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tv   House Democrats News Conference on Policy Agenda  CSPAN  October 16, 2019 10:24am-10:43am EDT

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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess
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>> we now know america is strong because we have friends. since the end of world war ii, it alone.o we have friends. e have partners, we have allies. and that is a huge source of our strength. i have seen it firsthand on the for d fighting overseas this country. but the bottom line is the reckless decision of this a very clear s message to those friends and to those partners. is the american handshake doesn't matter. hat we won't be there for you when you need us. and that's a dangerous message
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much harder to recruit partners, recruit allies and work with people going forward to secure our country. as andy just mentioned, we just returned from a delegation trip middle east where we heard directly from our diplomats, our intelligence officers, and our top military commanders. they described to us and recon ed to us of isis city tuitting and going back to he battlefield, expressing concern of the 11,000 isis fighters going in these surrounded by , razor wire that are currently unsecured or becoming unsecured. couple know in the last days several hundred isis sympathizers escaped. this is a huge danger to america, to our national security. we are in a much worse position than we were two weeks ago. america is less safe. i'll end with this -- i learned time ago an army that you don't do anything without a plan
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nd without consulting your allies. o mr. president, what is your plan? the american people and congress know, h how you are going to keep our country safe, how you will build our alliances and partnerships and move us forward. >> let me just thank congressman congressman kim, congresswoman tra congresswoman torres small. jeffers jeffers we're -- mr. jeffries: we're thankful for the and rship and thought intellect that they bring to the caucus. it's a benefit to the caucus, importantly, it's a benefit to the congress and to the country. nd we appreciate their leadership of the national force.y tefk with th -- national security task
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force. with that, questions. [laughter] jeffries: jo. reporter: so the republicans forcefully that the inquiry into impeachment is not without a vote. public you convince the that it is indeet legitimate? the ot take a vote on house -- that is indeed legitimate? why not take a vote on the house floor? mr. jeffries: we are in the rocess of communicating to the american people of telling the done by the president. donald trump betrayed his oath of office. he abused his power. y pressuring a foreign leader to target an american citizen gain and withheld 391 million in aid to
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accomplish that invidious objective. abuse of power. abuse it betrays and undermines our national security as well as the integrity of our elections by oliciting foreign interference in the 2020 election. that is the issue. understanding that my colleagues on the other side are strict constructionalists. they believe in the original of the united states constitution. there is nothing in the united constitution that requires the house of vote on an ves to impeachment inquiry. supreme nothing in court precedent. there is nothing in the federal of procedure. here is nothing in the house rules. hey are unable to defend the
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indefensible, and so the about cans are arguing cosmetic procedural matters and the grave national security concerns that were the president's abhorrent behavior. subpoena naubl naubl ower -- [inaudible] subpoena power. at jeffries: if you look house resolution 81 which was passed in 1998 be and that's the resolution which presumably establishes precedent related to subpoena power. is that authority the committee may be exercised by the chairman and acting ing member jointly or if either declines to other acting alone --
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here's the key -- except that in declines.either so either shall have the right to efer to the committee for decision. the question whether such authority shall be so exercised shall be mmittee convened promptly to render that decision. what does that mean? that means that according to the resolution that the house passed in majority 1998 related to the impeachment it launched that either the committee chair and to come ng member had together and agree to issue a subpoena, but if the committee pursuant to the ranking member's request, the have an ember didn't automatic right to issue a time.ena at that point in
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they had to take a vote before the committee of jurisdiction. that's the resolution. that the house republicans are pointing to. so what do the rules of the say? committee generally -- this is 10-a of the all committee's rules -- subpoenas shall be authorized by the chair of the full committee consultation with the ranking minority member or by vote of the full committee. the difference? there is no difference. he republican minority has the same exact subpoena power now house democratic minority had during the clinton impeachment proceedings. so why are we having this because the
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republicans can't defend the indefensible. this is about national security. this is about abuse of power. this is about betrayal. this is about the integrity of our elections. this is about the united states constitution. reporter: hong kong related bills. they wouldchina said have massive retaliation. what's your reaction to china saying that? that give you pause having it enacted? have you heard from the senate? jeffries: we have not heard from the senate, but i think it's important for the house to it relates will as to what is taking place. that's what we did last night. we hope to find common ground with the senate and we hope we'll move forward. i don't know if katherine or our ational security folks want to add. reporter: i know you talked about the seriousness about the syria issue and the handshake. you talked about other policy issues. obviously impeachment is a very and issue for the caucus what people [inaudible] in a macropolitical way that the
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considering how serious syria is actually gives you an pportunity to actually talk about something others and other problems with the president nd -- at the present and does that does not address impeachment but these foreign olicy issues -- you brought your national security folks talk about that rather than impeachment. mr. jeffries: we said we'll the business of the american people as it relates to our domestic policy responsibilities and our foreign responsibilities. we are actively moving forward agenda" or the people as it relates to lowering health are costs, with the focus on prescription drug pricing. we want to have a real fixes ructure plan that our crumbling bridges and we want to get a yes on the yums. yes on the time -- usmca. at the same time dealing syria.e issues in
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>> yeah. i rejected the false choice that e have to choose between our oversight obligations and protecting national security and moving forward on things like drugs.iption the constitution envisions a congress that can and must do all of those things. that's what we're doing. we're going to exercise our oversight responsibility, maintain the checks and balances. we will address national security threats as they arise and we're going to move forward thate kitchen table issues america needs us to move forward on. when i got back from i trip to the middle east, had a town hall on afghanistan in the district, and i tell you, it was a packed room. there are very concerned what's happening on the national security front. in the last two weeks, the issue i got questions about from people in the district was about their oncerns what happened with syria and turkey. i think they see this as an global of where american leadership is right now. they see it in the example of the recklessness of this
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policy t's foreign decisionmaking process. and it worries them greatly not issue but any number of other issues that might come up going forward. don't feel like they are in good hands right now. reporter: the essence to the is the public, you think the number one issue was bout syria, that the public perceives the democrats are just trying to impeach and there are these other key issues to talk about, whether it's prescription, usmca, firearms, gets drowned out because of the impeachment conversation. mr. jeffries: we have an ability as long as we continue to focus table, pocketbook issues of the importance to the backcan people when we are at home as well as the national security issues of concern when as our ck at home members did in an extraordinary fashion over the last two weeks make sure that the people
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ultimately understand what the house democratic caucus is all about. which is to get things done, to ground where possible, to move things over in the best interest of everyday americans. we're doing. in the previous two years, much of the discussion inside of the centered on the mueller investigation. the mid-term , elections were about health care. why? we had members, then andy ates like jason crow shoeshlle -- antonio delgado, the list goes on and on talking about kitchen table, pocketbook issues. what we're all about. that's what we're continuing to place our faith in people.ican
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ms. cla reporter: is there anything that toy can do besides sanctions course correct legislatively? as you know later on today there will be a white house conversation that is going nature, thatisan in speaker pelosi, steny hoyer, i elieve jim clyburn as well as chairman engel and chairman smith, i think, are participating in. american people across the deological spectrum have clearly indicated that the ctions that the president has taken in abandoning our ally and position of four are rent entities that russia, -- iran, assad, and isis -- is reckless and
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rresponsible and we are going to do everything we can pursuant to the authority that we have as branch te and co-equal of government to turn the situation around. clark: i'd just like to add the resolution also has another purpose besides directly trying influence the actions of urkey, and that is to say to our allies around the globe that the united states congress our president t has done. nd that he has betrayed the kurds. and that sends a very dangerous world, as ound the congressman crow said, that you can't trust us. and we are hoping with this resolution, not only to be able but to give sure, that signal to world leaders congress nited states understands the dangerousness of the course that this president put us on. and we want to restore the good united d name of the
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states. reporter: do you think the president's conduct in syria you -- bolsters your case that the president needs to be impeached? mr. jeffries: no. we connected one with the other. the facts speak for themselves as it relates to the president's conduct in terms of syria and turkey, reckless and an sponsible, jeopardizing ally, enhancing the position of four different enemies. the actions of the president as it relates to the trump-ukraine speaks for themselves. f the timeline speaks for itself. all right. ongress, in a bipartisan way, authorized $391 million in aid to thed economic ukraine. ukraine is a friend. russia is a foe.
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ukraine is a democracy. russia is a dictatorship. currently under attack by russian-backed separatists. the united states is probably the only thing standing between putin and ukraine being completely run over by russia. that context, ukraine is vulnerable. yet, $391 million in aid was high-pressure tactic. february, the trump administration wrote to us in congress and said that aid is on the way. it never arrived. may, the department of defense wrote to congress and the way and is on for ecessary preconditions the receipt of the aid have been the including
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implementation of nticorruption -- anti-corruption protocols by the ukrainian administration. the aid never arrived. wice during the summer mitch mcconnell called up the administration and asked about the aid. got a satisfactory nswer, because there is no legitimate answer. president ly 25, the pressures a foreign power to citizen for rican political gain. ukrainian president appears to agree, buckling to the of the withheld aid. subsequently, thereafter, the aid is finally released. an abuse of power, and timeline of the president's
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actions, the betrayal speaks for itself. congress has a responsibility to legislate. the need to litigate. constitutional obligation to investigate. all three, and we will do it well. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> and the house will take up that resolution, opposing the withdrawal from syria. live coverage when they're back at noon eastern. you the news ow conference with republican leadership that wrapped up just a few minutes ago.


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