House Speaker Pelosi Holds News Conference CSPAN July 16, 2020 5:03pm-5:36pm EDT
and are health care workers. >> along with briefings on the white house pandemic -- coronavirus pandemic. in the latest from campaign 2020. be part of the conversation every day with our live call-in program, "washington journal." if you missed any of our live coverage, watch any time on demand at c-span.org, or listen on the go with the free c-span radio app. today, house speaker nancy pelosi spoke to reporters, sharing her thoughts on the trump administration's response to reopening schools and containing the coronavirus pandemic. >> good morning. so much happened yesterday, with two months since we past the heroes act, some of you are aware, who were with us as we observe that. president tothe
activate the defense production act so that we can get the equipment we need. the president has made so many bad executive decisions, we wish he would make a good executive decision and do that. behavior, i have like a manhat he is who refuses to ask for directions. all of the answers are there. the science -- the scientists have the answers. we know that testing, tracing, masking, distancing, sanitation can stop the spread of this virus. president continues to go down the wrong path and
refuses to ask for directions from scientists who know better than any of us. so, again, again we have observed that with two months, and that period of time from 2 million more people, 2 million more americans have become infected, for a total 3.5 million people infected. for a total of 3.5 million people infected. since that time, 50,000 more people have died, for a total of over 137,000. tens of millions of people are still out of work, and ui benefits expire soon. today we marked the 17th straight week of more than one million people filing for ui benefits. we still don't have the needed testing and ppe. and the president refuses to use the full power of the defense
production act needed for reopening our schools, reopening our economy, and the rest. so many people have said "i had a test, but it has taking at least a week, sometimes two weeks, to get a result." you know why? because there's not enough equipment. so many people have said, i could not get a test because i was not qualifying with the disposition, precondition, whatever it is, or an impending operation. you know why? because there is not enough equipment. for what reason does the president not fully implement the defense bill? and in hospitals and in places caring for people, there is not
enough ppe, personal protective equipment. there is not enough equipment. but we could have it if the president executed the defense production act. we called for it in the cares act yesterday. -- not yesterday, the 14th. a number of our colleagues wrote to the secretary of defense and the secretary of health and human services and asked why was this dpa not used in the way that was called for in the legislation. an assessment of the amount of each of the categories that we need ppe, diagnostic, serologic, other covert tests, treatment of covid-19, medical supplies and equipment, the list goes on.
this is such a massive dereliction of duty. people are dying. what we are saying to the senate -- join us in asking the president to use executive action for good instead of ill, as he has done, and pass the heroes act, which supports -- let's just focus on what it means for our schools because across the country, the angst of people reporting to us about the anxiety they had, chilling the -- the decision as to whether to send their children to school. what is the president do? the negative. were not going to give you money unless you open up. no, you give schools money to open up, and that is precisely what we do in the heroes act. we have $100 billion education
stabilization fund specifically geared to the coronavirus. quite frankly, with the time that has gone by and attitude that the president has had the negative attitude the president has had, we probably need more money. we probably will need more money. we do have in the moving forward legislation that we passed our havestructure bill, we another $100 billion for school construction that was important before the coronavirus. it is about ventilation, wiring, getting rid of lead poisoning in the schools, meeting all the needs of our students. we tell our children that education is important, that they must study for their own personal -- to reach their own personal aspirations and for the good of our country. but we send them a different message when we send them to
schools that are not wired, with the technology for them to learn properly and modernly, when there is lead poisoning that makes them sick and diminishes their capacity to learn, when the ventilation systems are such that it exacerbates the situation. and now all of that exacerbated by the coronavirus. if we add that come and then of course we have the resources to honor our heroes by supporting our state and local government and much of what state and local government does is the education of our children. but they have had opportunities lost. revenue lost because the coronavirus. revenue lost because of the outlays of costs because of having to pay for coronavirus care, etc., as given them serious budget deficits.
let us honor our heroes by doing that, let us open our schools and open our economy by testing, testing, testing, testing, tracing, treating, isolation. schools are saying they should be six feet apart, that is for sure. you will need fewer people in the classrooms, more space. therefore you need more teachers. the president is saying we are going to deprive you of eight-point-something percent of the federal government provides to schools in our country. state and local does 90% of it and they have serious budget deficits because of the coronavirus. again, we need the dpa to open up schools, to open up the economy, and we need to help america's families.
actually, to put it all together in our two packages, we have $230 billion specifically for the schools. we have nearly actually in dollars for state and local government, which is one half of what they gave the tax break, 82% of the benefits going to the top 1%. in any case, mr. president, you have gone down the wrong path. ask for directions. ask for direction from scientists, who know better, they knew better. if we ask the gop senate to get on it and help the american people on our heroes, open our -- honor our heroes, economy and schools by having the equipment needed to do it and the funds to facilitate that, put money in the pockets of the american people -- the time is running out on that.
this is drastic. i know we keep saying this over and over, but it still persists, and the clock is running out. as we urge them to do that, house democrats are still working very hard for the people. this week the appropriations committee has been marking up the fiscal year 2021 legislation to put it on track to pass legislation to fund 96% of the government in july. the second time in two years we have been on schedule. we will pass those bills next week. they are being marked up this week and last week. holding nearly 30 hearings and markups as we are here now above committees and yesterday at this time -- some of it yesterday -- 30 health-related ills and hearings on covid relief and vaccine pandemic preparedness environmental justice in the era
, of covid, and much more. so we have a lot going on. we will be taking these votes to the floor next week to be on schedule to meet the needs of the american people. and again the clock is ticking. , unemployment insurance will run out by the end of the month, even before the finish of the -- the end of the month. we need direct payments to people. on the subject of kids, i'm a grandmother, five kids, nine grandchildren, all ages. the youngest one is in public school in san francisco. we are concerned not only for her but for her classmates. they don't have all the technology that would be needed for distance learning. many of them go to school for meals -- they go to school to learn, but they get their food there.
with all the concern we have for all children, we have to make sure all of that is in place. that is a situation that is replicated across the country. instead of threatening schools, instead, the secretary of education says "children should take risks. astronauts take risks." really? in any event, this is personal, this is about our children, and at the very least, the president should say we will have the equipment necessary. any questions? yes, ma'am? >> [indiscernible] you and mitch mcconnell agreed on a share for the oversight. what is the hold up?
rep. pelosi: we had different suggestions about it, and we came to a conclusion about an excellent person, and he agreed. there is some process in the senate which i was not aware of that takes a lot of time, and that was a determined for the person staying up -- deterrent for the person staying on board. >> [indiscernible] rep. pelosi: yes. well, i have proposed someone to the leader, and we will see if she accepts. but i won't be announcing it right here. this is -- it's a funny thing. you would think it should bbc's thing in the world to come to such a conclusion that should be the easiest thing in the world to come to such a conclusion. i was particularly proud that general dunford was interested in considering this, because i do think that a person of his
stature and in the military, person who knows how to manage things, a leader, completely apolitical, would have been the perfect person. i just don't know, a, how the word got out about him before there was an announcement made, what are we waiting for part of the issue. i would hope we would have somebody, there are plenty of people in the military who i think would be willing to exercise their patriotic duty in an apolitical way with their management skills and the rest, and that is what i'm hoping will happen. yes, sir? >> is their contact with anyone in the administration over the next package? rep. pelosi: everything in this package, except for -- say, 95%
in this package was what we had in previous bills. nobody's being asked to vote for something they haven't voted for before. the one thing that is different is they have resisted in the past any strong osha standard. a stronger one at the time of coronavirus. so they know what they have to do. there is another piece that they have resisted that is very urgent now. they have resisted -- very urgent now -- and that is the assistance for ranchers. the moratorium is going to end, or has ended in some places, and we really need to get that assistance. not only do we have it in the heroes act, but a couple of weeks ago we passed it on the floor of the house as a separate
bill. $200 billion, $100 billion to help with ranchers, $75 billion addressing the mortgage forbearance -- foreclosure forbearance issue -- and the rest of it for homelessness and special housing programs and the rest. they really have to do this. this is very, very urgent -- that would be something they haven't voted for before -- haven't supported before, as well as they haven't supported a strong worker protection osha standard. other than that, they supported state and local government, they've supported testing, they've supported direct payments, they supported unemployment benefits. one time they supported -- that even supported food stamps.
they have resisted since then , even though people who have never been to a food line -- food bank before are in long lines to get in. you would think they would have some sensitivity on emergency food initiatives, including snap. that would be one where they had resisted, but they had voted for before. >> [indiscernible] anybody in the administration about what they're feeling is? rep. pelosi: we had conversations about individual things and republican senators approach me -- they know there is going to be a bill. first it was no bill, then it was going to be some little bill. now it is 1.3 -- not enough. it's not enough. and when they say it is too expensive, how can they say such a thing when right now the fed
is just propping up the stock market, stock market looks good, huh? well, federal dollars are helping to make that happen. and that is ok, and that is a good thing for the economy. but we should have trillions of dollars to prop up -- we have never seen anything like this. one subject or another. but it also just gets me that they say, oh, it is so expensive. $2 trillion, that is what they added to the deficit to pass their tax scam a couple years ago, which gave 83% of the benefits to the top 1%. they are in a caste-system mode. whatever we like to do at the top, that is what we will do. perhaps it will trickle down. if it does, that will be good. if it doesn't, so be it.
we know it will happen. they have to do unemployment insurance. democrats and republicans across the country are calling out for them to do the state and local. republican mayors, county executive, governors, they need that money. they have outlays for coronavirus and they have revenue lost because of coronavirus. so they will be there. >> [indiscernible] proposing the idea of back to work bonuses for employees. what is your thought on that? rep. pelosi: i don't know if they know what they are talking about, so i can't really address what you just asked. but i will say this --testing, testing, testing. people do not want to risk their
lives, and that of their families, by going to work when it isn't safe. we can open the economy if we make it safe for people to go back to work. we're going to pay people to risk their lives without any osha standard and the rest? people are not staying home. they want to work. they want to go to work, in a safe place. so the direction that the president should be asking for is how do we open our economy to make it safe for people to go to work. and it is so self-evident. yes, sir? >> madam speaker, i have a question, and i have a colleague with a second question. rep. pelosi: is that person here? >> no. rep. pelosi: well, that is up to the rest of you. do you want somebody elster have a question before you do?
>> a few months ago it was hard to predict we would have such severe spikes in july. other countries have clearly handle them is a way we have not. moving forward, is in the next couple of months we still don't have a full grasp on it, is there a point where trillions more in stimulus comes unsustainable? rep. pelosi: no, the point is that if we don't invest the money now, it will be much worse. if we don't invest in further testing and getting the equipment to do it, it will be worse. if we don't put money in the pockets of the american people with direct payments and unemployment insurance, it will be much worse. if people are being fired at the state and local level, health care workers, transit workers, teachers, sanitation workers, and the rest, it will be much worse.
this is what -- it's about survival of our economy. and it is about spending the money in a way, in a way that brings us back. don't take it from me -- the chairman of the fed even recommended state and local -- he said i called the congress's attention state and local government -- we have it in the heroes act. the secretary of the treasury knows that we have to do more to prop up our economy, or else it will be worse. it will be worse. did you want -- >> the president today is going to be talking about how the administration has been rolling back regulation over the past four years in helping americans rise out of poverty. rep. pelosi: i'm sorry, what is he doing today? >> today the president is supposed to be talking about his administration rolling back regulation and helping americans rise out of poverty --
rep. pelosi: i don't know what he is doing, but what he is doing this week in terms of napa -- richard nixon put in place to protect our environment and the good health of the american people. some of the polluters were saluting it, but it is the wrong thing to do. so i don't know what specific danger to the environment and the health and well-being of america's families and workers he is considering today. if anything like he has been doing, that is most unfortunate. i will tell you this, he has done a lot of bad things. whether it is methane or mercury or what he is doing to the environment, once or twice a week, terrible things that have an impact on the health and well-being of the american people. the air our children breathe, the water they drink.
but what does he do -- he says i've got beans on my desk, and that is what people cover, instead of the danger he is posing to our country and the administration. he has the henchmen of the polluters in his cabinet, always has, and he is implementing an agenda -- you are going to rise people out of poverty and making them brief foul air. i don't get it. >> on unemployment, you mentioned the benefits are going to end before august the way it is structured, and yesterday you seemed to indicate some flexibility on to transfer the democrats. what would be the appropriate replacement for the $6 million figure? rep. pelosi: what i said was the whole package will depend on what we do also for direct
payments, which are so essential. it may be hard for them to understand why they are so busy giving 83% of the benefits to the top 1% in the country, that people really do need this money. baby needs a pair of shoes. this is urgent. they need to buy food. this is a necessity. when people use that money for necessities, they inject demand into the economy and create jobs, and create jobs. it is stimulus. it is more than a stimulus, it is a necessity. when they are giving away all this big money and they worry about $600 for families who need it so desperately, it makes you wonder who are they here for. i always say -- i have not
quoted him lately --maybe i have agoint augustin, 1700 years , 17 centuries ago, saint augustine said, any government that is not formed to promote justice is just a bunch of thieves. this is about justice. , who so hard for people have so many challenges. fear of catching a virus that could be deadly, but nonetheless deadly, and has pre-existing challenges for them as they go forward, economic insecurity that they have, uncertainty about their children going to school, and is that safe? while the president is threatening to take away met -- take away money from the poorest
kids. title i funding for children in economically disadvantaged areas, separate from that including some of that, children withchildren with disabilities. homeless children. that is a chunk of what the federal government puts into it. of --nt where is justice when they will ,ack environmental standards which affect communities of color in disproportionate way. where is the justice of taking away funding from many of the poorest kids or children of disabilities to act like the big guy? where is the justice in not having the testing of the coronavirus so that we can end the statistics so we can see the disproportionate impact it has on people of color?
where's the justice of them taking down the website of the cdc so we can see what the challenges are to hospitals and the rest and then saying we are not going to have people support -- people report to the cdc, a scientific organization where going to have them report to the. administration -- -- scientific organization. we are going to have them port to the administration. --required they would have they would collect the data and report the data as to how, especially communities of color were affected. we did not have much of that. that is a place where there has not been a commensurate amount of testing. the hispanic community and the african-american community. we are all americans. everybody -- all of our children
are important to us. all of our people are. because we are americans, we are going to beat this. we have to beat it scientifically. in order to do that, you have to believe in science. you have to believe in government. our friend who asked the question about how they are going to lift everybody out of party's -- out of poverty by taking away regulations would probably not like to hear me say they do not believe in governance. if you do not believe in governance and science, you do not want to do anything and you do not have to because you do not have the data that you accept. we are in a critical place. i yearn for other republican president. while we may have disagreed on many points, at least we had a shared commitment to the governance of our country. richard nixon signed the legislation.
yesterday wei said are at another critical point. this is getting to be -- look at all of the number of people. 54 million more people have died since they have not taken up the bill. have becomeer more infected. haveweek, we're going to 130 7000 since we passed a bill -- 137,000 since we passed the bill. 50,000 added. 2 million more people infected. week, just tell you, next we are going to have childcare bills on the floor to ensure parents can go back to work and childcare workers can keep their job. this is very important. a very high priority for us.
we are going to have the great outdoors act. a bipartisan bill that passed the senate. we will be protecting our national -- our natural heritage with that. honoring our values with the no ban act.o we have a number of things. we are going to be passing bills next week for the next about removing statues from the capital of people who have committed treason against the united states of america. we are busy. nothing more important than the lives of our children, our children, and their ability to go back to school. we today want to do and their teachers want them to do and their parents want them to do. they cannot do it if it is not safe. it can be safe if the president
executes the defense production act to make sure it does. thank you all. >> the u.s. house senate return on monday to resume legislative business following their state work period over the july 4 holiday. the u.s. house considers the 2021 national defense authorization act. the senate convenes at 3:00 p.m. they resume debate on the nomination of russell vought to the office of management and budget. andsenate limited debate advance his nomination on july 2 on a party