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tv   House Democratic Leaders on State of the Union  CSPAN  February 7, 2023 3:07pm-3:36pm EST

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address outlining his priorities to congress tonight. his first state of the union speech since republicans won back control of the house. following the speech, arkansas governor sarah huckabee sanders will give the republican response. watch our live coverage of the state of the union tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span now, our free mobile video app, or online at >> c-span is your unfiltered view of government. we're funded by these television companies and more, including cox. >> homework can be hard but squatting in a diner for internet work is even harder. that's why we're providing lower income students access to affordable internet so homework can just be homework. cox, connect to compete. >> cox supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers ving you a front-row seat to democracy.
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>> since 1979, in partnership with the cable industry, c-span has provided complete coverage of the halls of congress, from the house and senate floors to congressional hearings, party briefings, and committee briefings. c-span gives you a front-row seat to how debate is decided with no commentary, no sfwrupgss and -- interruptions and completely unfiltered. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> house democratic leader hakeem jeffries and the house democratic policy and communications committee held a press conference ahead of president biden's state of the union address. leader jeffries and other democratic leaders discussed their expectations and guests who would attend.
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>> good morning. good morning. thank you all for being here so much. greatly appreciate everybody showing up. my name is joe neguse. i chair the democratic policy and communications committee in the house democratic caucus and hail from the great state of colorado. proud to be joined today by my fellow leaders in the house leadership, of course, the co-chairs who need no introduction but co-chair veronica escobar of texas, co-chair underwood and phillips. we're grateful to be joined, as well, by the distinguished democratic leader from the great state of new york, mr. jeffries. this morning we heard from the white house to get a sense as to
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the president's remarks later this evening during his historic state of the union address. i believe that we're going to heard the president deliver tonight a message that is hopeful and optimistic about the future of our great country. i believe we'll hear a message that's rooted in discussing the various ways in which the house democratic congress, working in tandem with our colleagues in the senate and with the white house, have delivered for the american people. delivered in terms of historic job growth. delivered in terms of lowering health care costs. delivered for veterans in enacting historic health benefits for our nation's veterans. delivered on bipartisan gun safety violence prevention legislation that was enacted just last year. there remain big challenges and big opportunities for us to address and we look forward to working with the president in the months and the years ahead to do precisely that. but, of course, there is no one who has worked harder to deliver
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for the american people here in the house of representatives than our distinguished leader of the democratic caucus, who reminds us time and time again that our work is not finished and that it's important for us to finish the job as we work to ensure that working families across our country are represented. and so we're very, very grateful to have him here today and we'll turn it over to leader jeffries. mr. jeffries: thank you, chair neguse. good morning, everyone. an honor and privilege to be here with all of you and with chair neguse and co-chair escobar, co-chair underwood and co-chair phillips, collectively, they're doing an extraordinary job in making sure that we continue to communicate with the american people both what we have done as well as our vision for the future. tonight at the state of the union address, as house democrats, we're excited to welcome president joe biden once again to the chambers of the
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house of representatives to speak directly to the american people. yes, about our accomplishments, the american rescue plan, the infrastructure investment and jobs act, the chips and science act, gun safety legislation for the first time in 30 years, the reason for marriage act -- respect for marriage act, the pact act to stand up four our -- for our veterans and the inflation reduction act, to strike a blow that set -- to set our country forward. lower energy costs. strengthen the affordable care act. drive down the high price of lifesaving prescription drugs, including capping insulin at $35 a month for millions of seniors across the land. it's a track record of extraordinary accomplishments, and we'll share that at the sam
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recognize that there's more work that needs to be done. and it's my expectation that president biden will thoroughly and thoughtfully lay that out for the american people. we're going to build upon our track record of success and continue to fight for lower costs, for better paying jobs, for safer communities, to make sure we stand up for middle-class americans, for working-class americans, for seniors, for young people, for veterans, and for all of those americans who aspire to be part of the great american middle class. president biden is a blue-collar president. he's a pro-union president. he's a pro-middle-class
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president. it's in his bones, it's in his d.n.a., it's in his background. that is who joe biden is. that is who house democrats are. and that is who we'll continue to be in delivering for the people. ms. escobar: thank you, leader jeffries. thank you for your leadership. [speaking spanish] it is such a pleasure and privilege to be here with our colleagues. we are excited about tonight's state of the union address and to hear from the president of the united states about how democrats deliver. as we begin the month of february, let's look back on the first month of republicans and what they have done as they have
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had their opportunity to lead in the house. they told us that they wanted to fight inflation. we saw out of the gate they were fighting each other. they told us that they wanted to help rebuild america. they have focused instead on tearing down the i.r.s., on resolutions about socialism. nothing that helps the american people. while democrats continue to focus on delivering for the american public. we are going to hear from the president about the great work that we've done, not just over the last two years, but the work that we expect to do ahead. and we are willing to work with any republican when and if they decide to put the american people first. we will continue to be the party that will be the adults in the room, the party that looks to uplifting every single american, and we will fight, though, the chaos and the extremism at every
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turn as it seeks to harm communities across the country. i was just meeting with the independent school district in my community hearing about the needs for broadband and for fundamental infrastructure to help kids learn. and i was excited to tell them about the bipartisan infrastructure law and the investments that we are going to be making in our kids, in our future, in these school districts that are on the front lines of creating a competitive america. meanwhile, the republican party is talking about domestic cuts and ways to erode gains in communities like my own. tonight, my guest will be el paso county attorney joanne bernal, who has been on the front lines of defending el paso county against republican attacks and efforts to limit local control and they -- el paso county, she as a
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prosecutor, has been on the receiving end of the american rescue plan funds that fundally badly needed prosecutors for my -- funded badly needed prosecutors for my community. i am excited about contrast that we'll continue to see tonight as the president lays out, not just what we've accomplished, but his visions for the future -- vision for the future, so that americans across the country know who's in their corner and who delivers. and that is democrats. thank you, all. morning. tonight we're celebrating the accomplishment that we have made together on behalf of the american people. because democrats deliver on our promises. over the last two years, we've made historic investments in our infrastructure and created millions of better paying jobs. we've made health care more affordable. we passed my legislation, lowering premium prices for millions of americans.
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we've given medicare the power to negotiate, lower drug prices, and we've made sure that no senior would have to pay more than $35 a month for their insulin. we delivered on our promises to get health care to veterans, facing the impacts of toxic exposure, and to build high-speed broadband across the country. the list goes on and on. now, democrats have been delivering for the american people, but we also have to be on defense. this extreme republican majority is pushing an agenda that will devastate our communities, but democrats are hear to defend the people we represent. we passed legislation to protect the right to marry who they love no matter their gender or race. when they try to stop us from trying to make decisions about our bodies or our futures, democrats have made clear that we will always defend reproductive rights.
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and while this extreme republican majority tries to pay for more tax cuts for billionaires and corporations by slashing social security and medicare, democrats will fight to defend these vital programs and the right to retire with dignity. my guest tonight is one of those americans, and i am so excited for you all to meet her. cindy mondale from naperville, illinois, is a cardiac i.c.u. nurse who served our community for more than 30 years. she's the definition of a helper, and i am so honored to be welcoming her right here at the united states capitol later this evening. cindy, like millions of americans like her, earned her retirement through decades of hard work. but cuts that republicans are suggesting would turn her entire life upside down, but i am here to say, not on my watch. so as we welcome president biden to the capitol tonight, our message is this -- democrats deliver and democrats defend.
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for people like cindy and for people all across our communities who are counting on us to do this work. thank you, again, for joining us today, and i am delighted to introduce my colleague congressman dean phillips. mr. phillips: hi, everybody. when president biden was elected, he promised to restore competency and reduce chaos and to restore the soul of our nation. and i want to say that again, to restore the soul of our nation. i know that democratic leaders behind me, leader jeffries, all democrats know that it's not the politicians who will populate the capitol tonight for the state of the union that define that soul of our country. it's the very tens of millions of americans who will be tuning in. who face challenges. and great -- and a diverse nation of extraordinary needs, opportunities, possibilities and optimism that we intend to
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deliver for as democrats. and that's true from brooklyn park, minnesota, that i represent, all the way to brooklyn, new york, that leader jeffries represents. it's also the guests that we're bringing tonight. and i would ask if you have some moments over the course of this afternoon and tonight maybe spend a little less time with us and little more time with their guests. they are the soul of our country. my guest tonight is sheriff wit in minneapolis whose life story and remarkable path to her position is worthy of your time. and i ask that you visit with her today and this afternoon to learn about her, what she represents, the possibilities that she represents, and how we as a country can come together over ensuring that we bring safety to everybody and not just to some. and i want to remind all of you and the country that we believe in delivering for the american people, not demeaning them. we believe in defending american freedoms and not destroying
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them. we believe in constructing bridges, not burning them. we believe in lifting people up, not leaving them behind. we believe in decency and not division. in cooperation and not confrontation. we believe in safety for all, like i said, not just for some. and lastly and perhaps most importantly, we believe in competency over chaos. and that there is not a more important message for the american people and for all of us to remind ourselves where we were just a few years ago and where we are today. a lot of macro-discussion, a lot of big words, a lot of policy and legislation. but at the end of the day, president biden has delivered the most important thing that this country has ever needed and that is competency in lieu of chaos. i am so honored to represent my friends in this extraordinary caucus and i thank you for being here today. thanks, everyone. mr. neguse: getting very excited for dean phillips. abc of democracy taking from
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leader -- bottom line as you all know, democrats deliver for working people. and democrats will defend american values each and every day under the leadership of leader jeffries and president biden. so with that we'll take a few questions. yes. reporter: [indiscernible] mr. jeffries: it's a very important question and i think president biden tonight and democrats as we move forward, particularly as we implement these historic accomplishments will be in conversation with the american people the fact that democrats have delivered meaningful change and progress for everyday americans. in a multitude of ways. whether that's infrastructure or domestic manufacturing jobs or gun safety or respecting the right to marry who you love
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whenever and wherever you want, saving the economy from a deep recession, certainly driving down the high price of lifesaving prescription drugs for millions of americans. and so we'll continue to be in conversation with everyday americans. a lot has been accomplished. in some ways it's an abundance of riches that we are now responsible to communicate effectively to everyday americans that democrats have delivered and perhaps most importantly we will continue to deliver. and as all of our wonderful dpcc members have indicated, we will also defend american values. democrats will defend the efforts to slash and burn social security and medicare. democrats will defend democracy. democrats will defend a woman's freedom to make her own reproductive health care
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decisions. and what will also be important, what i think you'll hear today, is a clear contrast between democrats who get stuff done, who deliver for everyday americans, and have a vision to make life better for the american people into the future and a group of chaotic, dysfunctional, and extreme maga republicans who want to turn back the clock. mr. neguse: just to build on what the leader said, certainly it's a challenge, but it's also an opportunity and i think you will see house democrats over the course of the next several weeks and months talk more about the ways in which the historic legislation that was enacted in the prior 117th congress is making a real difference in people's lives back home in colorado, in illinois, in texas, in minnesota, and across the country. you've also seen a signal from the white house that the president intends to get out on the road touring 30 different cities. as these bills are being implemented. and i know the leader has been laser focused in ensuring they
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are implemented appropriately. hence, the regional council committee that he just recently announced, which i think will help operationalize some of that implementation work. reporter: [indiscernible] mr. jeffries: well, it's my understanding that president biden will speak to the issue of safer communities, strengthening the relationship between the police and the community, making sure that there is accountability. and that's important. and i think he'll talk about that today. and also leaning into the notion that it should be a democratic issue or a republican issue. strengthening the relationship between the police and communities all across america should be an american issue that both sides of the aisle, both
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sides of the capitol should lean into. and i think there's reason to be at least somewhat optimistic there are ongoing conversations being led by the congressional black caucus as well as members of the senate, such as tim scott and corey booker. and we'll support those efforts. we'll support those conversations. i think the president and the administration are prepared to do the same, and hopefully we'll be able to do something meaningful to address the legitimate concerns that exist across america with police violence while also making sure we lean in to strengthening ability for law enforcement to provide for safer communities. the overwhelming majority of police officers that i encounter back at home in brooklyn and throughout new york city are hardworking individuals who are in the community to protect and serve. and i think you'll see house
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democrats continue to lean in to strengthening those relationships while bringing about accountability when things go wrong. reporter: [indiscernible] >> mr. phillips: yes, we got a problem. we got to solve it. in fact, i think it's just the opposite what you just said, we're very much focused to make sure the trust funds are necessary. these are not entitlements. these are programs that people have paid into them. we have an opportunity to make sure the trust funds are solvent
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and have the resources to take care of people. until we have partners who are willing to sit down and talk about it, it's awfully difficult in an institution of democracy like the one behind us to get that done. so we're going to extend invitation rather than just inspire confrontations on this subject. under no way, shape, or form will democrats ever deny people what they have earned and paid into. and there are a lot of ways to solve this problem. we're ready to do so and i encourage our friends across the aisle to sit down and do so with us. mr. neguse: all right. one or two more questions. yes. reporter: [indiscernible]
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mr. neguse: i am going to kurn turn to -- turn to our colleagues. i think leader jeffries has been clear, we'll extend an hand to the republicans to work with them in a collaborative way to address the consequential challenges that face our countries. the f.a.a. re-authorization, the farm bill, perhaps being two great examples. what we won't do is engage in political games over the debt ceiling which clearly is what the republican party in the house is focused on right now. and put the full faith and credit of the united states and the sacrosanct commitment that we have to pay our debts in addition to our status as a world reserve currency all on the line so they can have draconian cuts to social security, medicare, incredibly important programs. i think we will always be working towards finding a bipartisan solution to some of these challenges. but ultimately it will take a governing partner to do that and the republicans, as veronica, congresswoman escobar articulated in the beginning,
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they are not incollide to -- incollide to do it. hope brings eternal. ms. underwood: that kind of statement lacks credibility. democrats, we passed the bipartisan infrastructure law that all across illinois is rebuilding roads and dealing with water infrastructure issues, which literally every municipality that i represent has a water issue and so we're taking care of business there. we obviously have delivered when it comes to historic bipartisan gun safety legislation which folks thought was not possible. but on the hill -- on the hills of a catastrophic tragedy we were able to come together on capitol hill to get it done. and so you know, that kind of statement to me just lacks credibility when what we've seen from this republican majority is just weeks and weeks and weeks of chaos at the beginning of a congress. in stark contrast to what we have to offer to the american people.
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mr. phillips: this is really important. we don't wake up and think how we can stone wall our friends across the aisle. most of us are new to democratic leader and have had -- leadership and have had a few meetings. it's no the spirit of our table. it's actually the opposite. it's where can we find ways to work together, because that's our responsibility. i believe i'm the only member of leadership on either side of the aisle that is a member of the problem solvers caucus. i sit with my republican colleagues every single way. the -- week. the ones that are willing to try to find a path forward. i think the president has tried his darndest to try to inspire it, but bipartisanship cannot occur when one party has a seemingly mandate to stonewall consistently no matter how important. so we're wanting to. i don't know any friends on my side of the aisle who are not willing to work with anybody that wants to solve these problems. if my colleagues on the dpcc
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here can inspire nothing in congress but for working together, then we will have failed. and i know that's the spirit of leader jeffries and so many of us. and that's our invitation. and i hope that's the spirit of tonight as well. mr. neguse: last question. reporter: [indiscernible] ms. escobar: well, obviously not previewed his speech for tonight. and i understand where speaker mccarthy is coming from. and if anyone has extended an olive branch to rebuild relationships and to create pathways for unity, it's been president joe biden. but i will tell you the elephant in the room and something that speaker mccarthy cannot wave
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away or pretend doesn't exist is the fact that the republican party of yesterday, the republican party of a decade ago, a generation ago, it doesn't exist anymore. as we saw in that week that it took for the speaker election to take place and the reason why congress is off to such a slow start is because of the chaos that ensued when the most extreme voices gained control of a political party. that is why bill after bill after bill that's come to the house floor has had absolutely nothing to do with addressing the challenges that we face as a country. challenges that we all stand ready to work alongside them with. and so, you know, i expect president biden's speech tonight to call on our better angels, call on us to work together, but
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it also has to reflect the reality of the challenge that comes with the obstructionism that the most extreme voices have brought to this institution. and so as -- as all my colleagues have mentioned, we stand here ready to continue to deliver for the american public but also to defend against those extremist voices whatever they are called at the end of the day. mr. neguse: thanks, everybody. thank, all, for coming out. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2023] national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> some members are tweeting. matt gaetz says his guest for the state of the union address is seranmartin acosta. he served our nation for 11 years until suffering combat injuries in afghanistan in 2020. we met at walter reed hospital
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and i am proud to be his congressman in congress. d terri sewell said honored to tragically they lost their ly. home-50-plus years as a result of the january 12ornados. i just spoke to in curry in my office as we prepare for the state of the union. president biden: the state of the union is strong because you, the american people, are strong. >> president biden delivers the annual state of the union address, outlining his priorities to congress tonight. his first state of the union speech since republicans won back control of the house. following his speech, arkansas governor sarah huckabee sanders will give the republican response. watch our live coverage of the state of the union tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, c-span now, our free mobile video app, or online at


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