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tv   Opening Day 117th Congress U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  January 4, 2021 3:48am-5:49am EST

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congress. democrats now control 222 her seats. hell -- house seat. republicans have 111. here's a portion of sunday's house session. >> all rise. pursuant to the 20th admin meant to the constitution -- amendment to the constitution of the united states for the meeting of the congress of the united states, the house will come to order. the prayer will be offered by reverend emanuel cleaver, st. james united methodist church, kansas city, missouri.
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the chaplain: let us pray. we bow before your thrown of grace as we leave behind the politically and socially clamorous year of 2020. we gather now in this consequential chamber to inaugurate another chapter in our roller coaster representative government.
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and maybe monitor healing, control tribal tendencies, and quicken our spirits, that we may feel the presence, even in moments of heightened disagreement. may we so feel your presence that our service here may not be filed by any utterances or acts unworthy of our offices. in our spirit and light so bright, we can see ourselves in our politics as we really are, by selfishness, perverted by prejudice, and ideology. may the god who created the world, and everything in it, bless us and keep us. may the lord make his face to shine before us and be gracious unto us. may the lord lift up the light
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of his countenance upon us and give us peace, peace in our families, peace across this land, and i ask peace even in this chamber, now and ever more. we ask it in the name of the lord. ah,god, yellow, and -- yall and god known by many different things, a man and a woman. elect andresentatives their guests will please remain standing and join in the pledge of allegiance. the clerk of the house: the representatives-elect and their guests will now stand and join in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty nd justice for all. as directed by law, the clerk of the house has prepared the
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official roll of the representatives-elect. certificates of election covering 434 seats in the 117th congress have been received by the clerk of the house. the clerk has not received a certificate of election from the 22nd district of the state of new york. the names of those persons whose credentials show that they were regularly elected as representatives in accord with the laws of their respective states or of the united states will be called. the representatives-elect will record their presence by electronic device and their names will be reported in alphabetical order by state, beginning with the state of
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alabama, to determine whether a quorum is present. representatives-elect will record their presence by electronic device. representatives-elect who have not obtained their voting i.d. cards may do so now in statuary hall.
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the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, is going for another term as the leader of the democratic majority, and she needs to get the majority of those lawmakers here in washington present and voting for a speaker by name. if they vote present, it does not count. for the quorum total. . later, it will be the speaker election, and they will be voting today in groups of 72. coming into the
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chamber, waiting to be called. why? because of covid, because of the pandemic. so we expect votes today to take a very long time as they continue with groups of 72. you are talking about seven toups of 72 lawmakers having cross capitol grounds, make their way into the chamber, take their vote, and then they leave. now, today's opening day is normally one of joyous pomp and circumstance, but because of the pandemic, there is a somber note today. here are some of the requirements for today's proceedings. are required in the house chamber. there is no waiting or, getting on the floor. votes and action are limited to groups of 72, as we said, and there is only one guest allowed, and that is only for the new members of congress. the freshman members of congress each were given one ticket for one guest to watch them get
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sworn into office. normally, the members of congress, this day they are surrounded by family and friends in the chamber, they all get tickets, but not during this pandemic. joining us to talk more about today's proceedings is matt greene, who is a political science professor at the catholic university of america, co-author of "using the leader -- "choosing the leader." mr. green, let's begin with why we are here. it is sunday, january 3. matt: that is correct. case, one ofcular the many reasons this is unusual for the house, the houses its actual
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constitutionally required date of january 3, which is a sunday. it has never happened on a sunday, but here we are, and that is why we are meeting today. greta: so what happens with the speaker election? walk me through the process. reen: so the process basically is as follows. the leaders of each party, the chair of the democratic caucus in the chair of the republican congress, each puts forth the name, a nominee, that that party has agreed upon to be speaker, so that is, in the case of the congress -- republicans, liz cheney, and the democrats, hakeem jeffries. they will each put for the name. in the case have been democrats, it will be nancy pelosi. in the case of the republicans committed will be kevin mccarthy. each will give a short speech, and then we have an actual vote for speaker, which is done alphabetically. one of the thing that makes this
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an unusual vote in the house is the actual true roll call is not electronic but rather each member's name is called, and then member then says who they are going to vote for. once that is completed, the clerks who are tallying the votes will give their vote, and, candidate gets a an absolute majority of all the votes that are cast for someone by name,, that person becomes the next speaker of the house. the members have to vote for nancy pelosi, or if you are a republican, do you have to vote for kevin mccarthy? prof. green: absolutely not. there is no rule that requires it. theare supposed to vote for person your party nominated, but what we have seen, actually, increasingly so, since the 1990's, is small groups of members from each party,
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sometimes one, sometimes both, choosing to vote for someone else or choosing to vote present or simply abstaining and not voting at all. we do not see members of one party voting for a candidate of the other party, but we do see folks voting for either other members of congress or other individuals, sometimes colin powell, for example, the former secretary of state has gotten votes for speaker. so there is no requirement that you have to vote for the nominee of your party. greta: and no requirement you have to vote for a lawmaker. prof. green: that is correct. technically speaking, the constitution merely says "the house shall choose its speaker." it does not say who that person is. in theory, the house could choose a member who is not even a member of the house of representatives to be speaker. greta: how is the winner determined? prof. green: the winner is determined by the clerk going
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back and calling other folks who did not answer when their names were called to see who had the majority of the votes. of all the votes that were cast for someone by name, and this is important, because, she was saying before, if you vote "present," or you abstain, it does not count toward either party's candidate. so that means that it is, in fact, possible to be ifcted speaker with 218, there are enough people who simply do not vote for anyone, abstain or present, you could be elected with fewer than 218. but the important thing is you are elected with an absolute majority of all the votes cast by name. once that happens, then the person who came in second go to the roster and gives a short speech, and then the person who is elected is sworn in by the dean of the house, who is the most senior, and then we have a
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new speaker. new speaker. greta: how does a look for today, for nancy pelosi? prof. green: democrats have 222 seats in the house, which is a majority. if everybody voted for the party opposing nominee, she would win by just, i guess, five votes. not everyone is going to be present today. so it is very, very close. the conventional wisdom is that pelosi has the votes to get elected speaker, but you should expect it to be a close vote. i will certainly be watching it closely to see who, if anyone, defects from either party and how that affects the final outcome. greta: has members -- are members allowed to change their votes? prof. green: usually that does not happen. members, once they have cast a vote for candidate, do not go back and change. i cannot recall the last time ever that has happened. greta: what if there was a tie?
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prof. green: so if there is not an absolute majority, then what happens is the house has another vote. rightt could have it away, or it could wait and decide to have another vote later and try to change people's votes after that election or maybe some people who were absent, try to get them to the floor devote for a second election. in other words, you could have multiple rounds of balloting for speaker. this is very rare. sinceas not happened 1923. there were multiple rounds, or at least there was some uncertainty about who would become speaker, because a number of republicans, who were then the majority party, were unhappy with their party's leadership and chose to vote for a third candidate, a progressive candidate, but that has not happened in nearly a century. greta: has there been any other elections where it has been nailbiter's, where the outcome is not certain? prof. green: there have, and
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there have been some pretty recent ones, as well. as i mentioned, the number of members willing to defect in these votes has been greater than 0 for the last 10, 20 years , more or less, and that has led to some pretty close elections were speaker. gingrich,ample, newt when he ran for speaker after the 1996 election, where republicans did not do as well as they had hoped, and some people were unhappy with hadrich, gingrich's allies to do some serious lobbying to get enough votes to get him elected speaker. in fact, after the 1998 election, one of the reasons gingrich stepped down was he did not have the votes to be elected speaker. john boehner, more recently, republican speaker of the house, had also had some struggle at times getting elected speaker, because they were a number of members, conservative members, who were unhappy with his leadership. so these elections used to be almost pro forma -- everybody voting with their party and no
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real surprises -- but in the last decade or two, we have seen some real nailbiters. greta: we are talking with matt green this morning. as you walk the house floor, it is opening day of the 117th congress, and what is happening right now is a quorum call. lawmakers are required to make their way to the floor in groups of 72. that is seven groups of 72. and they are required to electronically record that they are here in washington and ready to vote on this opening day of the 117th congress. so has there ever where someoneon or lawmakers cannot make their way to washington, or they just don't go to the floor and mark themselves as present, as they are doing in this quorum call right now? prof. green: certainly that has happened, and as i understand, we are likely to see that in this congress because of the
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unusual circumstances that we find ourselves in, in particular with coronavirus. so members who are either not well, because they have the coronavirus, or have been exposed will not be in attendance. i believe, last i checked, there's one or two who will not be coming today for that reason. this is actually important and not just for things like the vote for speaker but also because in order to be a member of congress, you have to be sworn in by the next speaker of the house of representatives, so technically if you do not come today, during the swearingen process, you are not a member of the 117th congress, and you will not be until you have an opportunity to come to washington and be sworn in by the speaker of the house. greta: so they will make accommodations than for these members who cannot get here to washington? prof. green:oh, certainly. they do not want people to lose the seat that they were duly elected to occupy.
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greta: let's talk about the senate now. the vicers are seeing president, mike pence, swearingen senators for the congress. let's just listen and for a bit. [applause] greta: over on c-span2, you can watch the opening day of the
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117th congress in that chamber. in the u.s. senate, you can see that the vice president, mike pence, is overseeing today's proceedings. he is wearing a new senators in groups of two over there because of the pandemic as well. you can see folks are wearing masks. this is where the senate stands right now -- there are 51 republicans and 46 democrats come with two independents that you all know caucus with those democrats as well. there is one open seat, and that is the seat for senator david perdue. he is of course up for reelection this campaign cycle, and he is facing a january 5 runoff, this tuesday, and the state of georgia. our viewers know this very well. , his loeffler colleague, is facing a runoff also on tuesday. the proceedings will continue over in his chamber this morning. you can watch it on c-span2 to
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see all of that. now, if the democrats were to win both of those georgia seats, the balance of power would shift to the democrats by giving the incoming vice president, kamala harris, a tie-breaking vote as president of the senate. let's go back to matt green. he is a political science professor at the catholic university of america, co-author of "choosing the leader: leadership elections in the u.s. house of representatives." matt green, let's talk about what is happening in the senate today. prof. green: the standing follows a process that is not too dissimilar from the house of representatives. as you said, there is a swearing-in process where members are sworn in. they are elected or reelected in the last general election. there are come as you said, a small number being sworn and at a time.
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people thatave 435 need to be sworn and commanded course there are no more than 100 members anyway. they follow some similar processes. they have a quorum. there is one important difference between the house and the senate, which is that the senate considers itself a continuing body, because only up-third of its members are for election every two years, so they don't consider themselves having to start all over again with the rules that they had in the previous congress. becausee, by contrast, every seat is up every two years, has to adopt a new set of rules for the new conference, and that is something that is going to happen later, probably not today, but that is an important part of that opening-day or opening period for the house of representatives. green, let'satt
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go back to the election of a speaker and just mentioned that republicans lightly are going to be nominating their leader, kevin mccarthy. is it possible that he could be speaker with a democratic majority? prof. green: it is possible, because the decision of who becomes speaker is not based on which party has more seats but on who wins the speakership election. you havexample, if enough democrats who choose not to participate in the election, you abstain or not vote, or they vote for someone else by name -- or even vote for kevin mccarthy! -- it is entirely possible that the republican candidate could become speaker of the house. now, as i mentioned before, you do not see members of each party defecting to the candidate of the other party, generally. that is considered really a bridge too far for partisans,
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even one who do not like their party's nominated speaker. but it does happen, and even for those who have a small majority come as the democrats do now, that possibility becomes greater. so it is not likely to happen, but it is always a possibility with a narrow majority that you could actually have a minority the choseninee speaker of the house. greta: who is kevin mccarthy? kevin mccarthy is the leader for republicans in this chamber and this house, first elected in 2006, 55 years old, minority leader since 2019. longtime c-span viewers will know he served as the number two lieutenant under former speaker john boehner, former speaker paul ryan from 2014 to 2019. on the floor right now, they have just started group three of the 72 lawmakers that will go to the floor, to say that they are
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here, they are present here in washington, and ready to work, ready to vote, and start the 117th congress. after this quorum call, they will move to the speaker vote. there will be speeches, there will be designations for speaker of the house, both on the democratic side and on the republican side, and then they will move to the vote. and, again, that will be a lengthy process, because they will do this in groups of 72. matt green, for those who are just joining us, explain, again, when they go to vote for speaker, how are they voting? prof. green: so the way that the speaker vote operates is different than most those in the house of representatives. they are done by individual names, and each member is called on the roster of lawmakers alphabetically and ask who they will vote for for speaker, and then they say the name, so either pelosi or mccarthy or
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somebody else altogether or simply choose not to vote or vote present. so the vote itself can take usually normally takes about 45 minutes or so, 45 minutes to one hour, and it is one of the many things about the usual opening of the house of representatives that is particularly noteworthy and, i think, worth watching, because you have to see each member have to speak up publicly if they who they are voting for kid you can keep a running tally of who is voting for whom and who is defecting and so forth. but in this particular case, as you mentioned, things will be different, so we will have groups of lawmakers being prodded and participating in the election and then escorted out and then other groups of 72 being brought in and done that way. instead of 45 minutes to an hour, it could take a lot longer to complete the vote for speaker of the house, and it is going to frankly, it know,
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will be a different thing to watch the normally on television. once that is done, the votes are tallied up, and whoever has a majority of all of the votes that are cast for someone by name is elected the next speaker of the house of representatives. greta: now, there are 222 democrats in this hundred 17th congress. republicans and two vacancies. vacancies are the new york 22nd district, where the winner of that race is still uncalled. it is undecided between the democrat and republican. only 29 vote separate these two members of congress. louisiana's fifth congressional district where representative elect luke letlow recently died from covid-19 complications is also the other open seats. sherman's reporting, a longtime capitol hill reporter, this morning, he said 221
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democrats that are going to show up today, that means there are 431 total. todaywill not be 435 because of covid-19 diagnoses. you have got a couple of republicans, maybe one republican and some democrats who are not going to be here today. the431, and because of vacancies we told you. so by jake sherman's accountings, he said that nancy pelosi would need 216. matt green, explain how that number shifts, though, based on how people vote. prof. green: so the majority that you need in order to be elected speaker is based on the total number of lawmakers who vote for someone by name. ,o if everybody votes by name then pelosi would need the 216 to be elected speaker, but if there are some lawmakers who vote present, for example, or choose not to vote, and that
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might be the equivalent of taking away from that total number, that 431 members who are participating, so one of the things that may happen here is there are some democrats who are not willing to vote for pelosi, but they do not wish to make the possibility that kevin mccarthy becomes the next speaker, the republican nominee, so they may vote present or choose not to vote, which reduces the threshold numbers that pelosi would need to get elected. so it could be that she is elected speaker with 216 votes, only 215, or possibly even fewer. greta: several news outlets have called it the high wire act for speaker pelosi. would you describe it that way? prof. green: i would, yes. it is a challenge in today's environment as it is to get elected speaker because it is becoming increasingly the norm that you have got a few members of your party that are going to defect. you have a majority as small as
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pelosi has -- she has very little room for maneuver, and she needs to get pretty much everybody on board. andher party is a large diverse party. she has got folks who are progressive, folks who are conservative, folks who are, you know, party leadership who are not junior members, senior members, and many of them in different preferences and desires and interests and desires to get them to come to get any vote, let alone a vote as consequential as a vote for speaker, is difficult. it is accurate to say it is a bit of a high wire act. greta: nancy pelosi is 80 years old, first elected to the house in 1987, the seventh person to serve as speaker in nonconsecutive terms. matt green, what are your thoughts on that? prof. green: so it is one of the many things that is distinctive, obviously pelosi being the first woman speaker of the house makes inhistoric, but also serving
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nonconsecutive terms in something that is not something that we had seen before pelo see really,and tell, you have to go back to sam rayburn, who was speaker of the house from 1940 until 1961. he had two breaks in his service when democrats -- he was the democrat in the majority in the cycles.er two two-year one of the reasons this is rare is that party leaders often, when their party loses control of congress, either were planning to retire or decide that they wanted to retire. they do not like to be in the minority. it is not as much fine. they may not think the party will be back in power for a while. when we have had this in the past, republicans like speaker dennis hastert, speaker paul ryan, have either decided to retire or not to run for party leader again. but pelo see said i want to
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stay, i can contribute to the party, and i think i can lead again. and she has managed to maintain the support of her party, so she can get elected weather in the majority or minority. servees, she has reserve nonconsecutive terms. last: what about the speaker election four congresswomen pelosi? prof. green: so this was in a interesting election because democrats had just taken majority in the house of normallyatives, and they are grateful when that happens and look to their leadership with gratitude, electing them to your ship positions. but in the case of pelosi, she had a considerable number of dissenters in her party who for various reasons did not want her to be speaker, felt there should be change in leadership. for other reasons, they were not keen on electing her speaker, so one of the things that pelosi had to do was work really hard
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over the course of a number of months to win back these members who were dissenting or unsure about whether they wanted to vote for her for speaker. she originally had enough democrats who said they would not vote for her that she did not have enough to get elected speaker, so what she and allies did is she worked with these reachs to, you know, certain deals with them or persuaded them to vote for her for speaker or to vote present or to not vote, and as a result, she was able to get elected speaker in. greta: are those members who did not vote for her returning? prof. green: yes. some are not, but a number of them are returning, and they have of course all been asked, "are you going to be asked for nancy pelosi? you did not support her last time." the majority of them have said that they will vote for pelosi, or they will not commit either
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way. if a member is not willing to commit either way, that is often a sign that they can be persuaded, or they are not firmly set in the preferences. so far, only a small number of democrats have said openly that they would vote against pelosi, but they have not said that they will vote for someone else. so, again, if they vote present, for example, that will not hurt pelosi's vote total as much as if they were to vote for someone else my name. greta: according to news reports, the leader ship are telling members that are thinking about not voting for her that if they do not vote for her, it is a vote for minority leader kevin mccarthy. is that true? prof. green: well, yes and no. that is an argument that the majority party would want to make because the speakership election carries with it tremendous weight as a kind of sign of party loyalty, and this is why, for many years, you did
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not see any defections when you voted for speaker, no matter how you felt for the nominee. framing it as a vote for the minority party is when i would expect the democrats to make, but again, the flipside with that is, first of all, if you vote present or you don't vote, it is not the same as voting for kevin mccarthy. second of all, that argument may not persuade members who support the democratic party, they see themselves as party loyalists, but for whatever reason, they are not happy with pelosi specifically as a candidate. it is one of those arguments you have to be a little careful about making, as opposed to, say, addressing the concerns of potential dissidents and seeing how you can address those concerns and so they will vote for pelosi. greta: what about the minority leader in the house of representatives, and this case, kevin mccarthy? what kind of support is he expected to get, and why is it important? prof. green: he is expected to get significant support from his party. any,not aware of many, if
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lawmakers who will be defecting in this vote for speaker that we will see later today. ais is, in some ways, significant element, because the republican, for a number of years, had a kind of rough group of republicans -- many of them affiliated with the house freedom caucus -- who were unhappy with their leadership. some of them work unhappy with kevin mccarthy as well as speaker john boehner, and there were enough of them to make it difficult for mccarthy, even if the parties in the minority can get enough votes to demonstrate party unity and support party leadership. but over the last several years, for a number of reasons, those no longer feel strongly about opposing mccarthy, at least not publicly, so he has been able to cement support behind him. now, again, he is in the majority, so it is not likely for him to be elected speaker, even with the narrow majority the democrats have, but it serves some important,
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symbolic purposes, to show that your party is behind you completely, it gives you greater authority in your party, makes it easier to lead to might help fill morale, and it also cannot demonstrate, hey, we are a large majority that can work together as a bloc, so the democrats ave to stay united greta: mack green with us, professor at catholic university and co-author of the book "house leadership elections. we're talking to him and as we're doing this you're seeing on the floor a quorum call taking place. lawmakers are required on opening day to go in the chamber and mark themselves present. it's not something they'll have to do every time they begin a new legislative day. they'll assume a majority is present. but on opening day, they need to know there's a majority in
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place for them to move forward with the proceedings of the 117th congress. earlier today we talked to congressman james clyburn who is a member of the democratic leadership. he was asked about working with a larger republican minority, something mack green was talking about and here's what he had to say. mr. clyburn: we try to reach across the house whenever we can to get things done for the american people. the majority that we have in the house of representatives is going to be smaller. it will dictate that we be a little more focused on trying to make sure we keep all of our members informed what we're doing and also to stay in close
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touch with them to take into account the things they'd like to see us do. so i think you're going to see this caucus operate pretty efficiently, very effectively, and i think very equitably as well. >> could you discuss some of the things the caucus would like to do after the congress is eated and particularly where can you work with republicans on something? mr. clyburn: i think the republicans are in agreement with us that covid-19 has no respect for the political party and no respect of anything else that separates us demographically. so the first order of business is to work very closely together in order to get beyond this pandemic. that is critical to everything. we're not going to do what we need to do to deliver health care to the american people
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unless we get this under control. and i think that joe biden made it very clear he plans to spend s first 100 days focusing on getting 100 million people vaccinated. i think that can get done if he were to use his authority as use the in chief to coast guard and would advocate using the coast guard as soon as he got in office. it looks like a big job and is a big job. the fact of the matter is it's more cumbersome than hard to do. the think utilizing defense act, whatever we call it, the coast guard we can get this done.
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>> when it comes to nationalizing the coast guard how would that assist in president-elect's goal of vaccination? mr. clyburn: the whole big job of getting vaccinations done is getting it deployed out to the states an effective delivery system and nobody i think is nobody more effective at getting that done. we've called upon the coast guard time and time again when we have a crisis. i represent the house in all of our efforts back during cra trampolinea and rita and i worked very closely with all the entities in order to get that done. i think we did a pretty good job back then and i think it's going to take that kind of organized effort today. so the coast guard, i believe, will be the way to go.
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>> of course as many are watching with the states verifying this election and what could take place in the house and senate, how do you gauge what will happen and the effect it's going to have on the house's ability to work with republicans going forward? mr. clyburn: it depends on the republicans. we've demonstrated time and time again we wish to work in a bipartisanship way on behalf of the american people. you'll never see house members going to the extent that we hear many republicans talking about. this democracy is too important to the world. it is very important to our continued existence as one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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that cannot be allowed to get sidetracked. we are in pursuit of a more perfect union and we believe the way to do it is at the heads of the constitutional principles that kept this country together thus far and i for one, they're familiar with the fact we have not been perfect but should remain in pursuit of perfection. greta: the democratic majority whip jim clyburn on the washington journal talking about working with a majority. the 117th congress is underway on c-span and watching the house floor par taking in a quorum call and have to have every member vote they're present and each of them received their new voting cards for the 117th congress. we're watching them come into
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the chamber in groups of 72 because of covid-19. they're taking those precautions. they have to wear a mask. they need to vote and then are asked to quickly leave the chamber and go back to their offices, no congregating or talking in order to keep that social distance. that happening here this afternoon and continues throughout the day and happening next is the election for the speaker of the house. mack green has been with us today to talk about that and how it all takes place. mack green, after the speaker is elected, then what happens? prof. green: so after the peaker is elected, the speaker is officially sworn in by the dean of the house of representatives, whoever served the longest in the house. in this case congressman don young from alaska. en once the speaker is sworn
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in, then the speaker swares in the members, the newly elected members of the house of representatives. which with the quorum call will take time because only groups of 72 are allowed to come to the floor at once. then what happens is the house continues electing other officers and eventually they will adopt their rules which will probably happen tomorrow and at some point the congress will pass the resolution to meet jointly to count another electoral votes for the presidential election. greta: the speaker will also give a speech. is that a tradition that's always taken place. prof. green: a tradition for many, many years, yes. it's an opportunity to watch the speaker and an opportunity to do several things.
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she can set her legislative agenda, things she wants congress to do the next if two years and her role of speaker and what the job means and it's a way to also give a state of the union address and comment on where things are in congress and so forth. it's an important speech and is one that speakers who are elected traditionally give. greta: another twist today is iowa's second district. explain for our viewers who haven't been paying attention to this race. prof. green: in is -- this is a race that was extremely close. in fact, that plus the new york race you mentioned earlier thanks to two very close house races and you never see house race this is close especially congress. we have the republican sort of officially declared the winner
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by the state but by very, very, very narrow margins. the democratic candidate disagreeing with that. so the republican, congresswoman elect for now, miller meeks, will be seated by the speaker but seated provisionally. meaning the house may investigate the election further. the constitution allows congress and members of congress and house and senate to ultimately determine the outcomes of elections, determine who is qualified to occupy seats. and so this is unclear what will happen. but it's possible that the house will look into the election in how the ballots were counted and may come to its own determination who ultimately won this race. greta: you mentioned before the rules package is part of the first day of a new congress. what is it and why do they typically do that on the first
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day? prof. green: it is a set of rules the house will follow for the next two years for the next congress. it's very important because without those rules, there's a lot of things that can't get done in the house of representatives. a number of rules have been adopted over time to make the house able to do its business and there may be changed made by certain parties in terms of what ists and governing rules can be brought to the floor and has to be adopted because after an election to the house of representatives you have a new congress with an not all new seats, members but new seats and the house has to figure out how will it govern itself and why the rules are adopted either in the first day or likely the case in this particular because it's ow
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taking longer to vote quorum calls and vote for speaker. greta: who has a say when the rules and make they look like? prof. green: the general pratt house has followed since the 1970's is the rules are written by the majority party. they sit down and leaders and members decide what the rules may be and what they may be compared to the previous congress and then write them up as a resolution and bring to he floor of the house. the republicans are allowed to write their own rules and suggest amendments to the rules in this case the democrats have proposed. again, as election for speaker you rarely see defections and usually the majority party wins and in effect the majority party in the house writes the rules for each congress.
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greta: let's listen to the rule chair, jim mcgovern, the congressman from massachusetts on washington journal this morning and here's what he had to say about the new rules for the new congress. >> there's voting when it comes to the rules package like coronavirus and climate, budget limits are going to be modified, can you explain that? >> well, we have emergencies. the coronavirus is an emergency. we need to make sure we move heaven and earth to make sure all resources are available to help states combat this virus and get the vaccine out. on the climate crisis this is a huge challenge for the united states and world and we need to think bold and move forward in doing something real. >> no budget limits for those specific efforts. >> we want to remove any constraint that would
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essentially be a disincentive for doing something big. >> you hear from republicans or moderate democrats for concerns of spending in light of those issues you brought up with no budget limits. >> there's not no budget limits on everything. he bottom line is we adhered to this thing called tago and more fiscally responsible than the republicans were in control and passed huge tax cuts for huge corporations and millionaires and added to our debt. it's our view we can't see the economy recover until we crush this virus and our view if we don't deal with the climate crisis, that also will cost us enormously in the future. >> representative, there have been several stories about the upcoming rules package particularly this idea of eliminating gender terms going forward. can you talk about how that came about? >> basically we want our rules
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package to reflect the current reality. rules ears back, all the were related to men. i don't understand what the big deal is here. it's basically reflecting the reality we're living in right now and making sure we are accurate, succinct and to the point. i heard someone say it means you can't refer to yourself a mother or daughter or sister or mother or daughter on the floor. that's ridiculous. that's one of the legacies of trumpism, when you don't want to talk with dealing with the economy or something else you make things up and this is how the rules written reflect who we are. >> how does it work going forward if this is passed? >> basically in the rules package it will refer to nstead of ombudsman we'll --
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ombuds and instead of mother or father we'll talk about parents. but in terms of what people want to put on social media can do whatever they want to do. this is much to do about nothing and the right wing looking for something to get people up about so they don't have to talk about the mismanagement of this white house or quite frankly the attempt to undermine the rule of the people with regard to the last election. >> we'll see if we're right with a committee on fairness and growth. can you talk about that? >> the speaker thought it was important for us to focus on the issue of economic inequality and disparity. one thing the coronavirus has shown us is that there's a great disparity in this country that existed well before this virus so we need to figure out a way to address that. also in this rules package, our instructions for committees to put in as part of their oversight plan how they're
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going to address issues of inequality and disparity. also, it calls on them to make sure the witnesses they call represent the diversity in this country as well. we're going to focus on the issue of the disparity and economic inequality because it's a major issue confronting this country. >> the witnesses portion, how does that work? >> they'll develop a plan to see how they'll have a diversity in terms of their witnesses. it's not just corporate heads. we need people from every aspect of our society, of every background. we need to listen to all voices, not just those well off and well connected but everybody matters. one of the great things about speaker pelosi and the democratic agenda is in our view nobody in this country is invisible and everyone is important and we need to focus on these issues. >> do you expect the republicans to push back about who they can call to testify?
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>> we're not saying the reps can't propose witnesses but make sure the panels represent the diversity of this country. we need to hear all voices. i said before this virus has shown us the incredible incame all -- inequality and disparity that exists in our country and those disparities existed well before this virus. so we need to try to fix what's wrong in this country. and again, i regret that my republican friends, john alston -- not all of them but many of them want to focus on things that don't matter to the american people but we're going to insist the focus be on addressing those issues of disparity and inequality. >> barring former members who committed crimes on the house floor, what was the genesis of that? >> we believe we should hold ourselves to the highest of standards and if you're a
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member of congress and you've committed a crime related to your service in congress or to your election campaign, you hould not have floor privileges, period. we don't allow those in congress who are lobbyists have floor privileges. we're continuing to raise the bar in terms of our ethical standards in the house and that's a good thing. by the way, a sharp contrast to the way this administration conducted itself. probably the most corrupt administration not only in my lifetime but the history of the country. greta: the rules chairman jim mcgovern talking about the new rules for the congress. you're listening to him and seeing the floor proceedings for this first day of the 117th congress and they're in a quorum call and requires lawmakers to vote present. they have to physically do it, digitally record their presence in washington, something they normally don't have to do.
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after this quorum call, we're expecting they're going to take a break and may take several breaks throughout the day to clean the chamber and then following that is the election of the next speaker of the house p. nancy pelosi has to get the majority of those voting today and those voting for a person by name. if you vote present it doesn't count in the total. lawmakers, ng 431 republicans and democrats, not 435 because you have a couple vacancies and people who have contracted covid-19, lawmakers who are not in washington today because they are obviously quarantining and other protocols are in place because of the pandemic and why today's proceedings are going throughout the day and into the evening p. mack green has been with us came. -- with us today, a professor
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at catholic university in washington. you were listening to the rules chairman. anything stick out to you about the new rules? prof. green: a few things stick out about the rules. there was some discussion of use of gender terms and not a significant aspect of the rules changes. a couple are noteworthy, one mentioned in the interview the change in the pago rules, the pay-as-you-go rules, what the house used last year if you're passing a bill to spend money you have to offset that somewhere else to prevent deficit spending and these new rules have an exception or allow the budget committee chair set exceptions to the legislation related to the coronavirus. this is important for a couple reasons. first, it makes it easier for congress to spend money without having to find ways to offcut
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that with other spending or tax increases. it's also a good example of how the rules of the chamber reflect policy preferences of the governing party and we think of policies to be neutral and what happens in the house is the governing party crafts rules they believe will help them achieve their particular policy goals. in the case of house democrats, for example, they're concerned about the coronavirus and want to put it at the top of their agenda to be able to pass legislation that helps people provide funding for focus who are employed, etc. p. so by changing this rule makes it easier to enact those things. the republicans when in the majority would pass rules that maybe was easy for them to do certain things over others. the other thing that was not mentioned, i didn't know i missed it but it important is the change in the motion to
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recommit which is one opportunity that the minority party has to change legislation. and it is normally guaranteed by the rules the minority party may offer an amendment that may or may not have changes and democrats are worried about these in the past. the republicans have written motions to recommit that have won because some have defected and you can't put any different language in there but returns to the committee and thus killing the bill and is a big change in what the powers have and cherished the motion to recommit and if that's enacted with the rest of the rules tomorrow that will weaken the minority party and give the majority party more power in the house of representatives. greta: normally the rules package would be voted on the same day in opening congress but because this voting takes so long they have to vote in groups of 72 and there's seven groups of 72.
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they're nearing the end right now of this quorum call. the chair will dispense with it shortly. before that happens, let's talk about after today, january 6, what role does congress play in the certification of the november election. prof. green: after the presidential election the house and senate meet jointly and a process in which you have the house and senate meeting. the vice president, in this case it would be mike pence, presides over this joint session and the house and senate each provide two tellers, two from the house, two from the senate, usually a republican and democrat and each take turns reading and confirming the electoral college vote, the certificate they receive from each state and say who won that state's election doral votes based on the certificate. then you go through in alphabet cal order by state and then
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when they're done, whoever has the majority of electoral college votes that are cast becomes the next president of the united states. greta: we've heard from a dozen republican senators and over 140 republicans saying they'll object. how do they object and what will it look like and is that significant? prof. green: as each teller gets up and reads the results from the state they're supposed to read, again, alphabet cal order, any member who is present can stand up and re genetic for those votes but must have in writing a signed objection by a house member and senator, at least one in each chamber, in order for those to be set aside. if that happens the house and senate meet separately and
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debate over the votes cast from the electoral college in that state and vote whether to accept those votes or not. this actually is again something that's been seen in recent elections, individual members get up and protest. it happened four years ago, democrats trying to object to cast for donald trump. there will be one house member and one senator willing to reject to one state's results where in the past you might have a house member and no senator. that means the house and senate will be meeting separately. the numbers are surprising as well. occasionally you might have one or two members in the house and senate who are upset but snors who ozen or so say they want to object and may have house republicans who want
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to object or vote against their results in a state. so a large member of members in the house and senate who expressed opposition so i think we'll see a lively debate in the house and senate as they discuss the votes cast in certain states. greta: what is the chances that they are successful in their objections. prof. green: the chances they are successful are very, very small and very small for a couple reasons. one is that the majority party in the house is the democratic party and these are objections that republicans are raising to votes that were cast for joe biden and kamala harris as vice president. so the democrats are not likely to vote against any state that cast its electoral votes for biden and harris, so democrats and the majority, that's not happening. the senate as you mentioned, the republicans have a very narrow majority in the senate
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but we only know of about a dozen or so senate republicans ho want to object to electoral votes and don't see a majority. you'd need to have all republicans to have a chance of voting to reject electoral votes and we don't see the number. the odds of this actually successfully setting aside electoral votes in any state is very, very small. greta: mack green is professor at catholic university and co-author of choosing leaders in the house of representatives. thank you for your insight and information of this opening day of the 117th congress. prof. green: thanks for having me. greta: let's go to the floor and watch as they finish up the orum call, making sure there is a majority present for the first day of the 117th
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congress.
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greta: opening day of the 117th congress. happening on the floor now is establishing a quorum. they want to snow which lawmakers are here in washington and need to come to the floor physically and digitally record their presence. it stands now at 427. there are still seven members who haven't voted yet according to the tally on the screen. we'll wait and see if we get seven more votes or what will the total number of lawmakers in washington, what will it stand at. that's important because happening after this is the election for the speaker and
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nancy pelosi who wants another term as speaker needs to get the majority of those lawmakers in washington to say her name in order to become speaker. the 117th congress is made up of more women than the previous congresses. you have 27 freshmen, nine democratic and 18 republican women. there are 26 females in the senate. 17 democrats and nine republicans. then here you have 89 democrats and 27 republicans total and comes from the center for women and politics. 143 women serving in the 117's congress, the most ever at one time. previous record for women serving in congress was 127 in 2019. also, 6 a note for military service. 91 veterans, 17 in the senate, 74 in the house.
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that's the lowest level since world war ii and there are 63 republicans and 28 democrats. five women total and 15 freshmen total that are veteran and 13 served in the 19 of r -- 1960's or earlier, 50 served after 2000 and the record is military times and most by state delegation is the state of texas with nine. let's continue to watch as they continue with this quorum call in the house.
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people ere additional to e house who would like record their presence. time has expired. 427 have recorded their presence. a quorum is present. credentials, regular in form, has been received showing the election of the honorable jennifer gonzalez, colon as resident commissioner from the commonwealth of puerto rico for a term of four years beginning january 3, 2021.
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the honorable eleanor holmes norton as delegate from the district of columbia. samnick has f.q. as delegate from guam. the delegate from the virgin island. the delegate from american samoa. and the honor rabble delegate from the commonwealth of the northern mare anna island. the clerk will state that since the last regular election of representatives to the 117th congress a vacancy now exists in the fifth district of the state of louisiana.
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occasioned by the death of the onorable lou letlow. without objection, the house will stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. greta: the house is in a recess on this opening day of the 11 th congress. we expect this to last about 15 minutes. they could take breaks throughout the day periodically because of the pandemic and having to clean the chamber in between the votes. what happened earlier was the quorum vote and that let the clerk as you just heard and speaker of the house nancy pelosi know that there are 427 lawmakers here in washington present and ready to vote for speaker of the house. that's up next, the speaker election. and what will happen after this
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15-minute break is there will be nominations for speaker and they'll be made by the democratic caucus chair and republican conference chair. one will be making a speech obviously for nancy pelosi, the current speaker, and one making for the minority leader kevin mccarthy. before then clerks will appoint tellers. the speaker gives two democratic lawmakers as tellers and the minority leader, kevin mccarthy, gets to point two republicans as tellers and their jobs is counting the votes for speaker because when they start that vote it will take hours because they'll be coming in in groups of 72 and there are seven groups of 72 so it will take hours. when they do that, they come into the chamber and have to say out loud by name who they want to be this next speaker for the 117th congress. they can say someone else's
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name and doesn't have football lawmaker or say present. if nancy pelosi is to become the speaker of congress she needs a majority of those lawmakers here saying her name. if they say present it doesn't count. earlier jake sherman said his vote count of 431 of the 435 possible lawmakers in washington showing up today p. we just saw 427. now, it depends how people vote and whether or not they say present but the speaker of the house needs 2 12. you can see that number shift depending again how they vote. we also learned some who have been exposed to covid-19 but tested negative were allowed to be here in washington in an area of plexy glass was put up
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in the house gallery for those members who have negative tests who were cleared by the physician to come and then allowed to get here to washington to vote today. there are members who are currently in quarantine. the representative from florida had a positive test and the republican of exeafl david rodaeo and gwen more from wisconsin tested positive for covid but announced she's been cleared. representative jim larsen, representative tested positive but said he was clear this morning. and fox news is staying 214 is the magic number for the speaker. that could shift depending how people vote. 214 is the magic number that speaker pelosi needs to serve again as the leader of the
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democratic majority in the house. where why are we here today, 20th amendment, section 2 of congress state congress assemble at least once a year and such meetings begin at noon by the third day of january unless by law they appoint a different day. that is why we are here and we told you several new faces joining the 117th congress and want to introduce you to some of them. before the new congress begins, representative elects have freshman orientation to learn their way around capitol hill and get acquainted with their new job for the next two years. it's also that time each party elects a freshman class president and this year republicans picked stephanie buys to fill that role for the 117th congress and here's part of our conversation with her. >> what led you to run for
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congress? >> i think there's a lot of reasons and i was very successful in the state level and championed a lot of state issues and i know i can make a difference for oklahoma. we were surprised we lost this congressional seat of republicans in 2018 and i really wanted to make sure my conservative values are represented and why i challenged congressman warren. >> you'll be the first iranian member in congress, what does it mean to you? >> my father and i talked a lot about this. i'm an american and an oklahoman. my father is iranian and has immigrated to this country and i know a lot about the history. i never visited the country. i unfortunately don't speak the language either. but i think it's a real representation for me to be able to connect with the iranian american community and let them know there is someone like them serving in congress and build those relationships
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is the most important thing. >> where do your conservative values come from? >> maybe just living in oklahoma. we're a very conservative state. we value liberty and freedom and have been raised in that environment my entire life and i want to continue to support the initiatives. >> what are some of the top initiatives you hope to bring to congress this new year? the number sbice: one is economy and jobs. we're seeing the downturn of because of the covid-19 pandemic continue but in oklahoma we're being hit on from fronts, out only the pandemic, but the softening of glass prices. you've seen several countries across the area file bankruptcy or have mergers because of the
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challenges that we see in the industry, so i want to make sure we're doing everything we can to promote economic development, keep our economy moving with additional b.b.e. targeted pangage and make sure we're allowing our small businesses do what they do best is create jobs and without that everything else is secondary. see the ul we'll rollout of the vaccine help reduce numbers and around this country to a feeling of normalcy in spring of next year. >> you have a husband and two daughters. how do you plan to make that work balance on the hill and oklahoma work. > i'm pressed about an incredible husband and is supportive and my holder o'-- older taut is in deledge and
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any younger daughter is incredibly excited for the opportunity and we've taken the girls to d.c. and my younger daughter loved it and already asked if she can come and stay with me and intern and help out in the office. i think it's going to be an incredible opportunity for her to really see congress in action, learn a little bit more about this country and founding fathers than create in this incredible opportunity i've been given. greta: she is a former state senator and represents oklahoma's fifth district in the house, one of the congressional seats. georgia and from she spoke to us how she got involved in politics at an early age. >> my grandfather was always involved in elections, never missed a vote.
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i remember being a little girl nd being on the back of my grandfather's pickup truck and pick out slate cards to the numbers to learn who they'd vote for. they were all democrats but that's the thing i did and didn't realize it was political and didn't realize the impact it would have on my life and wanting to involve and my great aunt lucy entered the university of alabama and as a child it didn't stand out to me what she did but not until i read in my alabama history book. mom, i see aunt marina is in the history book. that was a powerful moment as well but my conviction is helping those most marginalized. coy from very humble beginnings. i grew up in a home with no indoor plumbing and no running water. i know what it's liking to need
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stral support from our government that we have the services so i can move forward in this country. a little girl from my background able to move to one of the highest offices in the land is not lost upon me and why i'll center those most marginalized in my decision process and making sure i'm uplifting those who came along with me. >> you were raise bid your grandparents, what influence did they have on you? >> everything. my grandparents were my everything. a-d-d.dfather was add, that's just my name. and i rand mother mary often think back to the all the sacrifices they made for he had. they raised nine children and i was the 10th child and they
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raised nine children of their own and raising me, i'm forever grateful for what they instilled in me and the value of education and hard work and never allowing anyone to tell not do you cannot anything. i was told i could accomplish anything. one story, i always made really good grades in school and remember one spelling test in second grade, i made a 100 on the spelling test but didn't get the bonus so i didn't make 110 and my grandmother said if you can make 100, i guarantee you that you can make 110. i never came back without a 110 after that. i was taught from the beginning to give everything at my best and achieve anything i want. >> what advice did they give you that still stays with you today? >> never settle.
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never let anyone tell you that you can't do something. my grandmother always said if you stay ready you'll be ready and what i did to succeed in congress. i was ready. sometimes you don't choose the moment, the moments choose you and that's exactly what happened to me. >> what are your concerns, fierce, worries about serving in the u.s. house? >> not willing for some to look at those living on the mark in our society. i can't control the way other people vote or can't control what other people will do and now they'ller in their addition making progress. as a mom, i have a 5-year-old son in virtual kindergarten. my concern is we don't get this right for our children.
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we don't get this right for them to get back to school safely. i'm doing everything in my power because our children deserve people willing to fight for them. and looking at this covid-19 pandemic and what we're up against, we have a lot to do and is on top of my priority list to get a national response from the pandemic to discuss the health concerns that covid has shined the spot light on and get our kids back to school safely. >> what are you most excited about? >> most excited about coming into congress with a democratic majority in the house, no matter how small. a ple keep saying it's margin of success. and it doesn't mear. coming from the three years i served in the state senate we were in the minority and not a close minority.
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there were lots of fights we didn't have a fighting chance for and i'm excited about getting to congress and being in the majority and learning from people like speaker pelosi who lived their lives fighting for those living on the margins of our society. we have a democratic president coming in and the possibility of having a democratically controlled senate and a lot of work we can get done for the american people. reta: freshman nikema williams representing the fifth district which includes most of atlanta and is one of 59 freshmen for this 117th congress. we continue here on c-span with our coverage of opening day for this new can congress. they're in recess and expect them to come back any minute and they have a lengthy day
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about them because the day they have to go after orme proceedings and can do in the next few hours but according to the schedule "out of the box" by the democratic leader nancy pelosi, we're looking at all day possibly until 9:00 p.m. but right now they're running 45 minutes ahead of schedule and see if he had it keep that up. here is the balance of power, 222 democrats and 211 republicans. there's two vacancies at this point. new york's 22nd district where the race is still undecided etween nick congressman eric rendezzi and nancy len bring and ran to get the seat back. only 29 votes separating the two with the former
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congresswoman in the lead. there are several ballots being contested by both candidates. the fifth congressal district you heard left open by the representative at the chest, luke letlow died with complications of covid-19. the congress is going to lose a few members as well because president-elect joe biden has asked three of them to join his administration. cedric richman, a democrat of lazy. they'll be george in and leave the sets open. he's going to become senior advisor to the president election. and then fudge is elected. nd deb haaland nominated interim secretary and if confirmed would be the first
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native american to serve in that role. again, we're waiting for the house to come back out of their recess. when they do they'll move on to election of the speaker. and what we're expecting is that the congressional caucus chair, along about the republican conference chair, they're going to be giving their speaker nomination remarks. and of course the democratic caucus chair will be delivering remarks for the democratic leader nancy pelosi and the conference chair for the leader of the house minority leader kevin mccarthy. they're in a blah so they can clean the chamber. when they go to a break we'll go to the house at that point. before voting occurs for the speaker, the clerk is going to appoint tellers. picks ck leaders, they
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two democrats to deserve as the let counters and republicans pick two their own. they count the votes and listen to the lawmakers coming to the claimer with and -- chamber and say somebody's name or say present. as we've been telling you all day, nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, if she wants to serve as speaker for the 117th congress, she needs majority of the lawmakers here in washington today saying her name to become the speaker. they'll be voting in groups of 72. same as the quorum roll call. ch member will verbally tate chair choice and after the speaker is finished they'll select lawmakers from the dias and if she wins she'll be
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escorted by james clyburn the majority whip, katrina rin with ho sbembs as along other leaders of the democratic party and then we expect to see kevin mccarthy, the republican leader, hand the gavel to nancy pelosi before she makes her address. that's what we can expect in the coming hours today. before the speaker addresses, she'll be kers served in by the dean of the house, the longest serving member, don in alaska, first elected 1973. once the speaker is worn in she'll conduct the wearing in and can be conducted with the first group being all fresh ann members.
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after that the groupsily be divided alphabetically for the returning members so watch for that later this afternoon as well. they are cleaning the chamber right now. when they are finished, they'll come out of this practice and they will reconvene the 117th congress. until we see that, though, let me show you a bit of our terview with a reporter on capitol hill and talked about the election. >> he serve as their congressional reporter. thanks for joining us this day. >> good morning. >> we heard about speaker and her duties, let's talk about the technicalities to determine another term as house speaker. >> number one, she was not expected to be in such a tight situation in terms of the democratic majority margin. we're looking at 222 votes for the democrats to about 211
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seats for the republicans. he had had expected to enjoy the majorities in the last elections in november. that would bes a they lost 13 democratic seats which was a deadly blow which was -- went to her ability to manage the house of representatives and will manifest itself in this speaker vote and she has very tight margins to maneuver and really no room for error. that means two years ago she had 15 democrats defect from her and vote against her for speaker and vote present or vote for somebody else and won't be able to afford 15 defections and already we're hearing from a handful of moderate democrats, eric bolden
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of maine said they won't vote for her and doesn't leave much room for anyone else to defect. we're also hearing from a handful of progressive insurgents like jamaal bowman in new york and cory busch in missouri and they've not committed to voting no speaker pells either. the other big thing to watch is the coronavirus and though pelosi is exuding a lot of confidence about this vote today, what she has privately told people, democrats on a conference call recently, is appoint -19 is her and running unchallenged but voted to covid as a real hindrance for her because of the possibility of absences could cause. already glenn moore has said positive in several
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days and will miss the speaker vote. what she fierce and other democrats fear slt nightmare scenario of covid outbreaks string the house and take down a number of sidelines house democrats whord to miss the te and would put kevin mccarthy to win the speakership in that unfolds. >> if those trends emerge there's a contingency plan as far as the vote itself? >> i've not heard of any contingency plan. what would trackly happen if she was unable to secure the 218 votes for the jimple majority of votes of all the voting members today. at would happen is it nobody
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was able to secure the 218 it could go to additional rounds of voting and we haven't seen this situation before and a lot of people i think are olding their breath. >> and the election for the speaker of the 11th congress is moments away here as we wait for the house to reconvene and are in a break to clean the chamber and will back and where they'll move to next on this circumstance. the democratic leader nancy pelosi is the seventh person to serve as speaker in nonconsecutive terms. 80 years old, first elected in 1987 and first and only woman to serve as speaker of the house. the leader for the republicans, kevin mccarthy, is expected to get votes from the republican lawmakers today when they take a vote for speaker.
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republican of california, age 55, he's been the minority leader since 2019. he elected in 2006 and was the second lieutenant under former speaker john boehner and former speaker paul ryan of c-span's coverage continues here on the 117th opening day of the house. over on c-span 2 is opening day for the senate and can you watch that over there. also go to our website, c-span.org or if you're out and about and need to leave to go about your day you can listen with the free c-span radio app as well. we've been introducing you to some of the new faces. jake is a democrat. he is one of 74 veterans in the house of representatives. 156 them are freshmen and we spoke to him about his military
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service and how he thinks that experience will help him in congress. >> the honor of my life to serve americans in the pursuit of a common mission. unfortunately it was a visceral realization of the futility of our mission was worse. the peace deal we're brokering is a worse deal we could have gotten and is a national embarrassment to 19 years we spent in afghanistan and 16 years in iraq which have accomplished nothing. we need to end the failed wars and stop the spigot of money up to $6 trillion of failed spending. we need to bring the resource home to invest in climate solution. climate change is a national security threat and if we had launched the same multigeneration alley mission of climate change we launched
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in afghanistan, the far along we would be. >> what did you see in afghanistan and with a impact did it have on you? >> i saw a rudderless mission and great americans working together in pursuit of a mission undefined and unachievable. the u.s. inspector general said it itself, the american people have constantly been lied to and on the ground the lives claimed defeat. we did not know what we were trying to accomplish but did know it was not -- nation building in afghanistan is not going to be a successful endeavor. we have weak liability in the middle east. one the security of israel and two that no terrorist camps in that area can have imminent capability to strike the united states and three, maritime congress should be unmolested and can accomplish all three without expensive nation building exercises and we have to focus national security towards the pacific and particularly in china,
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containing their ambitions to extend their influence up and down the east pacific. that is the core national priority, not central asia nor iraq. >> why did your military service bring you to panama in 2014? >> i joined the marine corps special operations division and in that capacity i deployed to panama as head of a multinational training mission, the columbia and special operators to turn the panamanian force in how to do drug patrols and would be an example of an american military force best deployed and embedded with the host country that wanted us there and imparted best in class training did ctics and we interdict drug smuggling without expense of american lives or expenditure of american dollars. >> congresswoman, you're 32 years old, what do you think all these experiences you've
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had at this age and your youth brings to the table in washington? >> i've had experience in the military and business and local government bringing people together to get things done. that's what my constituents want to see, bringing people together to get our biggest challenges resolved. as a millennial, i'm well positioned to take on the defining challenges of our division of climate change and how do we fight with clean energy and create jobs that include everybody. how do we truly address racism in a country that works for all communities of color and working families and women and everybody who is not included in this great american experiment? how do we take on gun safety? as a veteran, i think i have a platform to speak about the fact nobody needso to own a weapon of war. these are challenges that will
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inspire me as i work in congress and these are challenges i think will be the defining hallmarks of i had career. >> c-span's washington journal every day. we're taking your calls live on the air on news of the day and we'll discuss policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, we'll look at the week ahead for congress and how it's looking for the incoming biden administration with the shington post jacqueline alomeny and we'll talk about congress and incoming administration. watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, face wook comments, text messages and tweets. >> president trump travels to georgia in a rally in support of senators david perdue and kelly loeffler both both facing
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runoff elections tuesday and the race will determine which party controls the senate. watch the rally live from the city of dalton in northern georgia starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. online@c-span.org or listen on the free c pan radio app. >> california congressman speaker nancy pelosi was elected as speaker of the house and democrats control 222 house seats and republicans have 211. there are two vacancies in new york's 22nd district and louisiana's fifth district. speaker pelosi spoke on the floor after being elected. >> clerk recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffrey.

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