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Nancy Pelosi
  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Holds News Conference  CSPAN  November 20, 2020 1:43pm-2:09pm EST

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the home of the may flower ii, a full scale reproduction. exploring the american story, watch american history tv this 3.kend on c spanch -- c-span >> house speaker discussed coronavirus relief negotiations and results of the 2020 election at her weekly briefing. she took questions from reporters about the delayed transition for president-elect biden and the role the house could play in the smooth transition of power. his is about 25 minutes.
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ms. pelosi: good morning everyone. as our nation prepares for we thank god for all the blessings he has bestowed upon us, our men and women in uniform who keep us safe. we thank them and their families for the sacrifices they make for our democracy, for our freedom. this year, we won't be able to be joining each other in the traditional way, but virtually we'll come together to thank god for our blessings. as we do so, though, it will be with great pain, with great pain that in our country and the course of this year, 250,000 americans have lost their lives
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from the coronavirus. daily cases have averaged over 60,000 in this past week. hospitalizations have set a national a record for three days in a row last week. and over 11.7 million and growing have been infected. cases are set to rise. on the economic front, 20 million americans are on unemployment with the benefits soon set to expire and millions have fallen into poverty and our food insecure and face the threat of eviction. this is what is in our hearts. sadly, our traditional -- some of the things we do regularly, but especially at thanksgiving to minister to those who are food insecure and the rest will not actually be possible, but nonetheless, we must try.
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we are in a full blown economic and health capacity. d it is amazing to see the patience the g.o.p. has for ther people suffering. in another few weeks we will observe the 8th anniversary of sandy hook. we saw the horror of children being gunned down in sandy hook. the people cried out for gun violence prevention. this, too, shall pass. several months ago, we all watched the murder of george floyd. the american poured into the streets and people all over the world powered into the streets for days and some cases weeks. but republicans ignored that. refused to pass legislation.
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this, too, shall pass. now 250,000 americans are dead. the numbers are rising. over six months ago when we passed the heroes act, leader mcconnell said, we need a pause. we need a pause. well, i would hope that for him he pause can come to an end. thatve over 200,000 people have died. we are asking him come back to the table. a few days ago, leader schumer and i sent him a letter, which you have all seen asking the republicans to come back to the table to meet the needs of the american people, which they have been willing to ignore. we would like to extend some of the provisions of the cares act,
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which are set to expire at the end of this year. we want to add to that meeting the food needs. 17 million children in america are food insecure. and we have a hard time getting them to address those food needs into legislation. we must have that. the american people want that. that's part of our value system. again, let's have help with rental assistance. ok, have a moratorium, but unless the rent is paid, people are not going to being able to stay in their homes and the landlords aren't going to pay the bank. this helps everybody. it has become clear in the last six months to have more p.p.e., fund small businesses. we have tightened our belt a
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number of times in the heroes act and months ago to include p.p.e. the list goes on and on, but some of these things about unemployment insurance, food security, stopping evictions, p.p.e. to keep our small businesses thriving. and they have refused. they even admitted. they have no intention of controlling it. it is my hope that with the vaccine now that the vaccine that will give a different perspective to crows the threshold to say there is a light at the end of the tunnel so the president and the administration and the republicans can say yes, we should follow science. in a shorter period of time than we have been through already if we test, trace, treat, wear a
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mask, social distance, sanitation, recognizing the hits this is taking on communities of color. if we do what is in the heroes act in this regard, we will be ready for the vaccine to have a good start. as we have in the vaccine and in the heroes act and perhaps we should do now because the vaccine is here, it's imminent that we should be having the resources to make sure that the vaccine is distributed immediately, equitably so that everyone has access to it. in that regard, though, for that happen, the president must, must implement the defense production act so that those companies, those entities that re used to this new technology
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both pfizer and moderna have ed can undertake making this vaccine more available because we are going to need quite a bit for ourselves and for the world, because unless everyone is safe. so let's hope, let's hope that mcconnell's pause will end. we have been working on the omnibus bill. let's hope this is the start. let's hope that it is. it is curious to see how they are impeding progress. and another misguided act of responsibility, secretary mnuchin said he would end many critical emergency lending initiatives at the end of the year.
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ow why would they do that? drawing a rebuke from the senate. that speaks out. as the fed said, it would prepare the full fleet of emergency facilities -- excuse me, facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic to continue to serve their important role as a back stop for our still strained and vulnerable economy. the fed. the fed. the full fleet of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backdrop for a still strained and vulnerable economy. it is highly unusual for the fed to comment on that matter on something said by the secretary of the treasury. gain, why? why? because they want to impede the
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ability of the next administration to have everything available to them. the situation could not be more dire. the need for action could not be more urgent. meaningful relief is desperately needed. no surprise to anyone perhaps except mitch mcconnell. the families are losing lives and livelihoods. the front line workers are risking their lives and losing their jobs. 17 million children in america are food insecure. and we couldn't even get the food issue into the cares act. so we need to get into the legislation now. schools are unable to keep students and staff safe. all we had to do is follow the science. we know how we can open our
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economy, open our schools safely, but we have to make a decision to follow science and good governance. again, this week leader schumer and i wrote to mcconnell that he finally come to the table on bicameral and bipartisan table. the economic crisis caused by covid 19 deficient states communities across the country. what is becoming clear to all americans is that we cannot achieve real economic recovery until we address the expanding public health crisis. the time to act is upon us like never before. the pandemic and economic recession will not end without our help. later today, leader schumer and i will be visiting president-elect biden and vice president-elect harris and we
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are discussing the urgency of crushing the virus, keeping government open, the omnibus bill. we are pleased moving america forward legislation that we passed in the summer and build biden said is joe compatible for creating good paying jobs, infrastructure, work force development, clean energy. the list goes on and on. you wonder about this. did you know, did you know that house democrats got nearly two million more votes than donald trump. say that because -- everybody turned out and it was a great victory -- a mandate. the most important thing we did
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two years ago was win the house. e won 40 seats, and the most gerrymandered political arena. 31 in trump districts. i said it it's going to be harder next time because he is on the ballot. and it was. t was. a couple districts in his district. but imagine nearly two million more votes than donald trump and people say well, the democrats didn't turn out. we did. in fact, more than three million more than the republicans. but as i said, again, in the most gerrymandered, voter suppressed political arena with
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president trump on the ballot. i congratulate on the seats they won and i congratulate for the turnout he created. joe biden is up to 79 million. but i wanted to show you how we related to these others. we need everything. we are a big family and proud of everyone and turnout was across the board. we believe our house races in michigan, pennsylvania, nevada, contributed to those electoral college successes and across the country to almost 79 million votes that joe biden has. we are very proud of him and kamala harris and unifier for r country and proud of the
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success. people are saying this, that and this. no. no. no. we want more. and we will have more. and we have already started that. but i want you to be sure you ew nearly two more million votes than donald trump. any questions? >> your oversight committee asked for the head of the g.s.a. to come in and testify. why are they deciding to do it now and what do you see the house's role in ensuring a smooth transition? pelosi p ms. pelosi: they wanted a briefing. testifying is different. they asked for a briefing and hopefully that is before thanksgiving that will happen. you hope that people would have good faith in the jobs they
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have. you want to give them a chance to get that done. it is totally mystifying that the g.s.a. refuses to make the statement necessary so that transition to happen in an orderly happen. they were trumian from the trump hotel. so no surprise that they are following that lead, which is most unfortunate for the country. but what they're saying, explain to us what your basis is for going down that road. again, everything was kind of let's -- let's hope for the best. let's hope there would be enough republicans to say, this is america. the people's voices count and must be respected. so to the extent it won't belong before we have a certification, the meeting of the electoral
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college december 14 and then here in the house on january 6. but again, it was not -- it was really trying to be unifying, take our time and give them a chance and that's why we are not rg a hearing but a briefing. reporter: do you see an expanded role for the house to make sure this transition goes smoothly as ong as the president refuses to ms. pelosi: yes. i'm not one to show my hand but nonetheless, we're ready. we're ready. reporter: [indiscernible] -- governor whitmer and the two guys who drove up from virginia to philadelphia during the counting. do you or other democrats have concerns that the longer this goes on in terms of trump challenging the votes and other republicans saying he should -- [indiscernible] -- still an option question, does that
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raise the prospect for violence? ms. pelosi: we all have to know that the president of the united states, his words weigh a ton. they weigh a ton. and people hear things in a way that could encourage some unfortunate situations as they have done in the state of ichigan. you would think there would be a rejection on the part of republicans. did you sat south korea the array of agenda items -- did you see the array of agenda items the michigan anders had? you know how dangerous it is. urning down the capitol. and not getting, shall we say, told that that's not appropriate in our country. but instead having god knows
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how -- what's his name -- atlas -- oh, my god. did you see his statements that encourage that, coming right there from the right hand of the president of the united states? up g, got to have stirred in the street and the rest of that. this is bad behavior. but again, let's try to be unifying. let's try to be respectful. there is this element in our country, i don't think donald trump created it, but i think he fans the flame. and i think that's a dangerous situation. yes, sir. reporter: madam speaker, as you mentioned, businesses are hurting out there and still there's about 138 million that's allocated -- $138 million that's allocated in p.p.e. funds that's there. any possibility on releasing some of that money? ms. pelosi: that's up to the administration. that's why we're saying, what is this? and plus all the other money that mr. mnuchin has discretion
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over, that's for bigger business, but nonetheless as the fed has said, so much a , that -- economy that's why i referenced sandy hook. forget about it. that's why i referenced george floyd. let's just move on. people are suffering and if you don't believe in governance, then it's hard -- it's easy for you to say, we don't really have to do all of these things. and that's what the problem is. but i'm optimistic that we will have bipartisanship to put something together to go forward. because i do believe that many of our colleagues understand what's happening in their districts and to want to make a difference. there's just one big obstacle in the way, in the senate it's
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mitch mcconnell. but the other obstacle, but a he does what president trump says -- -- because he does what president trump says, and that's president trump. reporter: as far as those negotiations go right now, who are these active negotiations going on with? it house democrats and leader mcconnell? ms. pelosi: yesterday there was a meeting of the staff, of the four corners, the house and senate democratic and republican leaders. the anticipation was that it was really about the omnibus. you have to remember, we have to have an omnibus bill. we must keep government open. that's a very important responsibility during the lame duck. we don't want another continuing resolution. i don't think they do either. so we have an expression, yesterday was, for the stress to deal with what we pull, the ash and trash. some of the things that are not
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up here, but need to be resolved so that we can move forward. and that hopefully we would have been able to begin a path to the covid. that didn't happen. but hopefully it will. reporter: who do you need to engage with? the white house, leader mcconnell? ms. pelosi: these were the four leaders. reporter: secretary mnuchin said this morning that he is meeting with leader mccarthy and leader mcconnell later today to talk about -- [indiscernible] -- deal for covid relief. do you have any plans to talk to him upcoming? ms. pelosi: he said in his comments that they would be reaching out. but we're asking -- we've been sitting at the table for six months plus a week, waiting for them to come back. the obstacles have been, they do not want to honor our heroes, our state and local workers, our health care workers, our teachers, our teachers, our teachers, our teachers, our first responders,
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our police and fire, our transportation, sanitation, food workers, who make our existence possible. they're saying they don't want to do that and in fact many of those workers are laid off. they have risked their lives to save lives and now they might lose their jobs. many, over a million of them have. the other part of that is that the fiscal soundness of our state and local government is important to the fiscal soundness of our country. so it doesn't make any sense in terms of meeting the needs of people, honoring the work of our hure osaka and again, the soundness of -- of our heroes and again, the soundness of our economy. we have to get something done. and again, they have been resistant on many of the things that we consider priorities. but everybody knows, people are hungry, people are fearing eviction. people need the cares act provisions to be extended that
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address unemployment insurance and the rest. i won't go into how they comment on all of that. but the main thing that they have -- that -- the two main things, honor our heroes so that the states and local governments can meet the needs that we talked about. hospitalizations and all the rest. it's coronavirus-centric, as well as revenue loss because of shutdowns. and -- but this is the most mystifying to me. and the most unscientific. they will not decide to crush the virus. my hope is the vaccine will say, ok, there's a path, so let's stop the spread of it while we manufacture more and distribute more of it. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captioning made possible by the national captioning
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institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] >> president trump will be speaking today at the white house about prescription drugs, access and costs. we'll have that live for you when he gets under way. now set for 2:30 eastern. right here on c-span. washington. host: congressman donald norcross joins us now, democrat from new jersey represent in the first district. congressman, what is the pandemic like where you live? we really got clobbered initially, but now -- i live right across from philadelphia, and the spike is coming at a