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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Reps. Hoyer Scalise on Next Weeks Schedule  CSPAN  March 14, 2021 9:36pm-10:19pm EDT

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and we will talk about industry lobbying when it comes to covid relief legislation. watch c-span's washington journal, live monday morning and be sure to join the discussion with your text messages and tweets. >> on thursday, house democratic lawyers announced the agenda for the week ahead and had an exchange with republican whip steve cleese -- scully's -- steve scalise. the majority leader of the house. mr. hoyer: on tuesday at 12:00 p.m. and 2 p.m. for legislative business with votes expected no earlier than 6:30 p.m. on wednesday, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour debate and 12:00 p.m. for
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legislative business. on thursday, the house will meet at 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. on friday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business with the last votes no later than 3:00 p.m. we will consider several bills under suspension of the rules. the complete list will be announced by the close of business on friday. in addition, we will consider to honor women's history, the women against violence act. violence against women and girls and sexual harassment and provide survivors to recover and seek justice and in addition to that, a resolution to remove the deadline of ratification of the equal rights amendment. the house will consider two bills to address our broken immigration system. the first h.r. 6, the american dream and promise act to protect dreamers and those with t.p.s. and d.e.d. status and farm work
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force modernization act to create a pathway for workers to earn legal status and reform the program, a bill which enjoys bipartisan support. and we preclude cuts to medicare as well as other programs implicated by sequestration. and i yield back to my friend. mr. scalise: i appreciate the gentleman and i would like to ask the gentleman, we have been getting a number of concerns expressed from members on our side and i would imagine on the gentleman's side as well about the changes that have occurred this week. we were supposed to be here tuesday to friday and changed mopped to thursday. next week, initially the calendar it was a week for members to be in their districts. members are making schedules --
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we have challenges in our district. small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and members are working with their local school boards and other challenges that people have, get wider distribution of the vaccine and when the floor schedule changes here, it disrupts their ability to properly represent their district. i know the schedule is laid out for the year for a reason so members can manage the schedule here and we represent 750,000 people back home the ability to meet and represent constituents who aren't allowed to come to this capitol to meet with us. it's hard to do that when the schedule continues to change. if the gentleman could address the concerns raised about those erratic changes. and i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i agree with the members and i regret that we have had such a
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necessity on too many occasions to change the schedule. we did so to accommodate not only getting work done but the very, very unusual start that we have had to this session, a tragic start that we have had to this session dealing with issues that we would have preferred not to deal with but we had to with the snurks that occurred on january 6 including the security that the gentleman referred to. that concerned us all. as someone who represents the washington metro region, the openness of our capitol is of particular concern to me because my constituents live within driving distance, an hour or less. i share the view. i want to assure members that we are going to make every effort
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that we are trying to finalize and have april, may, june and july schedule and i don't think that will be changed in dramatic fashion, but when we have the final, which i hope to make sure everybody next week knows what is going to know what is going to happen in april, may, june and july. i understand when the schedule is changed, however justified it may be, it does disrupt, although i heard some criticism of last wednesday that we didn't come in thursday. no member came up to me that we didn't come in on thursday. i heard political rap about it but i didn't hear a member say gee, i wanted to come in on thursday. we got all our work done last week. that was scheduled is all done. i will assure the gentleman we are working very hard so the
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next four months members can rely on when they see it on the calendar will have to be here or don't have to be here and we will try to adhere closely to that because i appreciate that when you change the schedule, it is very disruptive for people's lives, for people's businesses and for our constituents. i yield back. mr. scalise: i thank the gentleman and i appreciate the acknowledgement about the concerns and disruptions of schedules as members try to meet the needs of their constituents up here and getting the work done is the most important priority to addressing those needs. hopefully as we look towards our return after we come back in april, the appropriations process will begin and we would surely like to see us get back to more regular order for doing appropriations bills where we can have bills go through
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committee and markup process with bipartisan input, which we haven't seen but to bring those bills to the floor with the typical traditional amendment process. i know the gentleman is well aware of this. historically when appropriations bills come to the floor, there are many amendments and sometimes it is a completely wide open process, which we would encourage. many of those years when we were in the majority and bills would come to the floor, you could write your amendment on a piece of paper and turn it in and that amendment would be debated and voted in on the house floor. sometimes you see 100 amendments on a sing promingses bill. so we go to two-minute votes. now that we have seen or reports i have seen and maybe you have, too, that roughly 75% of all members in this house have had a
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vaccination for covid-19, there is a desire to get back to the regular schedule and have the ability to interact with colleagues. it is a much different experience when people trickle in, trickle out, limiting the number of people to debate things. 45-minute votes, if you have 100 amendments to a bill, to get back to 15-minute i, 10-minute schedule. if someone vaccinated they don't have to wear a mask. the senate doesn't require masks on their floor, there is no reason we have to have a mask to have this conversation. the president of the united states doesn't have a mask when he is giving speeches or his press secretary when she is meeting with the press, can we get back to a regular floor
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operating schedule where we can meet as colleagues in person, if somebody doesn't want to be others, maybe a voting station could be set up, but who wants to interact with others and following c.d.c. guidance and getting back to a voting schedule that allows to conduct the business the way we need to when we start taking up these appropriation bills. does the gentleman have a plan for that and i would yield. mr. hoyer: that would certainly be the ideal, no doubt about that and we would like to get to that position. we continue to consult the capitol physician on his advice on what we ought to be doing. it would be a lot simpler if every member had been vaccinated, i tell my friend although the information as to
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who gets it and who does not is privileged and private information as it should be. i would ask my friend to urge his members to get the vaccination so both sides will know that all of our members have been rack sin natured and will facilitate where the gentleman wants to get and i share his view. the speaker wants to get. so we'll continue to talk about that. we obviously, although we have regular schedule, it is not the old schedule, not the 15-minute vote or 17 or 20-minute vote that we had, which was much more efficient, as you may have seen me quoted in the paper the other day about virtual, that we prefer to come together in this chamber, in committee rooms on this campus to discuss with one another and work with one
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another. we think that is the ideal and hope to get there as soon as possible. we are getting americans vaccinated and not close to the 75% yet but hope if fwlly there soon and i hope we get 100% of the members and make sure that our staff is vaccinated as well and the sooner we do that's correct the sooner we can accomplish what the gentleman wants to accomplish. i yield back. mr. scalise: i hope the gentleman is not suggesting it would take 100% vaccination rate. i know the rest of the country when states make decisions to reopen and c.d.c. issues guidance, i haven't seen 100% is the guidance for bringing something back. i would suggest if we are at 75% now, you also have members who have antibodies and taken the
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test whether they have the vaccine or not, the antibodies can fight off covid. is there a number higher than 75% is the standard? i hope it wouldn't be00. but we should work together to get to a place where we have a normal operating process both in the house and committees. the committee work being done virtually is a disservice for us to work on issues and many of our committees deal with not the high profile issues that are the battleground issues where we are on our own sides, but it's where you see the college yalt where congress can come together and work and i hope we come up with a standard that is not at 100%. if we are at 75%, we have to be at a different place to get back to a functioning floor schedule and i would yield.
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. . mr. hoyer: i'm going down with the president who is going to sign the american rescue plan tomorrow, an extraordinary piece of legislation we are very excited ability, and that is going to help literally millions and millions of americans and help our entire economy and our families and our children. we are very excited about that i was required to have a test. i've had two shots. but i was required to have a test this morning by the capitol physician before i went down to the white house. you say they don't wear masks but you have to have a test before you get into the room. with respect to the 100%, i think we ought to have 100%, i think nerve this body and every one of our staff ought to have the vaccine to make sure that we're safe and that others who deal with us are safe. the c.d.c. guidelines, by the
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way, recommend that people be vaccinated, that they avoid medium an large crowds. now depending upon what you say if you have 300 people on this floor, that's rannably good-sized crowd and in great proximity to one another because of the size of this chamber. the c.t.c. also says senate has in the listen -- has not listened to the c.d.c., c.d.c. says wear masks. in terms of your suggestion about the c.d.c. changing its rules, that's true, but they slnt changed their rule on masks. they say wear masks and don't -- try not to congress redwate in large crowds. however, having said that we want to get to the same objective the gentleman references an we're working toward that with consideration of the safety of our staff, the safety of our members, the safety of security folks, and we thope get there sooner rather than later. we're working on it.
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mr. scalise: i appreciate the gentleman's offer to work. when you look at the way the senate operates, they have said, to speak, especially, you don't need to wear a mask. i don't see the science that would say you and i have to wear masks to have this conversation. again i direct the conversation to the -- to when the president is giving a speech, he's not wearing a mask. if there are other people around, they may be wearing mask bus when they speak they are not wearing a mask. look at those protocols and try to inject some of those commonsense measures. mr. hoyer: would the gentleman yields for a minute? mr. scalise: one final point. i would hope with we want everyone who has the interest in getting the vaccine to have access to the vaccine. but if one member out of 435 felt they didn't want to have the vaccine, i would hope that wouldn't be enough to prohibit the rest of us from carrying out more normal functions on the house floor and in committee. i would yield. mr. hoyer: my point on the white house was, that member may
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decide that. if they don't want to get a test they can't go to the white house. for the safety of everybody there. that's not necessarily the point. i forget the point so i'll yield. mr. scalise: if maybe a requirement of a test once a week when we come in or something like that would help get us to a better place where we can have in-person, on the floor, and in committee, processes and meet, the testing capability is now there. the attending physician's office. if it needs to be widened more and other rooms doing testing that would be a suggestion worth us discussing if it helps us get back to a more functioning congress, especial a more functioning house on the floor and in committee. mr. hoyer: madam speaker, everybody in america wants to get back to normal. everybody in america.
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and we agree with that. and we are hopeful that we'll get there sooner rather than later. and we are making good progress. and we just yesterday invested large number of billions of dollars to facilitate getting to where we want to be, americans want to be, in testing, vaccination, and tracing. so i don't want to have anybody think we're in disagreelful we want to get there, we want to get there safely, we want to get there consistent with good health practices and the advice of the scientists and physicians that treat us. but we're talking about it as we -- as we were here this week, we'll be talking about it next week. we all cant to -- want to get to the same place. mr. scalise: i appreciate that. hopefully this is a discussion that we can all have, not just the majority making this decision but the majority working with the minority.
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we have an active group of members who are medical doctors, the doctors caucus, who have a lot of good suggestions. i think they're going to try to meet with the house attending physician and hopefully that can spur some additional ideas about how we can do this and us work together to achieve that. finally, on the house committee schedule especially. we've taken up 14 different rules bills this congress so far. bills that have actually come to the floor under a rule. unfortunately, only one of those bills actually went to committee. meaning 3 of these 14 bills never even wept to committee to have the debate, the openness, the transparency that this congress deserves. i think that millions of people across the country would expect we would be having as we're shaping policy, that it's not just a one-sided approach that if a socialist agenda is being pushed by one side, can't the
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other side at least have that discussion in a committee process. offer amendments. the amendment process is critically important. that's been lost too often. even the $1.9 trillion spending bill, over 90% of which had nothing to do with health needs. not a dime of which was dedicated to safely reopening schools, which was a huge cry amongst millions of parents across the country. so when not only one side put frankly nobody on the majority side was etch allowed to offer amendment. a $1.9 trillion spending bill. probably the largest bill that has come through congress in the history of our country, and not a single amendment, democrat or republican, was allowed in the house on that bill. to be brought forward. we were able to bring some amendments in committee, every one of them was voted down or removed, not one democrat that i saw was even allowed to bring an amendment up in committee on a $1.9 trillion bill.
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that's a major concern. it's a concern that denies the people's house from being able to express the will of the people. when we have ideas and suggestions, you know, maybe for example, as we wanted to in the house to say, should a felon who in a prison be able to get a $1,400 check? we weren't able to bring that amendment up to have the debate. can we at least require that schools reopen if hundreds of billions of new dollars will go to schools, shouldn't the requirement be that they use that, follow the c.d.c. guidance, following the science that's wide ved that says school should be open and long-term damage is being done to kids by not being in the classroom. millions and millions of kids, maybe 603k9 of the -- of the chern in america, not getting daily in the classroom union. unions are more concerned, saying you can go to spring break if you're a union member but don't post picture we don't want anybody seeing it, when they should be in our classrooms
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teaching our kids that debate never happened on the house floor and in most of the committees because these bills aren't going through committee that one bill went through committee with the order clearly given not to allow a single antidepressant. not a single amendment in the house was added to a $1.9 trillion spending bill. i'm sure some people might think that was the perfect bill. but not sapingle change. but sometimes the smallest bill has a change made that makes it a better bill but not that bill. that's not who we should be as a house. that kind of closed process. 13 out of 14 bills didn't even go through committee and the one that did, the $1.9 trillion bill, not a single amendment by a republican or democrat in the house was aloud to be added. i hope that's not the standard, it's surely not reflective of what this house should be doing. i would yield. mr. hoyer: the gentleman was here in 2017, of course. there was a bill that
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approximated the size of this bill. it was about $1.5 trillion or $1.6 trillion. this was a little more. substantially a little more. $300 billion or $400 billion. but in the same ballpark. there were no hearings on that bill. there were no amendments on that bill. came to the floor. there were no amendments. to that bill. none. zero. of course that bill advantaged 83% of that bill went to the top 1% in america. this bill, just about the opposite. 85% to 90% go to probably the bottom 2/5's in terms of income level and wealth. hundreds of amendments were offered. as the committees marked up their instructions from the budget committee. hundreds.
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amendments were of course offered in the senate as well. as you know. they had their vote-a-rama, they met for over 24 hours. so i think to indicate that this bill did not have a robust committee process in which republicans and democrats could offer amendments and have them departmented -- have them adopted is not accurate with all due respect, madam speaker. furthermore this bill enjoyed the overwhelming support of the american people. 77% of americans, 59% of republicans, and 67% of americans supporting the minimum wage. which was rejected of course by the parliamentarian in the senate. 3% of americans supporting h.r. 1, one of the bills that passed. 89% supporting comprehensive background checks which passed today.
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2% of americans supporting equal protections for lgbtq americans. the point i'm making is, a, the bill to which you refer, the american rescue plan, had very substantial consideration over days. the ways and means markup took two days. and many amendments offered. so that from the standpoint of the public's knowing what was going on, i would suggest to you that very much greater than when the tax bill, about the same, in the same range of, in that case $1.5 trillion with interest. approaching the $1.9 trillion. so we think frankly that there's been a lot of discussion on that bill. one of the things, madam speaker, that concern me the most, we worked in a bipartisan
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fashion on six prior bills. some -- one passed on voice vote. the cares act, on this floor. others passed with well over 150 republicans and well over 200 or 150 democrats. more than that. but well over 300 votes. they were all bipartisan. they were negotiated with the administration. the trump administration. the cares act, madam speaker, was about exactly the same amount of dollars. passed on a voice vote here. what was the difference in trump was president. that was the difference on all five and had been negotiated with him. or his secretary of the treasury, to be more accurate. but substantively, very little difference in temple os of the broad nature of their impact,
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the dollar value of the bills. and the diversity of their objectives. to that ex-ten they were very much like this bill. but madam speaker, what was the difference? the same thing that was the difference when we did the recovery act. in 2009. the gentleman was here. he was elected in 2008. he voted no on the recovery act. every republican voted no on the recovery act. $787 billion. in my view, kept us out of a depression. that was not my view alone. it was bernanke's view, the secretary of treasury's view. so we see the same thing happen again. we went from bipartisan to partisan votes. i frankly, madam speaker, find it hard to believe that there wasn't a single republican that thought the investments in opening up schools, some people say, well, open up schools.
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that's a big cry now. yep. and we're doing something about it. they weren't open when we took over. but they're coming to be open. and i think it's unfortunate, madam speaker, that some demean our teachers. i will tell you, i have four great grandchildren. all but one who is too young -- all but one who is too young were taught virtually for these many, many months. and my granddaughter, their mother, raves about the commitment of the teachers to those three children. and the work that they put in, day after day after day. so are they concerned about their own safety? are they concerned about the safety of the children? are they concerned about other children, children taking it home to their moms and dads or their grandparents? they are. we need to be safe. this bill has substantial
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billions in there to make the schools safe so people can go back with the confidence that they will be safe. so i would simply say to my friend and others that talk about openness, in the 115th congress, the last congress there was a republican majority, there was not a single open rule, not one. we have already had in the 116th congress, 103 closed rules in the 115th congress. the last congress, we haved that number to less than 52, 51. and jim mcgovern, the chairman of the rules committee, very committed to try to make amendments including amendments on the republican side in order. and i have urged him to do that.
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hopefully we will move forward in a way that continues to allow this house to operate if he cantively and also give opportunity to your side and our side to raise issues. i yield. mr. scalise: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the only bipartisan vote was against the bill. every republican, and one democrat -- two democrats who voted against it originally, but the bottom line, it was the ma -- majority party and the president chose to go out alone. and every one of those ideas was thrown in the trash can. that is not a unity message or trying to work with people from all parties and all walks of life to come up with the best ideas.
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it was go it alone, socialist agenda, 90% wasn't dedicated to health. there wasn't a single amount of money put in to open schools. hundreds of billions that we worked on together. when president trump wanted to work with republicans and democrats and followed through on that and every cares act bill was a bipartisan bill. there was an effort on both sides to work together and it was targeted. it was targeted on helping families and small businesses who were struggling and getting money. operation warp speed is something we should celebrate when president trump said he wanted to put the focus at fap and pre-funding the vaccinations before f.d.a. approves them so
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we don't have to wait an extra few months. we tried to double that number in this bill. that amendment was voted down. on schools, my colleague had a bill to say let's say if the schools are going to get money, which they already have enough money to reopen safely, many took us up on that and some have chosen not to. not for lack of money. 95% of the money for schools in the bill that was passed yesterday can't be spent this year. 95% of it when you have hundreds of billions of money who want to reopen classrooms, that money is already there. that need did not get met yesterday. that need was already met by congress. some chose have to do it and some have chosen not to do it. but the science is there. the science lays out not only
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how to reopen but the devastating damage that is being done to children in this country by not reopening. when the gentleman talks about polls that this bill is popular, you want a check for $3,000 500, people would say that $350 billion bails out failed states like california who has a $10 billion surplus is going to get over $40 billion. if we ask a poll question, do you think it's right to borrow $1.9 trillion from our children, this money doesn't fall out of the sky. is it right to borrow $1.9 trillion to give california who has a surplus. we would get a different answer. if you said in this bill, which we tried to correct, every felon
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in prison today in america will get $1,400 from the taxpayers. that's in the bill. they tried to take it out of the senate. not a single amendment was allowed on this house floor to fix those diss parties. they said no. continue to give $1,400 to felons in prison when we are paying for their food, lodging and health care and get a $1,400 from the taxpayers, borrowed from our children. do most americans know that? when we ask them the question, now that you know what is in the bill, what do you think about it? when you recognize some of the ideas brought forward not only to reopen schools but to target the money and focus on small businesses. trying to put guardrails and limitations like the previous
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cares act bill did, which is why they were bipartisan. when you look at these expenditures and then you recognize no money requiring schools to reopen, but our border is wide open right now. if someone comes over illegally, they will get a check. let's look at the bill, the tax cuts and jobs act it did have committee and markups and hearings and yielded a great benefit to every american. every income group benefited. the income group level that benefited the most by us cutting taxes were the lowest income. we made america kmpeff because of that bill. and in this bill that passed yesterday, a bipartisan vote against it, there was tough to weigh language that prohibits states from cutting taxes. explain what that has too do with covid? you are a state, every state
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will get money from that bill. california gets over $40 billion and have a $10 billion surplus, but if a state cuts taxes they are penalized in the bill. what does that have to do with covid? why wasn't this a targeted relief bill? one side wanted to go alone and push a socialist agenda has little to do with covid relief. mr. hoyer: i don't think there is a socialist agenda on this floor any more than i think there is a facist agenda on this floor. when gingrich was here, it was liberals. now it's socialist. trying to distract from substance, trying to inflame.
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it wasn't socialist that stormed the capitol and ca weren't caring biden signs but carrying trump signs. i'm tired, madam speaker, of this socialist dribble. first of all, i think a lot of people don't know what socialist is versus dictatorships or authoritarian regular eels. and the schools weren't reopened when we took over. trump was president for 12 months, strike that, 10 months. the gentleman apparently wants to say in this bill, open the schools no matter what. we don't care what your locals say or your p.t.a.'s say or superintendents say, open the
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schools because we mandated it. i don't think what you want to mandate what states do. maybe he thinks we ought to take over the local education system. just tell them, open. we didn't do that. what we did is give them $130 billion over time. he's right. not immediately, overtime to spend to make schools safe and ventilation systems safe for kids, make the accommodations in the schools safe for kids and teachers and parents who go there. so, madam speaker, if we get distracted by these assertions of some sort of ideological that resonates with the right wing in america. and we could do that, all they
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can talk about substance. and yes i mentioned americans overwhelmingly said that the substance of what we had in this bill is what they liked. i would hope the majority whip would talk -- minority whip would talk about the substance of these bills. we can have differences. but over and over in the newspapers and on this floor, the socialist agenda. it resonates in your polls and some of the districts. we saw that. it was not true. social security was called socialist when it was adopted. medicare as well. medicaid, certainly. socialist.
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efforts to try to lift people up and when he tries to make an analogy to a bill that sent 83% of $1.5 trillion to the top 1% of america instead of working americans, that is a stretch, madam speaker. now i want to go to the substance. we want to work together. i see my friend from texas on the floor. it is a shame that we accuse one another of this epithet and put one another in acorner. i lived through the gingrich era and that was the rhetoric i heard on the floor all the time.
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it's going to be because people do want to work in a bipartisan fashion. there was discussion, i know for a fact, i was here and i saw president obama tried to work in a bipartisan fashion on american recovery and reinvestment act. he put the bill on the table. and i heard the meetings at the white house and i heard the meetings here and republicans said he didn't try to talk to us and put the bill on the table before he talked to us. i know, because i was sitting there in the rooms when president obama was trying to reach bipartisan agreement. zero republicans. three in the senate. helped on the american recovery act which kept us out of depression. i wasn't surprised that we zero on this reconciliation and wasn't surprised that it changed
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from the six votes previously. donald trump said this bill this bill is ok, i'm going to sign it. and republicans voted for it. now that we have a democratic president, they decided to return to the no votes that they cast on the recovery act and affordable care act, which has helped so many millions of people. i would urge my friend when we say we want to work in a bipartisan manner, let's do it. it's worth doing. i yield back. mr. scalise: it is worth doing. that's why you had a number of republican senators went to the white house to offer that olive branch and were turned down and that's unfortunate. this was a bipartisan vote. and i hope that's not the model and that was the point. 13, 14 bills that came on the floor didn't go through
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committee. let's get back to having the committees work in person so members can have the ability to have those conversations to come and find common ground which has happened in the past and surely can happen again and i hope we can get to that point soon. i would yield to the gentleman for anything else? mr. hoyer: i have no >> the covid relief bill was a topic on the news programs. -- >> the covid relief bill recently signed by president biden was a topic on the sunday news programs. we hear first by house speaker nancy pelosi followed by senators barrasso, and murphy.


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