tv Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly Press Briefing CSPAN December 22, 2022 8:00pm-8:33pm EST
eastern on q&a. announcer: tonight, the latest on congressional efforts to get a spending bill passed and avoid a government shutdown. we will hear from house speaker nancy pelosi, followed by senate majority leader chuck schumer, then house debate on a bill that would require the irs to audit tax returns of sitting presidents and make the information available to the public. later, a discussion about ukrainian president zelenskyy's visit to the u.s.. ♪ announcer: c-span is your unfiltered view of government. funded by these television companies and more, including midco. ♪ >> ♪ no one can do it like we do ♪ announcer: midco supports c-span as a public service, along with these other television providers, giving you a front row seat to democracy. ♪
announcer: congresswoman nancy pelosi held her final weekly press briefing as house speaker, she told reporters she expects to keep having a strong influence as a u.s. represented, including encouraging more women to run for office. she also discussed ukrainian president zelenskyy's speech to a joint meeting of congress and a government funding package. this is about 30 minutes.
speaker pelosi: good morning, everyone. i'm sorry for the delay. we were just finalizing what you all are here to find out, is how we are proceeding, and when we will finish. i'll get to that in a moment, but first i want to talk about last night. last night was so historic for us, to hear president zelenskyy.
it's been a momentous week for our democracy. yesterday, it was my high honor to welcome president zelenskyy of ukraine here in the united states capitol. he delivered a magnificent, awe-inspiring speech, i think all would agree, and the courage, heroism, and determination of the ukrainian people shone through. it was moving to hear his report on the front lines of war, from which -- he had just come from the front lines, sharing with us the valor by citizen and soldier alike. he always said the people were on the forefront of this and the soldiers came to reinforce that, and declaring that, at all odds, ukraine still stood. i brought this picture, because it's one that i show on winston churchill's birthday. we have his birthday party every year.
just a couple of weeks ago, we had it in the rayburn room. perhaps some of you were there. and i always show them the picture of winston churchill speaking to the congress of the united states the day after christmas, 1941, following pearl harbor. and my father, thomas d'alesandro, jr., baltimore, was there. and this arrow points to where he is sitting here. and so, it always was a source of pride to me that my father was there that day, and now a source of pride that i could be there to hear another heroic leader of a country at war come ask for help. when winston churchill came, what he said -- now think of this and think of last night -- he said, "we are doing the noblest task in the world, not only defending our hearths and homes, but the cause of freedom in every land."
so much the theme, so much the common purpose of president zelenskyy. but i'm so proud of this. and when i wrote to the members about coming, i said, "i take great pride in the fact that my father was there for that. i hope that your children will take pride in the fact that you will be present for president zelenskyy." so i was very proud of the turnout that we had, even though it was a last-minute notice, because we could not notice unless we knew for sure the president was coming, depending on what was happening in ukraine, depending on weather and the rest. again, democracy on the line. what an honor it was to have the flag that was presented to president zelenskyy by the troops. by the troops. and they asked him to bring it to us to say, "thank you." we don't have it here, but we're
having it framed, so you'll see it in the halls of congress for a long time to come. but thanking the congress of the united states and the american people for their support, signed by the soldiers. of course, they thanked the president of the united states, and we are very proud of his leadership in all of this. we gave him a flag. when he said, "i'm bringing you a flag," i said, "well, i'm bringing you a flag." and so we gave him a flag, in the latest manifestation of the unshakeable relationship between our two countries. this week was also marked by a focus on democracy here at home. today, the world will see the final report of the bipartisan select committee to investigate january 6th, after eighteen months of tirelessly defending democracy. -- 18 months of tirelessly defending democracy. we salute chairman thompson -- i just did in the caucus -- and
vice chair liz cheney and all the members of the committee for their persistent, patriotic leadership. the 117th congress began with a violent assault on our democracy, and now we hear its conclusions. we have a vital roadmap in ensuring justice will be done and that this won't happen again. in keeping with our special focus of the week, the excellent work -- this is an enormous undertaking -- the omnibus package takes strong steps to defend democracy. included in the legislation, another round of security, economic and humanitarian aid for ukraine. as president zelenskyy said last night, this money is not charity, it is an investment in global security and democracy. indeed, it is a worthwhile investment, and our bipartisan, bicameral support must continue, because the battle for ukraine is a battle for democracy
itself. also in the omnibus -- and this is pretty exciting for all of us -- we're addressing some of the vulnerabilities in the january 6th attack. by reforming the electoral count act, we will thwart future attempts to undermine the peaceful transfer of power. and thanks to democrats' numerous negotiating -- the negotiating on this. you know, the bill is the appropriations bill, and that is what keeps government open and meets the needs of the american people in the appropriations committee. probably bigger than that are the provisions in the bill -- we call it "ash and trash," just as a -- and that does remarkable things, and we had tremendous
success with that, in fact, the highest, in terms of appropriations, the highest non-defense domestic number ever. we always want more, but nonetheless. and again, thanks to the tenacious negotiating. rosa delauro was a maestro -- is a maestro. i mean, she's a tough negotiator, but a maestro with a baton and a stick. we secured significant increase, heavily invested in families and workers, honor the commitment to our veterans and strengthen democracy at home and abroad. most people don't know that veterans fall under the domestic agenda. it is a consequence of war, it is a part of our security, but it is not included in the defense budget. so when we're fighting for a bigger number, it is also to accommodate meeting the needs of our veterans. and we want to honor them every chance we get, and this year the
pact act was something historic and needs to be funded. that will take some more time, but we do have funding in this bill for it, too. i hope the senate will swiftly pass this package. again, my delay related to how we see what will happen there on certain amendments, when we would get the bill, how much time it takes once it's passed to come over here. i know you're interested in schedule, so that's why i'm going to be more specific in the details there. our hope would be that, if it was finished this afternoon, it takes us about five hours to get the bill, we'd go to rules, we could pass it tonight. that would be our hope. but we're, shall we say, waiting to see how long the debate goes there. we want people to be able to go home, and, as you know, there are storms across america. and hopefully, that will be a motivation for expedited
discussion there or just submitting for the record or saving it for another day or whatever. as you know, this is my -- i thought last week might have been -- but this is my final weekly press conference. and some of you have been covering congress for a long time. others are new. all of you are guardians of democracy. you've heard me say again and again, if there were one freedom in the first amendment, the freedom of the press, that would be the one that protects and defends all the other freedoms. our founders knew that freedom of the press is foundational to government of, by, and for the people, informing the public about the work done in their name -- in this case, here. as you know, i admire your public service. i've always enjoyed our conversation. turn to san francisco sports. [laughter] >> who would do that?
speaker pelosi: 49ers, who are in yellow. warriors, orange. giants. i wish you and all of your loved ones a happy holiday and i turn to the last questions. yeah, jake, what do you have? >> so just on the omnibus timing a little bit, digging a little deeper, so from the time the senate passes it, it will take five hours -- speaker pelosi: well, it takes a number of hours, if it is. >> to get to the house? speaker pelosi: uh-huh. >> so you -- that'll be -- speaker pelosi: until we have the bill, we cannot signal a rules committee. >> right. speaker pelosi: the rules committee needs an hour's notice, and then we hope that it would not be a long rules meeting. hopefully, we could get expedited procedure in that hour of notice and that we could just move this even more quickly. when you do the bill, just so you know this, because i'm an appropriator, and i take great pride in the work of appropriators, after you have
the bill -- so we have a bill, okay. now, they may amend it and we'll see what happens. but when you have the bill, you sit side by side and read everything in it, so that it is -- so what is being written in the parchment is exactly what is the bill. that takes a long time for thousands of pages. then, when that was finished and we get the signal from the senate that they want us to send the bill, you go to the senate floor. and it's a beautiful thing. you go over to the senate and you take section, by section, by section, by section, house and senate. not as long as reading every word, but confirming the sections. what is that called? it has a name. but it is part of the process. so all that is done now.
it's just a question of the amendments. you know what many of them are. probably 15. maybe four to six have a chance to be passed. other compromises made. and it's just a question of how long people decide to talk on the floor. we would hope that, with this smaller amount of amendments, it would come over sooner, be closest to what we sent -- we sent over. so again, in terms of your planes, i think it's tomorrow, but it could be tomorrow morning, which we hope. yes, ma'am? >> madam speaker, thank you for your comments. i just want to ask you in this time of transition, have you had any conversations with leader mccarthy or do you intend to? and if he prevails as speaker, what advice would you give him? speaker pelosi: well, i don't think anybody needs any advice from anybody. you've heard me say even about our own distinguished leadership, i'm not going to be the mother-in-law who comes in
and says, "this is the way my son likes his turkey stuffing, his scrambled eggs," or anything else. they have to have their own vitality about it all, and they do. and so, as far as he is concerned, i -- yes, we have some -- we haven't had any formal conversations, but we interact. and i'm just hoping that on january 3, that they will be expeditiously able to elect a speaker, so that we can get on with the work of the congress. and just so you know, this may interest you. what i have said to everybody is the hardest thing that i had to do, since you're asking this question -- i was speaker and minority leader under president bush, under president obama,
under what's-his-name, and just speaker under president biden. but three different -- three different presidents, two different roles. the hardest thing that i had to do, in all of -- say, let's just talk about the three -- the hardest thing that i had to do, and i said this in friendship and in love, and all the rest of that, is, when we had a democratic president and we were in the majority -- minority, and we were in the minority, as minority leader, to sustain a presidential veto. because the republicans would roll out stuff that sounded like a chocolate sundae, but it's more like doggie doo. but it looked good, and it played well in districts. and people would say, "oh, this is good." no, it ain't good. it's terrible. it undermines the affordable care act. we have to sustain the presidential veto. this is not a casual vote.
this is not a casual vote. so i'd rather be writing the affordable care act or any other massive legislation than to have to go to my members and say, "my friend, in friendship, i really need your vote to sustain the president's veto." that was -- that was the hardest. yes, ma'am? >> madam speaker, i wonder if you've thought at all, as you are set to leave leadership about what it's meant for your female colleagues here, about women who might want to join congress, seeing you as a person who has blazed a lot of trails here. speaker pelosi: i appreciate that question, as well. when i came to congress, there were 23 women, 13 democrats -- no, 12 democrats and 11 republicans. out of 435 people, there were 23. over 400 men and 23 women.
come on, you know, get out of here. so some of us just made a decision, we have to change this. we have to recruit. we have to fund. we have to encourage women to run, give confidence to them that not only are they -- should they be here, they are needed to be here. and we now have 90 democrats. they have 30, i think, something republicans, and they've made some progress lately. and that's good, but we need more. and we need more people of color and the rest. and i take great pride that our caucus is about 70% women, people of color, lgbtq, the beautiful diversity of america. in terms of women, though, they're always asking me, i get asked all the time, "what advice do you have?" i say, "the best advice i ever had that i extend to you is be yourself.
you're the only person in the history of the world who is you. what you have is authentic, is special, is unique, and that diversity is necessary at the table." also, i want women to have confidence. sometimes, when i act a little more, shall we say, like myself -- [laughter] it's because i want them to know, it's okay to assert yourself, to have confidence in what you bring to the table, and also to understand your uniqueness. so, i mean, i'm overwhelmed by women telling me how i've given them confidence, or what a role model and this. and i said, "don't worry about any role model, be yourself." >> madam speaker? speaker pelosi: what do you got? it seems appropriate that chad would have one of the last
questions. [laughter] if you don't think it's appropriate, we don't have to have him have it. [laughter] i leave it up to you in this democratic forum. >> i thank you for the comment. in any event, thank you. considering the consternation on the republican side of the aisle with picking a speaker, as somebody who has been speaker and has been through speaker's races before, does that bother you about what that says about the stability of the house of representatives if they're having trouble picking a speaker? speaker pelosi: no. >> and might you be the last speaker for a while until they pick a speaker? speaker pelosi: no. i think they'll have a speaker. i think that my interest, and all of us have an interest to the integrity of the institution, the strength and respect that the institution commands and should command. and so, that's why i said i hope that they would be able to resolve their differences on january 3 and just come through with a vote to proceed. >> it doesn't weaken the house if it takes a while? it doesn't weaken the house if it takes a few days?
speaker pelosi: no, no, no. we're a democratic institution. no, i wouldn't read too much into that. but i do -- but i do think it's the sooner the better, because we have important work to do. whether we agree or disagree, we have important work to do. >> madam speaker, going back to the ukraine and democracy theme. speaker pelosi: yes, please. >> going back to the ukraine and democracy theme, what message does that send to our biggest adversary on the other side of the globe, what happened yesterday, the events of yesterday? and what message, on the flip side, does it send to our allies, like taiwan, when our appropriators have pulled billions of dollars that was in the ndaa for military defense out of the omnibus appropriations bill? speaker pelosi: pulled it out of the appropriations bill? >> out of the -- it was not included in the appropriations. speaker pelosi: well, the bill -- the defense number is bigger than it's ever been.
>> but specifically for taiwan, about $10 billion in grant money was pulled out of the appropriation -- speaker pelosi: but it is -- i'm not exactly familiar with that piece, but our commitment to taiwan is a clear one in terms of our support for them to be able to defend themselves. but to the basic first part of your question, the important purpose, in my view, of last night -- and that's why i'm glad the president spoke in english -- was to deliver a message to the american people of appreciation, of gratitude, and of connection, in terms of being about democracy, theirs and ours. so it was an important message for our country. the response that he received from the members of congress was overwhelming. it was overwhelming. and that was an important message for his people -- for our people to see, for ukrainians to see, for russians to see, and for our allies to see.
it was the connection between our two countries, the commitment to democracy that we associate ourselves with in terms of the courage of the people of ukraine. >> what about china? speaker pelosi: hmm? >> china? speaker pelosi: oh, you were talking about china. i thought you were talking about russia. yeah, china can see that as well. that's a whole other subject. that's another press conference for whoever wants to take that up. but china, you know, i've been on the china case since tiananmen square. even before that, i had met with his holiness the dalai lama and had concerns about treatment in tibet. and then, when tiananmen square came, we were more active in terms of the trade, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights and
all the rest of that. it will be interesting to see how china calibrates its activities with russia in all of this. but i think it was an important message. and isn't it interesting that december to december -- see, i invited him -- october 24th -- i was asked by -- i went to croatia for a meeting of something called the crimea platform initiative, which was about 50 countries represented with speakers to talk about how we would work together for democracy in ukraine and the military, supported the military effort. at that time, october 24th, in a meeting with the delegation from ukraine, they asked for a joint session. they asked for some other things -- they asked for some other things, too, like patriots. i got that on the trip, too. but then the question, it was a
question of time. and i have to say, leader mcconnell was so supportive right from the start, right from the start. that was a real comfort level to come back and see, in a bipartisan, bicameral way, that we can do this, and that it would happen in easter week, when the visit from churchill was easter week -- excuse me, christmas week, the day after christmas. this, a few days before christmas, is inspiring. it's very inspiring. so, again, it's a message that is inspirational, as well as strong and informative as to our bipartisan, bicameral support for ukraine, as well as admiring the leadership of our president, president biden. >> madam speaker? speaker pelosi: one last one. >> the d'alesandro family were present for churchill. you knew president kennedy, the pelosi family, through you serving in the house, through
all of this history. you have been in the democratic leadership now for two decades. speaker of the house twice. this is a major transition moment -- speaker pelosi: yeah. >> -- to now move into a different role in the house your family has long been connected to. could you offer us some thoughts about how you will approach your new role in the house in the new year, both on policy and on your role with the democratic party? how do you see 2023 for congresswoman pelosi? speaker pelosi: well, we could have a whole seminar on that, but we won't, because we're waiting to hear from the senate. here's the thing. as speaker of the house, i have awesome power. now, transitioning to a different role, i expect to have strong influence, but not on my members, just in terms of encouraging more women, for example, to run, to talk about
civics, and how we have to -- it used to be a requirement when i was little, 100 years ago, but now it's an elective and most people are not familiar. so i'll have to see what that path is. but the speaker of the house is a very big job, and just wrapping it up will take time, with the library of congress for the papers, with the historian of the capitol -- of the congress -- in terms of interviews and the rest of that. and in just -- i think that probably the most overwhelming thing i'll be doing forever is saying thank you. thank you to my members. thank you to the intellectual resources that have helped us with policy. thank you for those who have helped us politically to attain our majorities and our strength in the congress. i think my life will be about accountability to the record,
the history, and thank you to those who made all of that possible. you mentioned john f. kennedy. i'll close with this. you've heard me say it many times. i'll say it now again, because it identified with what president biden has been doing. when i was in school, i went to president kennedy's inauguration on the east front, freezing cold, freezing cold. the whole world, every child in america knows that, in that speech, he said to the citizens of america, "ask not what our country can do for you, but what you can do for our country." you've said it. i see you all mouthing it. the very next sentence is what struck me. the very next sentence. "to the citizens of the world, ask not what america can do for you, but what we can do working together for the freedom of mankind."
that's what president kennedy said. not condescension, not doing something for, but working together. and i've said this to president biden, and i said it at the saint patrick's day lunch, because that's, you know, a kennedy connection there. i said to president biden, "you have fulfilled in so many ways what president kennedy was signaling, working together with all of the countries to come together to support ukraine, not by dictating what we think is the way to go, but to listening, working together, so that everybody felt committed to a plan for the freedom of mankind." and that's how i tie being there as my father's daughter at the inauguration to what happened this week and what our responsibilities are later.
but my goal and my wish is that the members, our new leadership in the house, based on the foundation that we have laid or forming their own approach, will do even better than the significant legislative successes that i have had as speaker of the house. thank you all. happy holidays. merry christmas. happy kwanzaa. happy hanukkah. whatever you celebrate, enjoy your families. >> good luck to you. speaker pelosi: thank you. thank you. >> the giants lost out on correa. you have to comment on the giants losing out on correa. [laughter] >> he went to the mets. speaker pelosi: the giants? >> the san francisco giants were supposed to get correa, and he's now a met. you must comment on this, as the preeminent fan of the san francisco giants. speaker pelosi: yeah. well, i was celebrating when he was coming to the giants. yeah. but, you know, we'll talk sports later, okay? >> sure. speaker pelosi: right now, we just want to see who's winning
on these amendments -- [laughter] speaker pelosi: so we can meet the needs of the american people and go home. thank you all. with great confidence in our caucus, i will not seek reelection in the next congress. announcer: in november, house speaker nancy pelosi announced she was stepping down after two decades in the top leadership spot, and on sunday, christmas day, we will talk with generalist susan page who wrote a biography on ms. pelosi. we will discuss her most memorable moments as party leader using the c-span archives.
>> by electing me speaker, you have brought us closer to the ideal of equality. that is america's heritage and america's hope. this is a historic moment and i thank the leader for acknowledging it. an historic moment for the congress and for the women of america. announcer: watch our conversation on the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi's career, sunday at 10 a.m.
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