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Nancy Pelosi
  House Speaker Pelosi Holds News Conference  CSPAN  August 22, 2020 7:04pm-7:32pm EDT

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monday on c-span two. watch live coverage monday on c-span2, on demand at, or listen live wherever you are with the free c-span radio app. house speaker nancy pelosi held a briefing on the legislative agenda after the house was called back into session to work on a bill to fund the u.s. postal service. the speaker addressed criticisms of the post office. good afternoon. we are just contemplating whether this is the first time we have ever done this on a saturday. thank you for being here on a saturday. i am so proud of our members who are here to protect the post office. before i go into that, i want to say what a sad time it is across the country with the storms butng and the rest, what --
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with my own personal experience in the state of california. burning thefires lay of the land, the size of the state of rhode island. we think our firefighters for their courage, our first andonders for their courage community service. it is so sad. i remember when we had the fires , we said the smoke will not exceed the love we have for each other, to come to each other's support. it is very sad. governor, governor newsom, for his leadership, that he and i and all of us, like thompson, whose district is very effective, we all salute our firefighters. we just came out of the convention, as you know, and i
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am very proud of the values that were presented. come remarks, i said we together not to decry the darkness but to light away forward for our country. that was my statement but i was parteased it was so much a of our nominees statement. come to shine a light forward for a postal system. most people don't know -- perhaps you do -- how significant the postal service was in the establishment of our country. has been asime, it american as apple pie, motherhood, a spell, you name it. people support the postal system and there is no agency of the government that can make that claim. it is a service, a postal
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service. so when people say it does not pay its own way, it is not a business, it is a service. while we want to subject every dollar to the scrutiny of what we are getting for it, let us remember that it is a service. no business i can think of what ever be saddled with what we have done to the postal service, passed-- in 2006 a bill saying the postal service should pay 75 years of its health benefits and 10 years. 75 years of its health benefits in 10 years. that is a responsibility i don't meet most businesses could and also come out on top. earlier this year, mr. defazio put forth a bill to limit what
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that is. when they say it doesn't pay -- we had to do these cuts and those cuts -- we are cutting service. not weak, but the new postmaster general. so we have called our members back for legislation that allocates the resources, $25 billion, that were recommended by the board of governors at the postal service. a board thatrd -- is bipartisan and 100% appointed by president donald trump, and they recommended the $25 billion. actually, they recommended more, which we will have and other bills. that is part of this legislation. it is also necessary for us to have this legislation because in my conversations with the postmaster general, which were most unsatisfactory, he said he had no intention of restoring
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the post office boxes removed, no intention of restoring the sorting machines and other infrastructure very essential to keep bringing the mail on time. when i suggested we have the aslots and election treated first class mail, he said he had no intention of doing that, but if it was in the bill, he would. yesterday he is now saying he will. ,ut to make sure that happens because of his comments, are one thing. his actions will be another. that's why we have this legislation. we will talk about it on the floor. of thetinguished chair committee of jurisdiction will be making her presentation as soon as the vote is over at 1:00. and we will have more to say. fori think it is good
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people to take the pride it does , letters to santa, messages from the tooth fairy, families communicating. i know people are doing some things on social media and that is good, but as a grandmother, i can tell you there is no substitute to a drawing or note from your grandchild through the mail. cultureortant is our and our health. 1.2 billion subscriptions sent through the mail in 2019. 90% depending on the figures, and we are trying to verify them but at least 80% of these prescriptions sent from the v.a. through the mail. when the mail slows down, the medication slows down and the health of our veterans is affected and that too we are hearing is affected from the mail slowing down.
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that's what we have to address today, and again, we will go over all of the provisions in the bill for slope -- for stopping the slowing down of the mail. now the postmaster general is saying we will not do any of this until after the election. our legislation is not just about the election. surprise,t -- surprise, the postmaster general -- the coronavirus, covid-19, which has a big impact on the election as well as the health of the american people. this isn't just until after the election, if that can be trusted, it is about the length, as we say in the bill, the end of january or the end of ver takesus, whiche longer. that's why this legislation is necessary, because even in his statements, which are ambiguous,
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they don't go far enough. about the history of it. in the early 1770's, building on the work of jim and franklin, theoversaw the precursor of postal service, the revolutionaries established underground networks, committees of correspondence, ended than the constitutional post that enabled them to communicate without the knowledge of the british. earliestn to say the committee was formed in 1764 in boston. our first postmaster general was benjamin franklin. the exchanges that followed what i just described built solidarity during turbulent times and helped bring about the formation of the first continental congress. in any event, when alexis de tocqueville spoke in that
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he wouldhe said, praise the postal service, writing that not in the most enlightened rural districts of france is there an intellectual movement so rapid or on such a scale as in this wilderness. so, as i say, rooted in american history, part of the communication that established us from going from colonies to a america's families to communicate and businesses to thrive, medicines to be delivered. time ofhis case, at the an election in the time of a pandemic, a safe way for people to vote. it is very important to shine a bright light on the postal system and to show our appreciation for what it has done. 100,000, 97,000 number is
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, veterans employed by the postal service. occasionus is a joyous to come together, to vote for the postal service, and to meet the needs of our people. our constituents, you can ask any member of congress across the country, democratic or republican, if they are hearing from their constituents on this subject, and they are. note go forward, just to that tomorrow will be 100 days, today 99 days since we passed the heroes act. , even more soent than when we passed it, for us to have the values -- this isn't a discussion about just dollars, it is about values and how we value the health and well-being of the american people, how we
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honor and value the work of our heroes, our health care workers and first responders, our teachers, our transportation, sanitation, food workers, all many employed by state and local government, and the big obstacle going forward is the attitude of republicans to let the states go bankrupt and not fully coming to the table to support that. and of course right now as a grandmother and mom, grandchildren and school and with children who teach, we really have to make it safe for our children to go to school, and that takes money. it takes money for distancing and more teachers, figure classrooms, more classrooms, ventilation and the rest. in the 100 biggest school districts in the country, over are all virtual, and
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another dozen are hybrid. a small number actual. the fight with the administration has been they want the bulk of the money to go only if you actually open up, which is a small percentage of the biggest school districts in our country. and who pays mostly for schools but state or local government? firingsnnot have the that will incur if we don't find state and local government to address the funds they have spent, the outlays they have made on the coronavirus, and the loss of revenue. more important than that even is thatiring, the firings will occur could be in the millions. already it is million and a half and it could 3.5 million more people fired. what does that do but add to the unemployment ranks, and what does that do but hurt our economy?
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in any event, this today is one piece of what we have in the heroes act. i am not for splitting it up except this is an emergency and it has policy in it that was not in the heroes act. i am very proud of our members for coming back for this. in the course of the day, i will be meeting with them and we will be talking about the measure,tion, by what seeing --ion we are saying we need so much more money for education than the administration is willing to give. justification are we giving to testing, treatment, distancing, etc.. by what justification are we saying we need over $57 billion for childcare. we are telling people they have to go to work and they can't because they have a child who is
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not going to school, so childcare is an answer in some of those cases. we have puts on and the justification forward and will do so more intensely as we negotiate an agreement we must have for the american people. again, sad about the state of california, but any time a natural disaster hits, it is so sad, and iowa is suffering so badly in all of this. i hope as soon as we can be, the federal government will be there to support our members of congress, what they've been asking for. any questions? we see that it looks like the republicans will not be supporting this bill, and i'm wondering if it does not go through, are there any
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negotiations, any other opportunities for this funding you are seeking? us, whatu could tell is the message to voters who may be concerned about problems with the mail and wondering what they should do? should they go to the polls, send their ballot through the mail? ms. pelosi: you have a three wrong question there. [laughter] we will pass the bill and in a bipartisan way today and we will send it to the senate. let me just say as i've always said, public sentiment is everything and they will be hearing from their constituents. because this hits home. not receiving your mail in a timely fashion hits home, not receiving your prescriptions, especially for veterans, hits home in a way that is harmful to our country as well. hoping that the
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need for us to go forward in terms of we can open our economy if we have our testing, we can open our schools more safely if testing,oint-of-care tracing, treatment, etc. why they will not follow sciences beyond me, but nonetheless, we have to make that case, and it is safer. said, it was 99 days since we passed our bill. in that time, how anymore people -- it was a 4.2 million more people had become infected. 4.2 million since we passed our bill. died, more people have taking us past 175,000 people. you see the statements that are being made that if we wear masks people four 55% of
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masked, the lives that could be saved going forward -- why don't we learn from what has happened in the past, when they said we are going to press the pause button they were pressing the pause button. it did not pause. to, we must absolutely have an agreement as we go forward that helps state and local government do their job to fight the coronavirus, to educate our children and to do so in a way that is safe and again, honors our heroes. past something that is sufficient -- pass something that is sufficient in crushing the virus. instead they are crushing the affordable care act in court, and pre-existing conditions. this is not just about dollars and cents, it is about common sense.
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voting -- look, don't pay any attention to what the president is saying because it is all designed to suppress the vote. he will have law enforcement -- that is in their playbook, we have seen their playbook. have in their playbook to people intimidated by having vice agents or other law enforcement there to instill fear in people as they show up. why are they here? it is scary. at ignore that, it is suppress the vote tactic, as it is suppressing the ability of the postal system to deliver on its responsibility to treat first-class ballots as first class mail and deliver in a timely fashion and not ignore the need for overtime, not
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ignore the fact that so many members of the postal service have contracted coronavirus and we need contract employees fill that in, to not ignore -- he said blatantly i have no intention of replacing those mailboxes. replacingintention of the machinery, the sorting machinery. osha by the way is an issue in terms of sorting machinery to help do it. so what i would say to the final part of your question is ignore them, make a plan to vote, do so to vote early so that we will ase an outcome that is clear close to election night as possible. that that because the more vote by mail, there may be counting after the election, but i hope our victory will be so big that it will be so clear.
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from the standpoint of the house, it is my political goal to win so big that we are putting down the down payment of winning two years from now. when you get into voting and voting by mail, once again, mr. president, you come into my wheelhouse. i've been chair of the party a long time. state party chair in california. have the experience of recognizing how important time is. it is about time. the time it takes to get the mail to get people to vote, to get it to the post office, to make sure it is there in a timely fashion. it's about the time it takes to print some of the materials, both ballots and persuasion material. i have been known to be there with my friends and volunteers, sitting there all night next to a printing machine to make sure somebody else did not come in ahead of us with their mailer so that we could be on time for the post office.
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this is exciting for our country, it is how we communicate, how we vote, how we protect the health and well-being of the american people, and what they are doing both in the postal service, until they got caught, and what the president is saying and now his move about putting extra law enforcement people at the polls -- why would he do that except to scare people off? why pay attention to that? just honor the vision of our founders that this is a democracy and everybody is going to have the chance to vote and have their vote counted as passed. another question? i have another subject i want to bring up. reporter: [indiscernible] -- chief oftoday staff meadows. he tweeted out a message to
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democrats saying if you really want to help americans, how about [indiscernible] for small businesses and employment along with postal services? you said you don't want to break things down and you will be focused on the postal service, but what about the members in your party who think that many of those in a smaller heroes act with a shorter timeframe is perhaps a good idea? ms. pelosi: let me just say, you listed some things that what's his name put forth. he did not say anything about schools or crushing the virus, he didn't say anything about people who are being evicted, he didn't say anything about food insecurity among millions of america's children, he didn't say anything about state and local. that is completely unacceptable. on the other hand, my colleagues, i welcome their suggestions and we are in sync.
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we said we would come down $1 trillion and we are ready to negotiate at that level. again, we are making plans for some things we want to do next because it is -- how many days until the election, 73? 73 days, 99 days since the bill and 73 days until the election and we are getting ready for this legislative session that comes and the legislative session in january. we are in sync in our caucus and his list is very deficient when it comes to children, child care , food, housing, education, their health and terms of the virus. and again, state and local doesn't do over 90% of the education. i want to bring up another subject the president got up this morning, which is very scary and everybody should take note of it.
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the fda has a responsibility to , judging on safety and efficacy. not by a declaration from the white house about need and politicizing the fda. this was a very dangerous statement on the part of the president. went beyond the pale in terms of how he would jeopardize the health and well-being of the american people. and accuse the fda of politics when he is the one who has tried to inject himself into the scientific decisions of the food and drug administration. one more question and then i have to go to the floor. does mr. dejoy compared to benjamin franklin as a postmaster general? ms. pelosi: abraham lincoln was
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also a postmaster. i think harry truman works for the post office, i am not sure what his title was. greatostal service has a identification with leaders in our country. word compare, the i would use the word contrast. theamin franklin understood value of bringing people together in our country. he did not view it as a business enterprise, he believed it was a service, a postal service. and that is what we have to support. to bring it in and saying they are losing money or this or that -- really? really? are we losing money on delivering prescription drugs to veterans? are we losing money and how we have people communicate with each other and our families and
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create good paying jobs, 97,000 veterans employed by the postal service? i think the biggest contrast would be one sees it as a service for the american people and the other sees it as a business enterprise, and that is -- and doesn't value its purpose. but hopefully he will see the light as he sees the legislation, and as the republicans in the senate refused to take it up, they will have to answer to their own constituents why they don't want their mail delivered in a timely fashion. what is it -- neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night keep the courier from his a horror -- his or her appointed rounds? that doesn't seem to be the purpose of the current leadership of the postal service. thank you all.
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see you on the floor. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> you're watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government, related by america's cable television companies as a public service and brought to you by your television provider. >> this week on the communicators, our guest is jeff moss, the founder of black hat and def con. our guest reporter from the washington post, joseph marx. mr. moss, remind us again, what is black hat and def con and how did they come about?