Jun 8, 2022
House Democrats Hold Press Conference Ahead of Gun Safety Legislation Vote 6/08/22 Transcript
House Democrats Hold Press Conference Ahead of Gun Safety Legislation Vote 6/08/22. Read the transcript here.
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Speaker 1: (00:01)
Lucy McBath, thank you. Thank you for showing the courage that you’ve shown. I don’t think there’s anyone here who can even imagine what type of courage you muster every day to get up and to fight this fight and try to make sure other parents, other moms don’t experience the tragedy that you experience. You think about that, that takes a lot of courage. And we have people saying we need to have the courage to vote this package of bills out or pass this bill or that bill. Doesn’t take any courage, that requires us to do our job.
Speaker 1: (00:38)
Now, I can’t imagine that my district is much different than any other district across this country. And I hear every time I’m home, I hear from kids who tell me they’re afraid. They’re afraid that their classroom or their school may be the next one. Last week, I had a newspaper reporter tell me she wished that we’d go back into COVID lockdown so she wouldn’t have to send her child to school because she was so fearful and her child was so fearful of all of the gun violence that’s taking place right now. I had a parent friend of mine, parent who lost his daughter in gun violence call me to tell me that if any of the Uvalde parents would like to talk to parents who’ve lost kids that he and his wife would be available to talk to him.
Speaker 1: (01:35)
15 minutes later, he called me back and he said, his teenager overheard the conversation. And his teenager wanted him to call me back and say, if there were any brothers or sisters who lost siblings, that their teenager would be willing to talk to them. I can’t believe we’ve gone here. This is a dark place. And there’s things that we can do to fix it. There’s no one bill. There’s no package of bills that’s going to stop gun violence in every corner of the country. But the package that we’re going to put on the floor today, and Lucy’s red flag bill, I guess tomorrow, will save lives. We know that they will save lives. Every bill in that package will save lives and we should pass that. And it should be passed with strong bipartisan support. There’s no excuse.
Speaker 1: (02:36)
There’s no excuse to be against the safe storage of firearms. There’s no excuse to be against gun trafficking and straw purchasing. Any one of our colleagues that gets up on the floor and tries to dream up some excuse, they are so off the mark it is unbelievable. Every bill, every bill will save lives. Every bill should pass with bipartisan support. Anybody who tells you that 15 rounds in a magazine isn’t enough for them to defend their family in their home, I would suggest they shouldn’t be at home. They should be in a witness protection program somewhere. This is insanity, these arguments that we’re hearing about this good package of gun violence prevention legislation.
Speaker 2: (03:35)
Thank you, Mike. And thank you Lucy for your powerful, principled and passionate leadership at this moment on such an incredibly important issue. Questions.
Speaker 3: (03:47)
How confident are you that house Democrats will have enough vote for a potential Senate compromise on gun legislation? If it’s not up to your standards of what you’re working on and passing today?
Speaker 2: (04:00)
Well, I’m very confident in our ability to make sure that we are continuing to lead the effort to pass meaningful gun violence prevention legislation. And what’s in front of us today and tomorrow are a series of bills that, as Chairman Thompson indicated, will save lives and make a difference because the Senate hasn’t put anything forward for us to take a look at, it’s speculative to comment on anything that they may come up with, but we’re hopeful that they come up with something meaningful.
Speaker 4: (04:34)
Have a question for Vice Chair Aguilar. Based on, of course, the fact that the hearings are starting tomorrow, will go throughout the month, I think for many of the people who might watch them and take in the things that you’re going to present, their next question might be okay, what now? Based on what you know you’re going to present and what you already know from all of these testimonies and witnesses, do you think that there is enough there to move on a criminal referral against former president Donald Trump?
Speaker 5: (04:59)
That’s not the task before the committee. So the task before the committee is to tell the truth and to find out what happened on January 6th. One level of accountability is in doing that work. There are other levels of accountability that are the department of justices responsibility. Our job isn’t to do that job. Our job in front of us is to tell this story. We plan on doing that through these hearings and then ultimately in a report that we publish. So that’s the focus of where we’re at and what we’re sticking to.
Speaker 4: (05:29)
But that might be the focus, but people are going to draw conclusions from these testimonies, from these hearings. And certainly from that report. Do you think that that’s a question that they might ask themselves about the role of the former president and whether or not he should face any backlash for what he did on that day?
Speaker 5: (05:46)
It’s a fair question to ask, and we’re going to lay out the evidence and we’re going to lay out the information that is before us and allow people to ask that question and to form their own opinions, but that’s the task before the committee and then ultimately to produce a report. The level of accountability is on the Department of Justice.
Speaker 6: (06:05)
Speaker 2: (06:06)
Go back to the other side.
Speaker 7: (06:06)
In terms of this board, Mr. Aguilar, aside from the question of legal ramifications, do you see the potential for the hearings to create political ramifications, possibly making January 6th more of a prominent midterm issue, something that you’re going to hold against Republican candidates.
Speaker 2: (06:26)
This is not a midterm issue. This is not a political issue. It’s an issue about the integrity and sanctity of our democracy and the charge for the January 6th committee from the very beginning has been simple, uncover the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. Present it to the American people, tell the American people what happened, why it happened and how do we prevent this type of violent insurrection and attack on our democracy from ever happening again.
Speaker 7: (06:53)
So do you think this will have an impact on voters, on how they see the election?
Speaker 2: (06:58)
Committee, as Vice Chair Aguilar has indicated, is going to present the truth to the American people, give them the ability to form their opinions about how do we prevent this type of attack from ever occurring again.
Speaker 6: (07:11)
What’s your opinion? Was it a conspiracy?
Speaker 2: (07:13)
I’m awaiting the information that will be presented by the January 6th committee? You.
Speaker 8: (07:22)
Speaker 2: (07:23)
Speaker 8: (07:24)
For representative McBath. Sorry.
Speaker 2: (07:27)
Speaker 8: (07:29)
Sorry. I didn’t mean to catch you as you left. So it seems like in the Senate, they’re leaning more towards encouraging states to adopt red flag laws rather than encouraging federal red flag laws. If that were the compromise that were acceptable in the Senate, would that then be acceptable to you to have solely legislation that incentivizes states to pick up red red flag laws rather than federal?
Speaker 9: (07:58)
Thank you. That’s a great question. And we’re looking at the most comprehensive ways to save as many lives as we can. And so making sure that we’re ensuring states the ability to be able to have incentives to adopt their own red flag laws is … That was an executive order that President Biden put in place last year. Anyway, any movement is positive movement. We will accept any positive movement because we know there’s not just one particular way, one particular piece of policy that’s going to make a dent in the extremist gun culture that we’re living in.
Speaker 9: (08:34)
So we know it’s taken how many years to get to this point with the NRA gun lobby and all of the legislation across the country that has continued to water down our existing gun laws and make them far more vulnerable to people abusing them such as we see with all the mass tragedies. So we know it’s going to take years of continued work. Going forward, this is not just one piece of legislation now that’s the end all and accomplishes everything that we want to do. There’ll be many more pieces of policy that we continue to fight on because we have to make sure that we’re addressing all aspects of gun safety. And that means many pieces of policy.
Speaker 2: (09:20)
Mike, did you want to add any concluding remarks before you leave?
Speaker 1: (09:22)
No, I think we’re doing good. We’re doing good legislation. Good public policy. It’ll save lives. We’ll pass it. We’ll send it over to the Senate. Hopefully they’ll have a clear mind and a clear head to follow our lead.
Speaker 2: (09:37)
Thanks. We can take one or two more questions. We’ll go here. And then to conclude.
Speaker 10: (09:40)
Congressman Aguilar, can you just help us understand on the eve of your committee’s presentation the way the committee is going to tell the story? For example, will the committee use the recorded depositions of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump to tell the story of former president Trump’s conduct.
Speaker 5: (10:00)
I’m not going to give you any pre-game analysis on the hearing tomorrow. I’ll let the documents and the evidence that’s presented by the chair, vice chair tomorrow, speak for itself. But what I can tell you is that the committee is in lockstep. We’ve worked hard to gather this information, to gather the evidence, to come to this point, to be able to tell the truth and to share aspects of what we’ve learned. And so we’re ready, we’re focused. We’re ready, we’re prepared. We continue to do preparation each and every day. All of us have spent time on this. We look forward to sharing with the American public and with our colleagues what we found.
Speaker 10: (10:39)
Are you convinced the committee is going to break through with the American people?
Speaker 5: (10:43)
All we can control is what’s in front of us. And that’s to tell that story. I hope that people pay attention. As the chairman outlined, this is bigger than one hearing room and one committee. This is about protecting our democracy and the sanctity of what happened and the importance of the topics that we’re going to address. And many of the folks here in this room, you all lived through this, just like we did. And so we owe it on ourselves. We owe it to each other to tell this story right and to make sure that we do it in a thoughtful and deliberate way. And that’s exactly what the committee’s going to do.
Speaker 2: (11:20)
Speaker 11: (11:20)
Jeremy Jeffrey, [inaudible 00:11:21] with News Max. Some of the house select committee members have been debating what to do following the January 6th hearings in terms of taking action that would prevent another attack like we saw in January 6th. And some of those proposals include abolishing the electoral college or voting reforms, which would include same day registrations. What’s your stance on that? Do you support abolishing the electoral college?
Speaker 2: (11:48)
Yeah. I support the efforts by the January 6th committee, and I’m going to yield to Pete, to continue to thoughtfully do its work, which it has done in a serious, sober and substantive fashion. Now present that information to the American people beginning tomorrow evening, write a report and then give us, as policy makers within the Congress, the opportunity to read that report, absorb it, take the recommendations contained within that report and begin to act in a comprehensive fashion and hopefully in a bipartisan fashion,
Speaker 5: (12:27)
Part of our work will be, as the chairman just mentioned, to lay out legislative solutions that could help ensure that this never happens again. To the extent that touches on topics, there are committees of jurisdiction involved, but the committee will make its views known and will go from there. But this will be a component, this was called for in house resolution 503 that committed and that created the select committee. And so that’s what we plan to carry out. Thank you so much.
Speaker 2: (12:54)
Thank you everyone.
Speaker 12: (12:55)