderful things to help solve the people's problems. we work with the federal government as a partner and sometimes we feel like we are the junior partner as opposed to co-equals but we can provide programs for the people. we sometimes feel like we don't have the flexibility or latitude to do what we need to do and we learn from each other what works and doesn't work. what can be done and what can we do to go to provide latitude to give the states wiggle room to find better ways to the solution?
2:48 pm
ms. pelosi: thank you for your leadership. i believe we need to have as much dialogue as possible. as with the best intentions in the world there can be ramifications and unforeseen consequences so the more information we have going in the better. let's -- forgetting our barriers of partisanship we have differences on the role of government and the extent of it should be from the federal government, what should be local and -- state and local. but i think it would be not smart for us to ignore what you may have to say. so let's try to increase up front what some of the concerns may be, recognizing that we do have a difference in opinion. there are some people who are
2:49 pm
anti-government and also the same people that are anti-science. it's a hard thing. so if you don't want to know or don't want to do, it is hard to negotiate when there is no interest in governance or science to make an evidenced -based decision. you are on the front line, you are the laboratories and we learn from governors from the states and you have to make ends meet. we should, too. you can have a capital budget, we can't. maybe we learn that from you. one place that will make a difference and that we have worked with the administration 3, the now on h.r. lowering the cost of prescription drugs and it means something to you. what we do in that legislation
2:50 pm
is to give the secretary the authority to negotiate for lower prices. the negotiation is the leverage. the negotiation is the leverage. so that's what can bring down the cost of prescription drugs want e formula for it, we the price to be no more than 120% -- right now our folks are spending four, five, six times what people in other countries similar to our economy. at would be japan, canada, united kingdom, france and germany. take the average of those countries and we should not be paying any more than 120% of that. that is billions of dollars, hundreds of billions of dollars in savings and in the legislation, that savings would be used to improve medicare,
2:51 pm
dental, vision and hearing are like half a trillion dollars of benefits that is more significant for medicare than anything since its inception. very important to america's seniors and would put a cap on what seniors pay. they have no cap on what they pay in the medicare program that some of them are in. it lowers costs. it also says this advantage is not just for medicare, but all those who get their drugs and private insurance as well. so it's a savings to the federal government. it's a savings to other governments. it's a savings to business who are footing a lot of this bill and it's a savings are to individual families. again, having them had more discretion over their spending. i have seen grown men cry on a
2:52 pm
campaign trail because they cannot meet the price of prescription drugses. a person testified saying we don't pay for elect or heat, anything because we have to pay for prescription drugs and are freezing cold. this is transformative and what it means at that kitchen table of america's working families as to how they make ends meet. it's our combination of lowering health care costs and protect pre-existing conditions benefit and building the infrastructure of america to increase paychecks is a fabulous combination for growth in a way that protects our planet because they'll do infrastructure in a way that is about the future and not weded to the past. i put that out there, if you
2:53 pm
have suggestions and ideas and all of that, that's kind of where the debate is on some of these issues. but again, to be fiscally sound, pro molet growth, to create good paying jobs, increase the purchasing power for america's families and decrease the national debt. thank you all for what you do. i'm honored to be here with all of you and i wish you well in your deliberations and let this be the place that helps reduce any of the partisan binders and finding solutions for the american people. >> thank you very much, madam speaker. thank you for being with us today. [applause] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit