Dec 2, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Transcript December 2

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Transcript December 2
RevBlogTranscriptsNancy Pelosi TranscriptsHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Transcript December 2

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference on December 2, 2021. Read the transcript of the news briefing here.

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (00:00)
… Solution, which, hopefully, we plan to take up on the floor of the House. Sometime early today, it will come out of rules committee and go to the floor, then we’ll pass it and send it over to the Senate. As you probably are aware, it has a date of February 18th, and it has in it some anomalies that are so very essential. I want to salute Congresswoman Madame Chair, Rosa DeLauro, for her just excellent work and her leadership on this, not only CR but also the Omnibus Bill that we’ve has most of the provision in the House of Representatives already. We look forward to a negotiation with our Republican colleagues, House and Senate, in order to bring the full Omnibus to the floor as soon as possible. This continued resolution gives us until the middle of February, but we would hope that we would get that done before.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (00:59)
Our men and women in uniform depend on that. Our veterans depend on that. There’s so much in the legislation that addresses our national security, and again, the sooner we can pass the full bill, the better in so many respects. So again, we’re very pleased that this went into the night, so we didn’t have anything last night to give you until this morning. So that’s it for the CR as we anticipate the Senate taking up to Build Back Better legislation, which is, of course, very important to the American people in terms of lowering costs, lowering costs of prescription drugs, lowering their taxes for the middle class, build bigger paychecks by building the infrastructure of America, both with the BIF and with the BBB, as well as making the future better for our children.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (01:59)
As we go enter the holiday season we have to address all of that and the question of supply chain, inflation and all the rest. The legislation that we have passed addresses much of this, and we have more legislation to come, in the bipartisan and infrastructure bill that secured $17 billion for ports and waterways to ensure that commerce runs smoothly and we can facilitate trade and build back better. We have $5 billion to identify and fix disruptions to the supply chain with loans and grants that can be used to invest directly in domestic manufacturing, preserved surge capacity and also, to create strategic reserve materials. This is all very specifically written. Then today, I’m once again convening the chairs of the relevant committees so that we can come closer to our version of the competitives innovation and supply chain legislation that the leader in the Senate, Mr. Schumer and I said, we would go to conference on and that’s a pretty exciting prospect.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (03:12)
There’s so much that goes into that. Perhaps, you’ll have some questions on that. So that’s what’s happening legislatively among other things, but at the same time, we are always, always having as our priority to crush the virus, whatever manifestation it may have. As you may have seen overnight, public officials in San Francisco, and I commend them for their vigilance, recognizing the variant and their leadership in addressing it. I salute the person who was affected by it, because he had traveled to South Africa. He came forward with symptoms as you probably have seen, or maybe you have written. But what I was told last night from the responsible parties in San Francisco, he had symptoms. They weren’t severe, but since he had been to South Africa, he came forward.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (04:10)
All of the people that he had been in contact with have tested negative. His symptoms were not severe, but nonetheless, we must be vigilant. Now, I understand this morning, there’s another case in the United States, but all the more reason for us to salute the work of the Biden Administration for their hard work to lead us out of this pandemic. We urge everyone to be vaccinated. The person who incurred the Omicron in South Africa was vaccinated, but he didn’t have the booster. So if it’s six months since you’re last shot, we encourage the booster for everyone, even young ages. So there are those on the other side of the aisle who have this anti-vax plan, it’s anti-science, it would remove all COVID safety protections. It would end vaccination requirements that people get shots in the arms and make workplaces safe.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (05:16)
It’s a defiance of science and public health and that’s what we’re up against. But the more people who are vaccinated and getting the full complement of their vaccinations are the better. This is having an impact on the health and well-being of the American people, causing disruptions that push up prices, actually, hurt small businesses with customers scared. People have apprehension about going into the marketplace and preventing workers from re-entering the workforce. So that’s some of what’s on the legislative agenda, and that is our ongoing attention to the COVID virus. Yesterday, the Supreme Court took up a very important issue. I viewed it, listening as a very dark day as the Supreme Court heard arguments about the case of Mississippi’s extreme law. The court is threatening to trample over the Constitution, destroy Roe v. Wade, and take away a woman’s freedom to make the most fundamental decision that she can make for herself and her family, working with her family members and her doctor and her faith.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (06:35)
So we have a situation where for us, we believe the strongest weapon that we have here is to pass the Roe v. Wade codification. We did that already in the House. It establishes statutory right for healthcare providers to provide and women to avail themselves to receive abortion care, free from medically unnecessary restrictions. The DOJ and providers, and those harmed by restriction made unlawful under the act could go to court to enforce those rights. It made the law, the Women’s Health Protection Act, would protect access to termination of a pregnancy across the country. The codification of Roe is the strongest weapon that we have to blunt these restrictive anti-woman state laws.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (07:37)
Now, we don’t know what the decision will be from the Court, but from what they have said about not respecting precedents at [inaudible 00:07:47] all of that is troubling and what they have said about, sometimes I think they need a session in the birds and the bees for some of the kinds of statements that they make. I say that as mother of five, six years and one week, five children, as I say to my colleagues, “When you have five children in six years and one week, we can discuss this issue.” That was great for me. That’s not necessarily great for other people and it shouldn’t be up to any of us to decide what a woman and her family and her husband and her partner decides is right for them and their family and their future childbearing possibilities, so it’s scary. It’s really scary, and I say that as a practicing Catholic. Again, this shouldn’t even be a political issue. Look at Ireland. Is there a more Catholic country? Look at Ireland and how they pass legislation, respecting women, respecting women. So in any event, any questions? [crosstalk 00:09:02] Yes, ma’am.

Speaker 2: (09:03)
Speaker Pelosi, there is an agreement on government funding from leadership, but in the Senate, the government could still shut down over the weekend over this funding of vaccine mandates. What is your reaction to that?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (09:15)
Well, look, we all have a responsibility to make sure that the government functions. I don’t think that the Republicans and the Senate want to shut down government. I don’t know that they would even have the votes to do so, but it is, yet again, a double sense of irresponsibility. First of all, they’d shut down government and then they’d shut down science. Any other questions? [crosstalk 00:09:45] Yes, ma’am.

Speaker 3: (09:51)
The other bill that is held up in the Senate is the Defense Obligation Bill. At this moment, it’s held up over Marco Rubio’s idea about the unions in China. That is a bipartisan bill that Senator Rubio and Senator Murphy sent to the House. Why hasn’t the House acted on that bill about [inaudible 00:09:57] and do you think that it will?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (10:07)
Well, I take second place to no one in the Congress in my criticism of China’s human rights record. I’ve even spoken to President Trump when he was at G20 in Japan, a few years ago. I said, “Will you go up to the President of China and tell them that on the House and in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans have very serious concerns about what President Xi is doing to the Uyghurs?” The next day he called me, said, “I talked to the President and he says, ‘The Uyghurs like being in those camps.'” That’s what the President said. I said, “Well, that’s what autocrats say.” So we have a bill in the House. It’s the McGovern Bill. It’s a stronger. It’s a bill that we could have free standing or a bill that is in the Eagle Act that is part of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (11:02)
Mr. Kendrick Meek, no, [crosstalk 00:11:05] Gregory Meek’s bill. Kendrick, we’re all very sad about losing Carrie Meek this week, so I referenced her son, but Chairman Meek’s bill in the House, so we will have that. But you see, in a bill, whether it’s in whatever that thing’s called that they have in the Senate, or in a DOD bill, the Senate does not have the right to have a revenue or an appropriations matter. That is the prerogative of the House of Representatives. Read the Constitution. Read the Constitution. So when they put a trade, which as it is, it’s human rights, but as trade implications in on the Senate side, then it complicates the legislation there.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (11:58)
We will have the strongest possible bill for the Uyghurs, whether we’re talking about the Uyghurs and the genocide that is happening in China over that, Marco Rubio has been a good champion for human rights in China, but we have a disagreement. I don’t know why he’s using this to hold up the DOD bill when he knows that there will be a strong Uyghur Bill. You’d have to ask him, but whether it’s the democracy movement in Hong Kong, whether it’s democracy throughout, whether it’s suppression of the culture, language, and religion of Tibet, or whether it’s just human rights throughout China, it’s a horrible situation and it’s gotten worse under President XI. We’ve all worked together on that in a bipartisan way, House and Senate, over the years, so we will have the strongest possible Uyghur Bill. [crosstalk 00:12:58]

Speaker 3: (12:58)
Madam Speaker, just following up on that, one of the things that Senator Rubio has said is that the reason why the House has not voted on that Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is because John Perry has lobbied you and others not to act on it and just slow walk it so it doesn’t complicate his climate change negotiations with China. Is that true?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (13:20)
No, it is not true. Again, if you want to repeat the charges of the Republicans, that’s up to you, but that is completely not true. As I said, for over 30 years, I have been considered the most disliked, they use stronger language than that, person in China, because of my assault on their human rights violations. No, that’s absolutely, positively not true, but you asked the question, so they won their case. [crosstalk 00:13:50] Yeah, let me just [crosstalk 00:13:52]

Speaker 4: (13:52)
Madam Speaker, once again, we’re at a deadline for funding the government.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (13:56)

Speaker 4: (13:56)
There’s a deadline to raise the debt ceiling.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (13:58)
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 4: (13:59)
What kind of a message does it send to the American people that even keeping the government open is a struggle? We’re sitting here talking about whether or not the House and the Senate can get it done.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (14:07)
The message is that the obstacle to moving forward with most of what we want to do lies in the Senate, in the person of Mitch McConnell. You like to make it look like, “Oh, we can’t get things done.” No. We’ve been trying to come together to do the Omnibus Bill, but the Republicans will not come to the table to discuss it. So they don’t care about this, that, or the other, I think they just want to get the job done and we will get it done. We just have to hope that we would have, instead of repeating the Republican message, some accurate depiction of what is going on here, but we will get it done and we will get it done in a timely fashion. [crosstalk 00:14:56].

Jay: (14:56)
Madam Speaker?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (14:56)
Yes, Jay. [crosstalk 00:14:57]

Jay: (14:57)
May I ask, in anticipation that Republicans might slow this up, the government funding, will you keep the House here this weekend, or do you plan to let them disperse after you’ve passed this?

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: (15:09)
Well, we anticipate hate that the Senate will pass the legislation. I don’t think that their anti-vaxxing thing, how do they explain to the public that they’re shutting down the government because they don’t want people to get vaccinated? Why don’t you go ask them? This is so silly. This is so silly that we have people who are anti-science, anti-vaccination saying they’re going to shut down the government over that and you’re asking me, what’s our message? Our message is that we have to respect governance and we have to respect science, and that’s what we are doing and we will pass this legislation. Our members, whether they are here or they are home, stand ready to keep the government open. It doesn’t matter their location. Mr. Hoyer was very clear that in our Whip meeting this morning, that while we are optimistic about what it is, we’ll stay close to ensure that. But we’re not going to go for their anti-vaxxing, okay? So if you think that’s how we’re going to keep the government open, forget that. [crosstalk 00:16:20] Forget that. Okay. Last question. That it. [crosstalk 00:16:23]

Speaker 6: (16:25)
Is December 15th the end for the deadline for the debt limit? [crosstalk 00:16:37]

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