Skip to main content

Nancy Pelosi
  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Holds Weekly Briefing  CSPAN  February 18, 2021 11:09am-11:37am EST

11:09 am
this is on-topic and off-topic. i was just trying to understand something and i am hearing some things and wanted to state some things. speaker pelosi: good morning, here we are. with the eagles early in the morning, not that early, but in the inclement weather. speaking of inclement weather, hearts and prayers go out to the people of texas for what they are suffering in their situation there in terms of lack of water, lack of energy, and i have a daughter and she has known -- i
11:10 am
know what her concerns are, but her concerns are minor compared to people in need, people truly in need, to lose water and service, for my family is one thing, but for people who do not have so many options, it is just heartbreaking. i would hope that the public policy of the state will recognize the needs that are there. in our code, we have $50 billion the president has responded to the calls for disaster assistance. he did that on sunday morning. now seeing a little praise taking a measure of what the needs are. there are other needs that my colleagues that my friends from texas have told us about. needs that relate to nutrition, again, the fact that some people
11:11 am
were hopeful to get their vaccines could their vaccine shot were not able to do it. they need assistance from fema to replenish texas water supply and hope texas obtain safe and drinkable water, immediate assistance from fema to direct payment and home repair systems, immediate assistance from fema and fda to aid small businesses, request to implement disaster supplemental nutrition, snacks, food, and allow temporary response ability and snap eligibility. appropriations for low income -- for those of you who are our new , and assistance program, it goes on and on.
11:12 am
in any event, assistance and the storage and distribution of the code vaccination to name a few -- of the covid vaccination to name a few of the immediate needs that people have. everybody has their personal experience. my daughter's home has no water, pipes have broken because of the cold and they can handle it, but a lot of people cannot. it is a question of needing water, food, and energy and vaccines and the rest. we really have to be on top of that and hope that there would be some preparation for the future. this was in many ways predictable in a long range of whether -- weather -- that is a longer-range of discussion, but
11:13 am
giving people an earlier alert as to what their concerns would be. i believe that the commerce committee will take up some form -- when i say investigation, i mean a look into it to see how things could have turned out better and will turn out better in the future. at the same time, i am so proud of the work of our members, the chairs of the committee, the jurisdiction, the members, the staff, i feel as if we have worked with staff 24/7 for a number of weeks now to make sure that we stay on schedule with the american rescue plan, the biden plan, as you know, a couple of weeks ago, we passed the budget bill for reconciliation to protect the 51 vote for ledge. -- 51 vote privilege.
11:14 am
and then that now has gone to the budget committee, which will consolidate all of that, make sure that it is again, in keeping with what reconciliation allows and that will then go to the rules committee for us to vote on sometime in the end of next week is my hope. however, at the same time, there is communication with the senate as to what the rule will allow in the bills as we go forward. that is where we are in it and people have worked so hard and so intensely because, as i said to the members, when we had been breathing down the last few days, we had the leadership of our chair, peter ackley, vice chair, we had the chairs present
11:15 am
what is in the bill. not for suggestions of amendment, but for notification that this is what the overall reconciliation enables us to do and this is how we are going forward. i am very, very proud. today is a busy day. i know with the snow and sleet, but today we have u.s. citizenship act which will be introduced, linda sanchez leading the house, bob the -- the quality act, -- the equality act, we passed it before and hopefully now, it will be passed into law in the senate because it will have bipartisan, it will have bipartisan support. the business community is supportive because they want the
11:16 am
very best in their workforce and an order for that to happen, we have to remove discrimination in all aspects of our society and in our economy. i think david cellini for his leadership in passing the senate to merkley and the senate. we are very pleased that the strong bipartisan support we had that -- for the congressional gold medal to honor our capitol police, naming a few of them for their courage and valor and for saving our lives. without them, who knows how bad this could have gone, but i am pleased that we had very, very strong bipartisan support and with the leadership mr. scalise as well as leadership on the democratic side as well. the senate announced their support for this on saturday night and then we will come
11:17 am
together and pass this legislation. and then we are working on the commission of the january 6th commission. what happened in the timetable -- everyone was saying we need to have a commission, this and that. a part of writing the commission in the 9/11 commission, you heard me go through that before. and, we heard almost immediately, sometime last week from the chairs of that commission, governor kane of new jersey and former chairman in the house, lee hamilton. they had sent us all a letter, the leadership, the president, the vice president, hamilton scented saying this is what should be in the legislation. -- sent it saying this is what
11:18 am
should be in the legislation. what are the causes of what happened in 9/11, what is the truth year -- what is the truth their -- truth there? look at how the security can protect us, better preparedness can protect us in the future and how did that go wrong? it is what they handle. they had a provision that they wanted, which is to strengthen congress, the view -- we will see how we can deal with that. by and large, most of what they suggested, very much nears what we had in the bill that we wrote in 2011 at the time -- not 2011, the 9/11 commission. that legislation, plus their report, plus their letter, is the basis for what we had as soon as we came to terms with that in the last few days, we sent it to the republicans the
11:19 am
sea what -- republicans to see what they had. it has to be bipartisan. we will hear back from them on that. i am excited about that. when we did it in 2001, the families of 9/11 really weighed in on that it has strong support in the country, for us to seek the truth, find the truth, but also understand how we have to protect the people from white -- from what might be out there in terms of domestic terrorism and the rest. any questions? >> on january 13, the number of your democrat colleagues sent to the -- regarding a reconnaissance board by gop members that have been on january 5 prior to january 6.
11:20 am
is there an update on that aspect of the investigation? speaker pelosi: anything like that would remain between the members who know of such actions and i do not know, i do not know. perhaps i will find out at some point, but i do not know what members they are referencing. i think that is between them and whoever would be investigating it. >> have you seen that letter? speaker pelosi: yes, that was a matter of public domain. that was in the public domain. >> what kind of power? the logical and it will have subpoena power. -- speaker pelosi: it will have subpoena power. it depends on the degree of the incidence of covid in their area. i think they should be
11:21 am
vaccinated but i do not think they must be vaccinated. we are proud what -- of what is in our bill when it comes to education because this is where we are saying we want the children to be in school. again, i told you that my daughter, not having water in houston, i have a granddaughter in public schools. i see the need for that to happen. again, in her case, she has all the technology and the assistance at home and some children do not. we want as many kids to be back in school as possible. for that to happen, it takes some money. it takes some money. you have to have spatial distancing, which means you need more space, therefore you need more teachers, therefore you need more buses for kids to be spaced to come to school. you need better ventilation, 40% of the public schools in the country have substandard ventilation in the classroom.
11:22 am
that is very important. so, for all of those reasons, we are very pleased with what is in the legislation and more. i think -- i want everyone to be vaccinated and i want our teachers to be, but it is pending on what the situation is in their area. it may or not -- may or may not be necessary. the important point to make on this is, where there is a high incidence of covid, most of their schools are virtual or hybrid anyway. they are not actual. the vaccination might not make it actual anyway. there has to be a judgment made from the community as to how they go forward, again, we want the vaccine to be there for everyone. i think it is having an impact
11:23 am
and we are proud of the scientist who worked 24/seven -- covid and pfizer and moderna, what they have been put forth and others on the horizon and that will make it more available. i do not think it is a yes or no question. it depends on the incidence of covid in the region and if in fact those classes will even be actual. one site that we had with the trump administration last year was that they wanted to find it in the build to only go to schools that were actually open. you are describing many schools -- you were driving many schools lacking in ventilation and more space and opportunity to hire teachers. therefore, you are disadvantaging the most disadvantaged schools in the country. and that could not be.
11:24 am
this legislation is very smart in what it does and if you want me to read you all of the things that it does do, to open schools , and again, we want everyone vaccinated. is it a prerequisite? it depends on the region. >> madame speaker. republicans say that a fraction of the education funding in the covid bill is allocated for this year. much of it over the next 10 years. how do you square that with the need to open schools when so much of it is down the road. speaker pelosi: i do not put much weight on what republicans say although it seemed to be of value to you. the fact is that this is the money that is needed. this is the money that is needed. the hundred $30 billion will help provide immediate -- the $130 billion will help provide immediate assistance so they can
11:25 am
open for in person instruction and address the difficult multi your challenge. -- multi-year challenge. this learning loss is heartbreaking for children and we are hoping that summer school and the rest can make up for some of it. it is a local decision, not a federal one. they will make recommendations despite resources. it is about resources and much of what we plan to do in this legislation of the committee on education and labor advance, a major portion of the president's covid proposal last week for education, 130 for k-12 and additional money for higher education. let me also say that education is largely funded, more than 90%, by state and local entities
11:26 am
and so that is why the state and local piece in here is important as well. if in fact, and i think it is a fact that we all want children back in school, there has to be a recognition that it is going to take resources to do so and to be spent as soon as it possibly can be. as i mentioned, immediately, immediate relief to schools so they can safely reopen with in person education. >> with respect to immigration, do you think as we package -- whether respect to immigration package that you unveiled, do you envision that having to be pushed through the reconciliation progress -- reconciliation process? speaker pelosi: not necessarily. today, they will introduce legislation.
11:27 am
as i mentioned to you earlier, what we did -- what we informed members of, this is the design. it is frozen and it complies with the reconciliation. i do not see anything of that size. there are people who are advocating for that and the question is, would that meet the bird role those kinds of things. and if it were, that would be wonderful. we will need a 60 vote. i salute the president for putting forth the legislation that he did. there are others who wanted to do piecemeal and that may be a good approach too. that is up to the congress to decide. but, i was thinking this morning in anticipation of their announcement that the citizenship act, that a couple of years ago -- it must be
11:28 am
longer than that when trump was new presence. -- was the new president, that when they did the muslim ban, we had a hearing, a rough hearing, because we were not the majority and we cannot do that. at that hearing, it is important to note two things that relate to this introduction today. one was that when we had an economist b, they set them up what is the most important thing we can do to grow the economy? comprehensive immigration reform. and when the evangelical spoke, and that was not just at that hearing, but at other hearings we had, comprehensive immigration reform will grow our gdp. that is very important. what we had at the hearing that i was talking about, the muslim
11:29 am
ban hearing, the representative for the american evangelical association, whatever the title is, about refugees, refugees, which are in this bill, he said that refugee resettlement program of the united states of america is the crown jewel, is the crown jewel of our humanitarianism. the refugee resettlement program. evangelical community speaking because they had been leaders in that regard. both of those are covered, copperheads of immigration reform and resettlement of refugees in a humanitarian way. -- comprehensive immigration reform and resettlement of refugees in a humanitarian way. as i have always said,
11:30 am
immigrants coming to our country with newcomers coming with their hopes and dreams and aspirations, with their optimism and determination to make the future better for their families, while those are american treats. when they come here with those values they make america more american. i'm very excited about how it happens to the legislative process remains to be seen. but it is a priority and we will be working on it. reporter: president joe biden during a town hall this week said the u.s. should speak up for human rights in china. i know you have been very vocal about it. he said there will be repercussions for china. what else should we expect to see from president biden to change chinese human rights? ms. pelosi: thank you for that question. i have been working for human
11:31 am
rights in china for over 30 years since tiananmen square. it's really important for the world, the world to know that human rights are part of our value system as we engage in the world. but our national security, it's about our military and our strength. it's about our economy. and how we interact in our values. we cannot sacrifice one for the other. what form that takes i would hope that it would change some behavior in china vis-a-vis hong kong, tibet, uighurs. it's interesting to me that it took us 100 years to have the armenian genocide declared a genocide. and they have already declared what's happening to the uighurs a genocide. that's a very strong statement. it's a strong statement for the
11:32 am
people who are -- have a relationship over time with so many of those who had been arrested for years and prison labor camps and all the rest. i'm so proud of that. basically they tell us the cruelest form of tore fuhr for them is when the -- torture for them is when the chinese come and say nobody knows you're here. they don't remember why you're here and the rest. that's why it's important for us to speak out so that those people know that they are not forgotten even by name in many cases we had named them. and by the way, in a very bipartisan way. i have worked for over 30 years with my republican counterparts across the aisle, one who is still here, chris smith, and i have worked on these issues for years. frank wolf before. just a whole long list of
11:33 am
republican members who had been excellent on human rights. throughout the world. you just named china. throughout the world. they have taken risks. they have gone to prison. labor camps, to collect evidence so that we could make our case here. i salute the administration for honoring our values, how we go about it is just in weighing the equities the chinese know. and those who are arrested, suppressed, whatever know that they are not forgotten. thank you-all very much. be careful on your way home. don't go too late because you don't want to be traveling in the dark with all of this. do you have any other grandmotherly advice you would like me to give to you? i salute you for being here with the weather that was out there. a big day.
11:34 am
three bills. congressional gold medal honoring our capitol police and others. as the equality act. any discrimination against lgbtq community, the american citizenship act of president biden very important. and then continuing our work on covid. as we leave, though, i do want to say once again, because i saw some of you on saturday night, how proud we were of our managers led by jamie raskin and how they honored their oath and helped us honor our oath to protect and defend the constitution. and they were doing so at the same time as we were honoring our values, meeting the needs of the american people in the covid-19 individual legislation dispelling -- dispeling, don't know if any of you got this idea, that honoring our constitutional oath would come
11:35 am
at the cost of our honoring -- meeting the needs of the american people. we are so proud of them as we are proud of our chairs for the work that they did to take us forward now. thank you-all very much. be careful. stay safe. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> today, the house financial services committee hearing on the recent volatility and the stock price of gamestop and decisions by some companies to restrict trading of the stock. witnesses include robinhood c.e.o., citadel c.e.o., the capital management c.e.o., lovett c.e.o. and financial analyst, keith gill. watch live today beginning at noon eastern on c-span, online at or listen on the c-span radio app.
11:36 am
>> the 117th congress includes over 60 new members this. diverse group includes first generation immigrants, state representatives, television reporters, and former college and professional athletes. watch our conversation was new members of congress. all this week at 8:00 p.m. eastern. tonight, we feature freshmen members who have backgrounds in conservative activism, including michele fischbach, diana harshbarger, and stephanie bice. watch interviews with new members of congress. tonight at 8:00 even on c-span. online at or listen on the c-span radio app. studenn journal, we are joined by arthur brooks, professor at -- author of the book "love your enemies. -- "love your enemies." thank you for being with us this morning.