House Speaker Pelosi Senate Minority Leader Schumer Hold News Conference CSPAN August 6, 2020 6:35pm-7:05pm EDT
tremendous prosperity in a number of major urban centers, and 2020 beyond if we do not approach this in a thoughtful way could represent a reversal in which that economic activity, that talent that flooded into our cities starts to flood out of our cities. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. the perjury case against president trump's former national security advisor michael flynn will be reheard by the full u.s. court of appeals for the d.c. circuit judge on tuesday. the panel of 10 judges will decide whether a federal district judge must dismiss the charges against michael flynn as recommended by the justice department. hear the case live tuesday at 9:00 and eastern on c-span and c-span.org, or listen live with the free c-span radio app. today on capitol
hill, house speaker nancy pelosi and senate minority leader chuck schumer held a briefing with reporters to talk about negotiations taking place on future coronavirus relief legislation. this is half an hour. rep. pelosi: good morning, ask everyone. we gather here today in the midst of our negotiations on how
we can defeat the virus, how we can keep people employed, how we can put money in the pockets of the american people. to do so in a way that is values-based and can be done with the most, shall we say, what would be the word? bipartisanship possible. that is our goal. it is what we have done four times already with covid hills. four times, all bipartisan. we need that because we have to have a signature from the president and a vote in the senate. but we stand by our heroes act, which does just that, keeps people working. health-care care workers, first responders, sanitation, transportation, etc. teachers, teachers, teachers. next is to end the virus, contain the virus through testing, tracing, treatment, and masks, separation, etc. and putting money in the pockets of the american people. those are the pillars of the heroes act. we have a few other pillars. it is about protecting the lives, the livelihood, and the life of our democracy.
on that score, we have some issues in terms of the census, in terms of the post office, postal service, and in terms of voting at home, we say, if you want to say vote by mail, whatever the terminology. voting in a way that does not make people choose between their health and their vote. it is again the health of our democracy, in more than one way. we have been making some progress, proceeding in a positive way. we are not there yet. i have said i see a light at the end of the tunnel, just don't know how long the tunnel is. but we have to move quickly, more quickly, because the light at the end of the tunnel may be a freight train of the virus coming out us if we do not act to contain it. we are concerned because we think this administration and
the republicans do not understand the gravity of the situation and have not taken the actions to stop the spread of the virus to, again, open the economy, have our schools open safely, and have us return to some normalcy. i am very honored to be here with the democratic leader of the senate. we have worked in sync on this with shared values. but with shared understanding that we want to come to agreement. with that, i am pleased to yield to the leader of the senate, welcome him back to the house side. he served with distinction. i can speak firsthand on that because i served on the banking committee where he was in the top row and i was in the bottom row. now he is the leader in the senate. mr. shermer. -- mr. schumer. sen. schumer: thank you, madam speaker. it is 83 days since the house passed heroes act. at that point, speaker pelosi
and i called on the leader, mcconnell, to start negotiations on covid. and we called on him three weeks before all these deadlines. leader for two months, mcconnell has said pause, wait and see. why haven't we come to an agreement? it is because our republican friends do not seem to see the brevity of the situation, the -- the gravity of the situation, the great crisis we are in. the greatest economic crisis for 75 years, since the great depression, greatest economic health care crisis for 100 years. the bottom line is this. the trump administration and senate republicans have badly mauled the body politic. the american economy and american health care. we believe the patient needs a major operation, while
republicans want to apply a band-aid. we won't let them pass the band-aid, go home, and leave america bleeding. it is that simple. that is the difference. that is the difference. there are huge problems out there. but so many of the republicans don't want to do anything. let's not spend any government money when people are hurting so badly. the president just dithers. this is the greatest crisis we have had in so many years and one of the five or six greatest crises america has ever had, and there is no leadership from the president. he says one thing one day, and another thing another day, and another thing another day. he is not focused on this. no leadership. history will regard this as one of the most appalling performances by any chief executive anywhere in the world in all of history. it is true. it is that serious. the reason our negotiations with
the white house have been so arduous is, they just don't see the needs out there and they don't want to do anything about them. they want to get away with as little as possible so their right-wing ideologues who don't want to spend any money will not be angry with them. they don't understand the crisis in the country, they don't understand its depth, they don't understand the suffering. our republican counterparts refuse to acknowledge that americans, through no fault in their own -- of their own might need some help, some money to help pay the rent. the republican leader thinks the biggest threat to our country is an epidemic of lawsuits that has not materialized. what will materialize soon is an epidemic of evictions, unless we extend the moratorium. extensions.tal you can't extend the moratorium
about giving people help. between 19 million and 23 million households will be at risk of eviction by september. ends, andoratorium they owe three months, five months rent and they don't have money, there will be massive evictions. our republican colleagues refused to acknowledge that state, local, and tribal governments who the trump administration abandoned in the early days of this crisis for ideological reasons, might need federal support to prevent teachers and firefighters and bus drivers from being laid off. over one million have already been laid off. the number will greatly increase. our republican counterparts refused to acknowledge running an election in the middle of a pandemic is difficult when so many more people will vote by mail and voting in person is also more difficult. yesterday, the republican leader scoffed at the idea of extending
enhanced unemployment benefits, because he said it would mean that americans without work would be paid more than essential workers. in our bill, we say, pay the essential workers more. they reject it. if our friends are worried about how little essential workers are making, join us in supporting our frontline provisions. when it comes to our schools, food assistance for the hungry, hungry children, for the post office, for the census, and mind dbogglingly when it comes to health care, testing, a great shortage of testing and tracing, they want to pinch pennies. again, they like to get away with passing the most minimal bill possible can go home and wash their hands of it. we can't do that because i believe americans hurting and not get us out of crisis, it is our job. we have had huge problems.
brought on by a failed president who tries to sweep the problems under the rug and denied they exist. we democrats will not give up on america. we are not walking away. yesterday, evidently, mr. meadows said at the republican lunch, he is going to quit as of friday. he backed off. we are not quitting. we are ready to work. we will keep working and as long as it takes, as the speaker set in her tunnel analogy, as said in as the speaker her tunnel analogy, as long as it takes to reach an agreement, we will keep working until we get it done. democrats have been ready to work. republicans have stalled for four months. if republicans want to throw up their hands and walk away from the table, that is on them, but we don't want them to do it. the american people are going to remember who was ready to meet their needs and who was ready to continue negotiating in good faith.
rep. pelosi: thank you, mr. leader. as you can see, democrats and the congress are unified in our values-based commitment to america's working families. at the same time, the republicans are in disarray. half of them won't vote for anything, not one dollar. i always see everything through the eyes of the children. through the eyes of the children, this is what we see and say to the republicans. don't nickel and dime our children. don't say we want to give them a tax break to a business lunch and not give more money for children to have food stamps and the rest. don't talk about saying, if they go to school, only if school is open will we put federal dollars there. no, we have it on authority and documented that through virtual, actual, and hybrid for education is approximately the same,
within range of the same cost. why should you demand that our children take a risk in a community of high incidence of the infection that they have to go to school in order to get federal dollars? millions of children are food insecure. that is why we make such an issue of, how can they possibly -- what did we have? over $60 billion for food in one way or another. whether it was women, infants, or children, whether it is one form of food nutrition or another, including food stamps. they had $250,000. $60 billion, $250,000. i don't know how many people they think live in america, but that doesn't even begin. they are nickel and diming us. then when you talk about children and families who are in
fear of eviction, this means a great deal to children, to be insecure about their housing. some of them will become homeless. because republicans are nickel and diming our children. these families are crying out for the $600. they are nickel and diming the economic security of children's families. the list goes on. we are saying in our bill, children learning, parents earning. if we want parents to go back to work, we need children to go back to school safely. if they can't and parents have to work, we want them to have childcare in a significant way. don't nickel and dime us. this, again, if you look at it and how people are affected by this, the families of our heroes. as i said, you know who they are
, first responders, transportation, sanitation, teachers, teachers, teachers. probably 5 million of them will lose their jobs if we do not -- it is already 1.5 million, it is projected to be 3.6 million if we do not honor our responsibilities to state and local governments. these are people with children, with families. and what happens? they go on unemployment insurance. what is saved there? what is saved? what is lost is the dignity of work that these people have -- many of them risk their lives to and lives in this pandemic, now they have lost their jobs. why? because mitch mcconnell calls this a progressive wish list. i do wish we could protect our workers, we could feed our children, we can house our people. that we could have elections that enable people not to make a choice between voting and their
health. any questions? reporter: mark meadows says you are trillions of dollars apart. is that an accurate assessment on the state of negotiations? also, did you guys reject the offer of 400 dollars per week of unemployment insurance? rep. pelosi: we have said we are going to have the $600. we had documented by yale university, ucla, and other authorities that this is necessary. today, the university of chicago put out what the cost would be to our economy if we do not have that $600, in terms of purchasing power. it is not a question of, again, we wanted to see a whole package and they know we want the $600. do you want to speak to that? sen. schumer: there are a couple of points here.
number one, the $600 has kept, by economic estimates, at least 1 million and probably many more people out of poverty. out of poverty. we are trying to lift people out of poverty. that has done it. second, the number one motive, engine that the economy is not doing worse is consumer spending. one of the biggest incentives for consumer spending is the unemployment. but third, you change the rules. it will take weeks in some states and months in most states before new unemployment can be added. that will hurt the economy dramatically. they say, all of these people are staying home. because they get more money than if they go to work. that is not the american people i know. they want to work. and if they have a job or are offered a job with benefits and the dignity of work, they take it. but there is 11% unemployment.
not everyone who wants to work can get to work. it is not that they are staying home because they are lazy -- that is a very harsh view of american workers -- they are staying home because they don't have a job. rep. pelosi: here is the thing. when they come to the table and are like, $600? how could it be? they're just demonstrating their condescension to america's working families. for all kinds of reasons that on this- that weigh in pandemic. people have to stay home if their children are not able to go to school or if they don't have childcare. there are a number of reasons. but none of them is, i want to stay home because i make more money this way. maybe some of these employers could pay their workers more, but let's not -- not to go to that place just because i would
not paint all of them what that same brush. we shouldn't be worrying about how much it is going to cost. i say to the secretary, the plural of anecdote is not data. you have some examples. right them down and let's add it and let's adddown it up. i will show you my list of money that has been squandered, given to businesses who should not have gotten ppp and the rest. why are we holding america's working families who are struggling, who have children to care for, elders to care for, and make it as if they are -- my goodness, they are not worthy of this? i would say to the american people, just take pride in who you are. and don't let them think that you are not worth what we are talking about here. sen. schumer: why dismantle a program that economist say is working? and put something new in its place that will take months to go into effect? rep. pelosi: three months at
least in california, which has a relatively efficient system. some places say they don't know how they would get it to work. it is either this or the greater or lesser of 70% of that -- come on. sen. schumer: by the way, i don't even know if the $400 has the support of republicans anyway. rep. pelosi: they didn't even have the votes for $200. sen. schumer: it's a game. reporter: the white house says the president is going to sign an executive order today requiring the u.s. government to only purchase medicines and medical supplies from u.s. companies. do you have any reaction to that? rep. pelosi: i don't even know what you're talking about. i know he has all of these schemes to make it look like he is trying to lower the cost of prescription drugs. the way to do that is to negotiate for lower prices. that is in hr-3 and our aca enhancement. i don't know what the president -- i can't speak to it.
sen. schumer: is it general drug prices? or just for covid? reporter: essential drugs and medical supplies like masks. sen. schumer: if we don't have an adequate supply right now, i mean, we are all for by america. he should have been doing that by invoking the dpa four months ago and he wouldn't have had to do this, when i asked him on march 6. but to say if there is an essential supply that is going to keep americans alive and not get sick and we are not going to buy it because it is overseas and we don't having it made in america, that is harsh, callous, and wrong, and i bet he will have to back off of it. reporter: good morning. the president has hinted at possibly doing some executive action if there is not a deal. rep. pelosi: what is he going to act upon? reporter: that is what i am asking about. i have been told they might try to move money around, money allocated for the coronavirus bill, something for the disaster relief bill.
what would you think if they started [indiscernible] i don't think they know what they are talking about. the one thing the president can do is to extend the moratorium. that would be a good thing, if there is money to go with it. that is what we keep telling them. as the leader fully explained, what is the use of a moratorium if you are going to have eight months to pay at the end of the moratorium? and what does that mean to the landlords? no money. mr. schumer grew up in a tri-plex. sen. schumer: triple decker. rep. pelosi: do you want to tell your story? sen. schumer: ok. we tell each other a lot of stories. you should have heard us singing before. you did? reporter: we could hear something. sen. schumer: oh, golly. it was a song. she was putting on lipstick. it was a song. i want to ask, how many of you have heard of the song?
"lipstick on your collar." anyone hear of it? raise your hands. we are trying to figure out who sang it. did you figure it out? reporter: connie francis. sen. schumer: connie francis. "where the boys are." now we are finished with our trivia. in my neighborhood where i grew up, there were lots of triple-deckers. the landlord was a working family, they owned the building. there was a family on the second floor and first floor that rented. if they can't pay the rent, if they have a moratorium, this is not a big fancy landlord. it is a working person. or she is not getting money to pay the mortgage, the electricity, the property taxes, etc. if you do not push money into the system, it doesn't work. but they tie themselves into a
knot to act like they want to try to do something without spending any money. it is impossible when you have such a huge recession and such a huge pandemic. rep. pelosi: in that vein, we are talking about, when i was hungry, you fed me. and i was needed shelter, you sheltered me. when i was homeless, you shelter ed me. we are talking about the gospel of matthew. we're talking about fundamental values in our country. they don't want to spend the money to feed -- to alleviate food insecurity? they don't want to give any money to help with possible evictions, which people are very afraid of? instead, what do they want to do? i always point out their commitment to the high-end, they are a triple down crowd. nearly $2 trillion added to the national debt to give a tax cut 83% of the benefits going to
the top 1% . heaping mountains of debt onto our children. instead of making investments that will stimulate the economy -- let me say this way. we have to think big. you ask the chairman of the fed, you ask some of the economists, you ask some of the previous leaders in the republican party, in the government of our country, think big. because this is a big challenge and it will only get worse. if we do not make the necessary investments. pay now, or pay later. much more later. reporter: reporter: do you think they could move money around without congressional approval? rep. pelosi: we're talking about a major investment. sen. schumer: we have to come to an agreement that meets the needs of the american people. much better way. reporter: madam speaker, i want to follow-up your are you -- follow-up.
are you trillions of dollars apart? also, understanding that you see a problem and you want longer-term benefits for more people, however, unemployed americans have been without their $600 checks for a week, they will go without it next week. can you talk to them -- and schools are getting ready to reopen. do you think there is a possibility for any real deal in the next few days that can help them plan for the money they would be getting? sen. schumer: we would like to do that. there are many needs, so we should choose schoolchildren and leave out starving families who can't feed their kids? we should choose renters and not choose businesses that need help, small businesses that need help? there is a broad scope of problems and worry we have is, they will want to do a little band-aid. vote for one thing, skip out of town, and leave the rest behind. rep. pelosi: let me make this point because you seem to be, with all due respect, using their talking point.
the fact is, when they showed up last week, it was already too late to save the $600. understand that. it was already too late to save the $600. they went to the floor of the senate and put $200 on the floor, which they don't even have the 51 votes on their own side, much less the 60 votes they would need. it would be over by now, and a couple of days anyway. the point is, you must be comprehensive, you have to think big, and we cannot let them say, well, if you feed the kids, you can't pay the rent. we are not going to do that. but understand, this is the difference between the democrats and the republicans. they are a trickle down crowd. if it trickles down and there is some benefit that's good, if it , doesn't, so be it, that is the free market. we are a bubble-up crowd.
we are investing in america's working families and when we go to the table this afternoon, every time we go to the table, it is as if we are pulling up a chair to america's kitchen table where people are trying to figure out how they pay the rent, how they can buy food, and you see food costs are rising. that is even more expensive for america's working families. what are they going to do if the children can't go to school or if they can, will they be safe? can we have childcare adequately funded so that we get parents earning, children learning? thank you very much. sen. schumer: one thing i want to add to that. don't forget, we wanted them to start working on this months ago long before the deadline , expired. they waited to the very moment and they don't have any votes, hardly any, for $600. if that answers your question. >> are you ruling out a short-term extension? rep. pelosi: we are not having a short-term extension.
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president will be with us to talk about the state of the economy. watch washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern enjoy the discussion with your facebook comments, text messages, and tweets. the perjury case against president trump's former national security advisor michael flynn will be reheard by the full u.s. court of appeals for the dz circuit on tuesday. the panel of judges will decide whether a federal district court judge must dismiss the charges as recommended by the justice department. here the case live on tuesday at 9:30 a.m. on c-span and c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app.