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Kevin McCarthy
  House Minority Leader Mc Carthy Press Conference on Coronavirus ...  CSPAN  March 26, 2020 12:57pm-1:19pm EDT

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that it's focused on the kitchen tables of america's families, their needs, their concerns, and ow we can, again, meet those needs as pope francis told us, to take responsibility for. thank you-all very much. thank you. [captions copyright national [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] >> house minority leader kevin mccarthy also talked to reporters about what's next for the newly approved $2 trillion economic aid package which was pproved by the senate. mr. mccarthy: still good morning. i just listened to the speaker and i want to join with you in wishing her a very happy birthday today. now, across america, people are coming together. they are making sacrifices and lifting each other up. this is actually who we are as a nation.
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there are countless stories of kindness, we see cities throughout our communities and that should make us all proud of who we are as americans. in this battle, we are all neighbors and that is an unbreakable bond that will help us get through this. then you have our real heroes every single day who we are watching. we cannot thank the medical professionals enough. putting themselves on the front line to care for all of us. our postal workers, truck drivers and supermarket workers who are there for us. along with the warehouse operators and the drivers working in the gig economy that are helping keep small businesses afloat. they are on the front lines helping us push through this challenge and we cannot be more grateful for all their sacrifices. that they are putting through. our job in congress should be to reinforce their efforts and that is what we'll do with the care act, when this is accomplished. the legislation we are passing will directly assist unless walked through four main points. the american family, with
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individual checks. you listen to treasury secretary mnuchin say, even as today, that he'll be able to get these checks out starting within three weeks. the american worker, expanding unemployment insurance to cover the gig workers and the self-employed and the nonprofit employees as well. if unfortunately someone finds themselves out of work, this bill offers an additional 13 weeks of unemployment. health care workers and hospitals, another $140 billion of appropriations. we know they need the assistance from the most rural hospitals to the largest. businesses, especially focusing on that small business, it will provide the resources so they can rehire and the federal government will provide that as a grant to get america working again. and keep them afloat with their rent and as we get through this, to even make them stronger. for the large-size businesses, we give them a tax incentive where the taxpayers could actually help and assist to keep people working in that situation too by securing the loan,
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guaranteeing, but more importantly, giving them a tax credit for the employee paying up to almost 50% for those two months. i urge the members of all of you in the press to help us explain this to the american public. let them know what resources are out there so they can be able to seek it and find the help that they need. we are working for every american we are working for every american in this country and want them to know help son the way. sadly, there are some in congress who even in the midst of the pandemic think this is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit their own vision. they're more focused on dividing us rather than trying to bring this country together. those people want to debate election law. green new deal. or sanctuary cities. in a bill that is meant to assist those struggling families, our health, and our security. everyday matters as we debated a solution that would deliver
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much-needed relief. we watched in the last week 3.28 million people laid off. that's higher, multiplying higher than we ever watched in the financial crisis. the speaker herself just said every day, every week that is wasted on not taking this seriously is a problem. i could not agree more. and yet for days, democrats stalled this bill. how many people were laid off as the democrats fought to change the election law or implement the green new deal? how many parents lost sleep wondering how they were going to make payments in the next month? how many small businesses sat around a kitchen table and had to make that decision they never had to before about laying their employees off that are like family. a few minutes ago the speaker stood at this podium and claimed that house democrats did what she called a jujitsu to change
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the bill. that is an outright lie. the fundamental portions of this bill have not changed since sunday. four months for unemployment was already decided on sunday. the grant to keep employees hired in small businesses was already decided on sunday. the only few additions were funding of things that had nothing to do with the coronavirus. was that worth holding it up and more people being laid off? more people losing sleep, more people wondering if they can continue? those are the type of games that have to stop in washington. she spent time thanking her members on wins. america's suffering does not care to hear about these superficial and fabricated claims. this is not another day in congress. this is a time when we have to come together to deliver real
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results. what democrats did was a total disgrace. history will not be kind to the days that added to the millions who were unemployed simply because they wanted to change the election law, put in green new deal and thought it was a tremendous opportunity to change the direction and the vision of this country based upon their philosophical beliefs. i'm reminded of a story that when president kennedy decided to challenge this nation to go to the moon in the next decade, when the soviet union was ahead of us, he gave this country one mission. to make it to the moon in the next 10 years. a year later, he went to tour nasa. as he was greeting different people who worked there, he came upon a janitor. and he shook this janitor's hand and asked him what is your job here? thian tore replied, my job is to put a map on the moon.
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before the decade is out. at this moment in time, not just congress, but every single american from that medical professional risking their life to treat others or that truck driver who drives at night to try to refill the supermarket, or the supermarket worker working through day and night to replenish the shelves and give us the products we need. they didn't want to see a delay in this bill because somebody thought they had an opportunity. to change an election law to benefit them. or hold out because they wanted a green new deal. what america wants to see is that we actually care. i've said it before. as a father, a husband, and a son, my first responsibility is the health, the safety, and the security of this nation. and yes, every day and every
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minute wasted is a disgrace. that's why i'm thankful that finally, the bill we had sunday, 99.9% of it is the bill we'll have tomorrow. unless never -- and let's never see somebody try to take a political crisis for their political gain. let's put this country first. i'll open it up for questions. reporter: what's your message to any member thinking of objecting to the voice vote tomorrow which is a procedure that enables -- [inaudible] mr. mccarthy: i'll talk to republicans and democrats. i heard a.o.c. is thinking she might do that. we'll have the opportunity to read the bill. it came out late last night, we've been keeping our members abreast of where the bill is at, having worked on the bill for numerous days, they'll have the ability to read the text as well. we'll have debate and then a
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voice vote. i do not think there's a need for anything else. reporter: how many members roughly do you think there'll be? mr. mccarthy: i'm not sure. we have members on both sides who have the virus, members who are quarantined, members who have challenges with aims, getting their flights canceled. i think there'll be enough to make sure we get this through but the floor will look different. the microphones down in the well will not be there. they should not be that close to those, the clerks who work there the microphone in the middle will be taken out so what you'll have is those who aring moring the bill will be further away. members can't sit next to each other and as one person speaks you're going to have to come back and clean. so if a member wants to come on the floor they can't sit next to each other but can be moving in and out, they'll enter in one door and have to leave in another. we want to make schauer we're providing health for everybody else in -- everybody else inside
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to make sure government is working. there'll be more than enough. there's nrn enough time to debate. there's more than enough time to review the bill. it should not be delayed getting to the president's desk this week. reporter: ever since details came out about the bill there's been criticism about erroneous items being put in it. the kennedy center, things like that. you touched a little bit on voting requirements. some are saying that voting requirements that house people put in will make it vulnerable for correction. mr. mccarthy: people vote voice vote all the time, there's nothing there. the speaker did, when she wants to claim about a victory, when she wants to say what she succeeded on she added $24 million more to the kennedy center. i happen to sit on the board and support the kennedy center, this is not the place and time to hold a bill up for the health care of america to provide money for the kennedy center. that was wrong. but that's what her win was. it didn't extend unemployment insurance. that was already decided on
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sunday. it didn't change about providing people to stay on the job when the small business, that was decided. it provides provisions of where we're going. she added a union provision and add money for the kennedy center. i believe at the end of the day this should just focus on the health, safety and security of americans when it came to coronavirus. let's make sure that those hospitals got the resources. let's make sure those who are laid off, they got money to pay their rent so we don't have a real estate challenge. or those who were laid off, let's incentivize the small business owner to actually bring them back on. how do you do that? government is providing them the resources as a grant to rehire them. or the incentive to keep you working as we get through this virus so we're stronger on the other side. we just lost 3.28 million
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americans. get a question and an answer they did not want to hear when they went to work. we watched democrats stall a bill that could have solved that problem. reporter: a number of state -- of states, particularly new york, say what they're going to be getting is not enough. is congress looking at another package going forward? mr. mccarthy: this is the third package, probably the largest bill anybody in congress has ever voted for. i would look at this bill. it's focused in four areas that are very smart. the health, so hospitals and others. for the states we don't lee others out. we bring in nonprofits and others into the assistance. the small business that employees so many millions of americans that are making that decision where they're shut down today. it will give them resources of a loan that will make the portion of it of a grant for your rent and your employees. incentivizing you to keep employees working that those employees will get their
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paycheck, be able to pay their house payment, be able to buy their groceries, that's the key. now if you're off, the uninsured , that first week you usually had to week, you'll get that payment, we'll pick that up. federal government even puts in another $600. it does a lot. in the process to get us through this time period as we fight this virus. reporter: it sounds like you think this is enough. how do you assess whether it's enough for the american workers, that this bill covers them? mr. mccarthy: you have to let the bill work. before i can answer the question is it enough, we've done three different bills. the first one was a supplemental that you made sure you got resources at n.i.h. and c.d.c. the extra they needed. the next bill went into making sure the worker and testing was paid for, to have their health. those are just now being implemented. now you have more than $2 trillion going into the economy to the areas that we know are
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needed and you're sitting here talking about needing another bill. let's -- if these bills are done correctly, let them put them to work to get through this. if something is needed in the future let's make that decision. let's not make that decision without allowing these bills to be put into the economy. reporter: might be too early to talk about this but do you envision this experience triggering permanent changes in the house? for example, remote voting, maybe continuing social distancing even when things calm down? mr. mccarthy: only time will tell. hopefully through this we'll learn to wash our hands more. flu season will be less. maybe because of that but i hope that one thing we'll seriously look at as a congress, the supply chain. something the president has talked about quite some time but people did not realize. as we're working trying to get the p.p.e.'s for the hospital, china controls too much of our supply chain. has too much control of the
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ingredients that go into our medicine. too much control of our medical equipment. too much control of our critical minerals. as a nation, we should redirect that. and make sure that we can take care of ourselves and not be put in this situation again. and china -- had china not lied to the rest of the world and would have allowed individuals of our researchers, our doctors and best scientists, we could have contained this into china. now it's throughout the world where thousands of people are dying. just because they were worried about a reputation instead of he health of their own people. reporter: they'll be out until april 20 for the senate, will the house have a similar schedule? mr. mccarthy: i'm not the majority, i don't get to determine that. i've had many conversations with the majority leader and the
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speaker and we talked about best ways of moving this bill forward. they get the final decision. but i agree with what the majority leader decided at the end of the day. allow debate and debate will look different on the floor as i said, from the physical places of where you debate, but it gives the member the opportunity to discuss the bill an what's in it. reporter: the speaker said there'll be remote working on another package possibly. will you be work regular motely? will you be working in washington? what are you encouraging members to do? mr. mccarthy: i encourage them to be home and take care of their community. we have this bill, make sure it works well, make sure the hospitals have what they needed. on this bill itself, a lot of our members worked with the senate counterparts and we did a lot of conferences. i wouldn't be so quick to say you have to write something else. let's let this bill work, just as long as we let the other two
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bills work as well. whatever decision we have to make going forward, let's do it with knowledge. let's do it with experience of what's on the ground at that moment in time. so we're actually aiming before we make the bill go forward. but we could work remotely when it comes to some ideas. but at the end of the day, congress will be back here. will we be out for a while? probably. but this nation will come back together. just as kennedy challenged us to go to the moon and the ingenuity, the integrity of who we are and the inspiration as a nation, we got there. we will get through this as well. think for one moment of the new thicks -- things that are happening. it took us more than two years to be in a clinical trial for a vaccine for sars. we are already in that clinical trial for a vaccine to this virus. the number of new medicines and therapies that are coming online. the f.d.a. working in a whole
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new capacity of bringing opportunities to us from testing and others. we will be stronger at the end of the day to compete against anything else like this in the future. reporter: there were a number of members of the senate putting he package together, congressman meadows who is a member of your caucus will be resigning at the end of the month. mr. mccarthy: i wish him well. he'll make a great chief of staff. that only makes the relationship with e house and senate he white house stronger. reporter: you have a number of states which have essentially just shut down across their state and are --
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mr. mccarthy: outside of essentials. reporter: but we're talking about indefinite periods of time. how do you expect these packages to work when you have businesses across the state shut down and people don't know when the businesses will start up again, how will that work with these packages when people are essentially not working period an they're essentially clueless as to when they'll be able to open up again? mr. mccarthy: that's a fabulous question. what do you do while states are shut down, small businesses are ordered to stop working, and people are questioning whether they're going to get paid? the care act will make a major difference about it. they don't have to do something about it, it's going to come right to them. those individuals by income level are going to see a direct payment from government. so they're going to get resources. those small businesses are going to be able, even though they're shut down, to provide that loan and portion of a grant to hire
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those people who are not working right now but still will get paid for the next two months. by the federal government. they won't have to pay that back. so if they take 100% of those employees back, they'll get 100% grant. they'll be able to pay their rent. so there's not a crisis when it come to the landlord and others. those larger businesses are going to be able to get a secure loan. they've got a tax advantage where the federal government will help pay up to 50% of that employee for the next two months while they're shut down and wondering, that's why the bill is so important. all those elements i spoke about, those were all agreed to back on sunday. they're delayed another week but a week is a lifetime when you're shut down. that's the difference. reporter: what about emerging debate on how soon we should ease up on social distancing and let people get back to work?
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mr. mccarthy: i would look at it every single day. i've watched governor cuomo doubling every day, to every two dirkse every three days. so what we're doing is working. i would follow the numbers, when it is safe. but the one thing we know is what we are doing is working and we'll eventually get out of it. i don't know if you can predetermine the exact date. i would look at the data. that's what the president is doing. thank you all very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the senate last night unanimously arrived in economic aid plan that's now heading to the house. after the vote senate leaders went on to talk with reporters about the effort. we begin with republican leader mitch mcconnell, followed by democratic