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tv   House Democratic Leaders Hold News Conference  CSPAN  February 26, 2020 4:43pm-5:03pm EST

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mr. jeffries: there will be legislation to deal with the epidemic and e-cigarettes that are targeting young people, communities of color in a way that has devastating health consequences and of course, most importantly, as we will hear from momentarily, we heard from the lobbyists on the importance of the continued fight to protect health care for every day americans. our fight to protect people with pre-existing conditions to lower health care costs to increased access for every single american to high quality affordable
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health care is not a paper fight, but a fight with real-life consequences. that is why the presentation from the lobbyists earlier and their presence has been has been so meaningful to us because this is an administration that has attacked the health care of everyday americans from day one. and has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of children from their health care providers in a meaningful way as a recent study just confirmed. we'll hear from them momentarily. but i'll yield to our vice chair. ms. clarke: i want to underscore what we heard from the president in the state of the union was that he was going to protect pre-existing conditions. pre-existing conditions are
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exactly what the little lobbyists have and why they are here with their moms fighting for the a.c.a., fighting for health care for everyone. you cannot say you are protecting people with pre-existing conditions and be in federal court trying to undo the a.c.a. those two things do not work together. in addition, we have seen in the trump administration budget, a $900 billion cut to medicaid, half a trillion in medicare and billions from social security. and in the face of the coronavirus, $700 million cut to the c.d.c. these are the issues that the democrats have been fighting for. we understand that just as the chairman said, these are real children, real families with real hopes for the future for all of them and that we use our
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health care system to make sure they have many, many birthdays in the future. and this with that, we will turn it over to the little lobbyists. >> thank. good morning, members of the press. my name is elena with my daughter. on behalf of little lobbyists, we are a family-led group of families advocating for our children with complex medical needs and disabilities and we are here because of the threats to health care that our children need to survive. i spent the first five months of her life in the neonatal and born with serious medical conditions affecting her airways and uses a tube to breathe and a
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feeding tube for her nutrition and a wheelchair to get around. i'm thrilled to tell you that she is thriving today. she is happy, kind, funny, clever, a little bit naughty. she goes to school and loves to play and loves to meet new friends and go to the playground and read books and paint and that's all because of her access to affordable quality health care. we are here today because there are millions of families like ours because of our future because of this administration's relentless attack on our health care and disability community. most recently, the president's budget included a $1 trillion cut to medicaid and affordable care act. there are children with pre-existing conditions and many of the children had extended
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hospital stays or will require life-long care costing over $1 million or more before leaving the hospital, just like my daughter. before the a.c.a., 59% of workers with an employer plan had a lifetime limit. if the a.c.a. is gone, lifetime limits would come back making our kids uninsureable and that is literally the difference between life and death. many of our children with complex medical needs rely on medicaid which help pay what insurance doesn't cover including home therapies. and they propose block granting which limits the funding a state receives to a set amount regardless of how much is needed by medicaid recipients resulting in devastating consequences. our children, the little lobbyist children deserve a
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chance to be kids and grow up. reject the president's budget and reject the cuts to a.c.a. and medicaid and protect and support our children, children with pre-existing conditions. thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you today. mr. jeffries: thank you for your tremendous advocacy and your talents and energy, intellectual wisdom on behalf of not just your daughter but children like her all across the country. when house democrats say that we are fighting to lower health care costs, when house democrats say we are fighting to strengthen the affordable care act, when house democrats say we are fighting to protect more than 100 million americans with pre-existing conditions, we mean it. and we mean it because children
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like your daughter and we are just not fighting on a democratic or republican issue this is an american issue. it's a life-or-death issue and that's why we are committed. health care, health care, health care on behalf of every day americans. let me now yield for any questions. [indiscernible question] mr. jeffries: we are willing to work with republicans to strengthen the affordable care act which is the law that is currently in place. and the notion that senator mcconnell, senate republicans,
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house republicans and president trump would somehow come up with a magical plan to protect people with pre-existing conditions when they have been determined for 10 years to repeal the affordable care act and we don't see an alternative plan. they don't have a plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. they have a plan to repeal and displace children. that's their plan. and so we are committed to this fight until the very end and we believe that the overwhelming majority of the american people are with us. [indiscernible question] mr. jeffries: i'm going to yield to katherine clarke to this
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question. i will yield to her. but i haven't taken a position. on the presidential race. i'm egress iffle neutral. anybody who emerges would be better than the current occupant of 1600 pennsylvania avenue who is a total disgrace in my opinion. if bernie sanders emerges as the nominee or joe biden emerges and all points in between, i plan to support that nominee. [indiscernible question] mr. jeffries: we are committed to protecting and defending the house of representatives. more to come on that. ms. clarke: the strength of our house members and they realize is the connection back home to the voters in the individual districts and the priority they have placed protecting health care. and poll after poll shows that
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health care, even for our youngest, newest voters is the predominant issue. and what we have today is that example. this isn't just about polling or , you know, different debate topics, this is an impact on real people's lives and members those in tough districts since they were sworn into office is go home, talk to people, hold town halls, be available. that is why they are going to be successful in the fall. it's that connection and the priorities of the for the people agenda. health care, creating great jobs and getting corruption and big money out of politics. [indiscernible question] mr. jeffries: i think we are
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concerned with the outbreak of the coronavirus all across the world and watching the efforts to protect and defend the american people from any potential outbreak here in this country, whether that's new york or the other 49 states and all of our territories. there was no specific discussion earlier today in the caucus meeting about the administration's request. our personal view is that it is inadequate and that the administration appears to have been caught off guard as it relates to the coronavirus and hopefully turns things around. representative clarke is a member of the appropriations committee and has more to add. ms. clarke: i will be going to a hearing with secretary azar and will be asking some tough questions about this administration's preparation, not only for coronavirus but how they left our country vulnerable
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to pandemics. this is not something you can address when one hits. it is something you need to plan for. it is public health prevention and it is vital to our national security. and we have seen this administration do is take out the coordinating pieces and the proposal to make dramatic cuts. $700 million to the c.d.c. and come back now at this point and say we would like $1.25 billion in additional funding but we are $1.25 o take another billions from other areas of the dget that need our help as well. low-income energy assistance program that helps people heat and cool their homes. you need to have plans and
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coordination in place and you have to fund agencies over a period of years so we are ready to address this crisis. [indiscernible question] ms. clark: the response of this administration is a true threat to the national security and health of americans. indiscernible] mr. jeffries: so, we picked up 40 seats in a historic blue wave election to regain control of
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the house of representatives dealing with voter suppression, a flood of outside money from hard-right groups as well as extremely gerry meandered lines and picked up 40 seats in a historic blue wave election. what was the agenda that we ran on in order to win? we are going to fight for the people and lower health care costs and protect people with pre-existing conditions and focus on driving the high could cost of prescription drugs and increase pay for every day americans and work on a real infrastructure plan to fix our umbling roads, tunnels and transportation system and strengthen our democracy and bring it to life for every day americans. so we were very clear on our
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agenda in 2018. and the american people gave us the majority. so our responsibility, as our members have been doing, is to keep the promises that we specifically made to the american people in a fully transparent for the people agenda. . . reporter: [indiscernible] mr. jeffries: there have been ongoing conversations with the white house from the beginning of last year to try to reach common ground on a meaningful infrastructure plan. and we still hope to find common ground with them, as we've done in many other areas. we've worked with the white house on criminal justice reform. we've worked with the white house on the u.s.-mexico-canada trade agreement. we worked with the white house on paid family medical leave for military families. and millions of federal government employees.
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we're always willing to find common ground, get something done with the white house and the senate on behalf of the american people. and infrastructure is no different. reporter: [indiscernible] -- bernie sanders was at the top of the ticket, everybody expects the speaker -- [indiscernible] -- ur response to [indiscernible] -- mr. jeffries: i look forward to renominating speaker nancy pelosi on the floor of the united states house of representatives in january of 2021 and making it clear that house democrats are still down ith n.d.p. all right. let me just mention in closing that i want to thank elena. i want to thank the little lobbyists. i want to thank siamara whose name means ready for battle. and from the very beginning of her life she's been ready for
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battle. the little lobbyists are ready for battle. the house democratic caucus is ready for battle. for the people. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020]

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