House Speaker Pelosi Holds Briefing CSPAN December 7, 2020 12:39am-1:03am EST
live at seven about them monday morning. join the discussion with your facebook comments, phone calls, texts messages and tweets. >> with coronavirus cases increasing across the country, use our website c-span.org/ coronavirus to follow the trends and watch updates on demand anytime at c-span.org/coronavirus. >> house speaker nancy pelosi held her weekly briefing with reporters on capitol hill where she answered a range of questions on the status of the coronavirus relief package negotiations and the recent jobs report. speaker pelosi: good morning. good morning. we had a couple of days of electing our chairs.
yesterday, we approved 18 chairs and was pretty exciting for us. we had three contested races, and that included congresswoman rosa delauro, now chair of the appropriations committee, following in the footsteps of the first woman to serve in that capacity, nita lowey, paving the way. all three candidates were women for chair of the appropriations. the chair of the foreign affairs committee, greg meeks of new york, greg meeks of new york, following in the footsteps of another new yorker, eliot engel. and the chair of the ag committee, david scott from georgia, the first african-american ever chosen to be the chair of the agriculture committee. pretty exciting. following in the footsteps of the great leadership of collin peterson.
greg meeks is also african-american. pretty historic. a woman and african-american. in contested races. throughout our leadership, half of the leadership were women and people of color in chairs of the committee. there are more chairs to be announced, but these are the ones that related to rules and budget related to the steering and policy committees. those were two of the speaker's announcements that i made. others will follow. as i said to the members then, we held the house. we'll hold the gavels. 132 of them starting with the 18 that were chosen yesterday. but i'm excited about it because when they made their presentations of the several days this week, it was a demonstration of values, of knowledge, of commitment to america's working families in every one of our committees. a beautiful diversity of those
committees as well. so it was a cause for celebration. as you know, we are in the -- let me do this right. oh, wow. it hurts. we are in the lame-duck session. we have important work to do here. we spent a good deal the first part of lame duck on the national defense authorization legislation. i want to salute our chairman, adam smith, and mr. thornberry, the ranking member, for the great bipartisan legislation they put together. it's -- this is the national security, the oath where you take to protect and defend our constitution, our country. i'm very, very proud of the work that went into it and now will come to the floor next week. our leader, mr. hoyer, will be talking about the schedule. i want to reference some of what
adam smith and mac thornberry said about the bill. in their statement on the conference report, among the provisions we are most proud of, and we join them in this, the authorization of hazardous duty pay for our service men and women in harm's way, improvements to military housing, improvements to families with special needs, the quality of life for our military families is very essential to our national security. addressing the shortage of military childcare. authorizing $8.4 billion in military construction projects to fortify critical infrastructure and base closure cleanup. very essential. important new tools to deter china and russia. reforms to make the pentagon more efficient, innovative and cost-effective. significant bipartisan provisions on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. and provisions that strengthen our alliance with israel.
i especially want to acknowledge how pleased we are with the leadership, also, of congressman anthony brown, a member of the committee, a veteran of our services, a decorated member of the military who now serves in the house, anthony brown. as we provided long-term -- we included the process of changing the names of military bases purposefully, purposefully named for white supremacists. how could that have been? they just decided to name the bases for white supremacists. i have brothers who served in many of the bases around the country and we would always say, why is that? now it isn't. it also provides long overdue
benefits to veteran area veterans who were impacted by agent orange. this was really important to many of us. this issue was long overdue when we passed it. now it needed to be improved and they do so in the bill. and, again, on the -- get back to the bases, it reflects our highest ideals as americans. we urge the president to sign the ndaa, which has been passed on a bipartisan basis for 59 years. this will be 60. so, again, this is very, shall we say, intensive in terms of the attention it requires. our members were constantly working on it. that's why i wanted to take the time, to take the pride in this legislation. as you know, we are engaged in the talks on the omnibus bill. when i spoke to leader mcconnell yesterday, we talked about the possibility of putting a covid package on the omnibus bill.
but he and i being appropriators know that if you're going to do that, you have to have an omnibus bill. and so we have to work through the -- all of the provisions tht are still unresolved there. we're making progress. congress -- madam chair, nita lowey and chair, richard shelby, have agreed on the 302-b's. that's more appropriations talk. and how they would proceed. they made great progress. more needs to be done. and at the same time, simultaneous with that, we're working on the covid package. on wednesday, was our deadliest day. every day that anyone dies is a complete tragedy for our country. 2,800 americans lost. we believe that one of the
saddest parts of it is the neglect that this administration has delayed, denial, distortion, hoax, and now finally we have a new dynamic, a new president, in a little more than a month, committed to crushing the virus. a new dynamic, a vaccine, a successful vaccine. more than one successful vaccine to make all the difference in the world. that is imminent. until the inauguration and the emergence of the vaccine, which will be soon, but not for everyone, just because of the quantity needed and the money needed to go from vaccine, from the lab, to vaccination to the arm, and that is going to require more than we're talking about now. but what joe biden has been talking about.
we believe -- leader schumer and i believe the framework, the bipartisan framework unveiled by the senators in a bipartisan way, with the support of house members, josh gottheimer in the house from our side, on both sides of the aisle, could be a basis for real bicameral negotiations. it's not text yet. it's a framework. as they work on the text, we hope it will take us very close to something we can put into the -- into the omnibus, which s at the same time -- president-elect biden has said that this package would be just at best just a start, and that's how we see it as well. it's less money, but over a shorter period of time. we need to do it to save lives and livelihoods with the hope that much more help is on the way.
the -- again, this vaccine has had such high -- 95% was the pfizer vaccine and the moderna vaccine give us great hope but, again, we have to have the resources to exercise our options that we have to buy the vaccine. i would hope the president would immediately exercise the -- call upon the defense production act to produce the vaccine. that's what is going to have to require the amount that we need. and then have the logistics, the money there for the states to -- and that further highlights the need for funding for state and local governments, because we can pay for the vaccine, we can pay for its delivery, but it's the administration of it by health care professionals still
needs to be funded as well. so that's good news. help is on the way from joe biden who sees the need. we had some not so good news on the jobs front that further necessitates our taking action to crush the virus, to open up the economy, to open up our schools, but in order to do so, we must do so safely. science-based in our approach on all of this. you probably did see the jobs report this morning, which is indicative -- is indicative of further indicative of the need for us to have -- crush the virus so the economy can get going. all of that is to say there is momentum, there is momentum with the action that the senators and house members in a bipartisan way have taken with them. it could provide meaning relief from millions who are suffering
economically, personally, health-wise, and so i'm pleased that the tone of our conversations is one that is indicative of the decision to get the job done. with that, i'll take any questions you may have. reporter: madam speaker. reporter: madam speaker. when you say about momentum, realistically, how soon do you and leader mcconnell need to cut a deal in order to have a package to vote on before the holidays? speaker pelosi: we have the time to do it. it doesn't -- again, we won't have it on the omnibus. we have to have an omnibus, and we're hoping that will accelerate the discussions on the omnibus. we are going to keep government open. we're not going to have a continuing resolution, but we need to take the time to do that.
and then, as i said, we saw a framework. they're putting -- now they have to turn it into text, and so we'll take the time we need and we must get it done and we must get it done by this -- before we leave. we cannot leave without it. reporter: does that mean you have about a week? speaker pelosi: it doesn't matter. we will take the time we need. the question is when will the text be ready so that we can combine it into the -- the omnibus is not finished yet. we have a number of what we call ash and trash. it's a lot of other issues that need to be resolved, and they're in the course of doing that. and i don't want to in any way undermine the great bipartisan negotiations that are going on between the democrats and republicans, senator shelby, as
the chair of the appropriations committee in the senate, nita lowey as the chair in the house, their staffs working together. so don't worry about a date. it will be in sufficient time for us to get it done. the sooner the better, but not at the expense of the initiatives that we need to address in the bills. reporter: madam speaker, thank you. just to be clear, you said no continuing resolution. speaker pelosi: yes. \[indiscernible] and you can't -- \[indiscernible] but what should be, in your opinion, the problem solvers caucus, a much larger bill a few months ago, is not like, \[indiscernible] on board with this piece. speaker pelosi: perhaps you missed what i said earlier. joe biden committed to ending
and crushing the virus and having a build a better america initiative, a vaccine. build back better. a vaccine, an answer to our prayers. an answer to our prayers of 95% effectiveness in terms of pfizer and moderna, and there may be others coming forward. that makes -- that is a total game changer. a new president and a vaccine. so there's nothing to -- these are different -- what was then before was not more of this. this has simplicity. it's what we've had in our bills. it's for a shorter period of time, but that's ok now because we have a new president, a president who recognizes that we need to depend on science to stop the virus, a president who understands that america's working families need to have
money in their pockets in a way that takes them into the future without any of the contraptions of any of the other bills that the administration was associating itself with before. we feel very excited about the prospect that the -- there's a bipartisan -- i told members. i am not bringing any more bills that are not bipartisan. we want to show what needs to be done in the interest of negotiation. they're negotiating. it's a good product. it's not everything we want, don't get me wrong. i don't want the republicans to think that we -- that this is a dream come true. it is not, but it is a path forward. reporter: [indiscernible] months ago. speaker pelosi: i am going to tell you something. don't characterize what we did before as a mistake, as a preface to your question, if you want an answer. that was not a mistake.
it was a decision and has taken us to a place where we can do the right thing without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don't want. now, that is it. the fact is i'm very proud of where we are. my chairs, my chairs have worked very hard on all of this. they were not even happy with a proposal that we made the other day before we saw this proposal. they thought we came back too small. it's not about an -- it's about how we address the needs of the american people. and we have to do it in a scientific way, and we have to do it in a way that recognizes people need food on the table. they need to get their rent paid. they need money in their pockets. they need their unemployment insurance. they do not need a whole other thing on the agenda that doesn't have anything with meeting their needs.
we are very pleased where it is. as i say, with a democratic president, committed to a scientific solution for this, with the idea that we will have a vaccine, it's a complete game changer from them. reporter: madam speaker, the petition -- joe biden said on hs first day in office he'll use title 9 transgender students [indiscernible] in all federally funded schools. does he have the power to unilaterally do this? do you agree with this? speaker pelosi: yes, i believe he does. yes ma'am. reporter: the race in iowa, how is the house going to prevent a situation that was seen in 1985 when mccarthy and his republican opponent? and would you encourage the
loser of the new york 22 race to do the same thing if their recount is -- speaker pelosi: the issue relating to iowa is an issue for the house administration committee. it is my understanding that rita hart, an
excellent candidate for congress, has -- will be asking the house to take this up. for further information about the technicalities of that, that becomes a house, not a political, but a house administration matter. house decides who it will seat. we don't have any idea -- new york is a completely different situation. new york is a completely different situation. new york, there could be 1,500, 5,000 votes not counted yet. that is going into the courts, i think monday is the day in the court.
and that is -- and that is what is -- we'll see what happens in the court, and that may end up in the congress. i don't know. but the court will decide which votes will be counted. but that's like down
to 12 votes. it's interesting. people should know, everyone should know his or her vote counts. six votes are what the spread is at the moment in iowa. 12 votes, this is on a basis of hundreds of thousands of votes cast. that one of those matters time will tell, we will see what the court says. we will see what the house administration options are and what they decide to do if they go forward. >> i just wanted to get clarification and configure conversations with leader mcconnell, is this now a
situation where we are expecting any sort of relief to be in the one piece of legislation? >> that would be our hope is that is the vehicle leaving the station and that is probably -- i was pleased he wanted to do it that way because that is how we have thought would be the best way to do. the vehicle is leaving the station. you see a bill come to the floor, you don't see the whole underpinnings or the orchestration of what it takes to get to the place, so there is a vehicle and we can add this language once we see the text, that is what we would be doing. >> would you need an agreement on both components to bring something to the floor? >> yes, that is what we are working on. we would want a big, strong vote. earlier, on to -- the national defense bill, we are very proud of the bipartisanship that has gone into the -- that.
on the quality of life issues for military families, also the assist them to change the names of the bases, the names of white supremacist. in some cases, by design were --ed for formal members former members of the confederacy well after the civil war. it is also about our values, for us that was not in a provision or an issue, that was an ethic, it was a value. thank you all very much.
>> congress will start their week facing a friday deadline to extend federal funding in order to avoid a government shutdown. also on the agenda, a $740 billion defense authorization bill that has bipartisan agreement in both chambers, but faces a veto threat from the president. efforts continue on another covid relief package, so far there is no specific bill on the schedule. congress is back monday and you can watch the house live on c-span, the senate live on c-span2. tuesday, a senate committee hears testimony on the medical response to the covid-19 pandemic and the development of outpatient treatments, watch live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three, online at c-span.org, or listen live on the free c-span radio app. senator kelly leffler and raphael