Jan 28, 2021
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Transcript January 28
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference on January 28, 2021. She criticized GOP response to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s remarks about school shootings. Read the transcript of the briefing here.
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Nancy Pelosi: (00:00)
Our nation witnessed one of the worst assaults on our democracy and our constitution in the history of the Republic. The following Wednesday, the House impeached Donald Trump for inciting the insurrection that week before. In just one week he was impeached. And the Wednesday after that, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as President and Vice President of the United States, history making in so many respects. Yesterday on Wednesday, we celebrated the one week since the inauguration.
Nancy Pelosi: (00:36)
In that one week, President Biden, starting on day one, President Biden and Vice President Harris have driven a bold agenda for progress and for justice. Issuing transformative executive actions ranging from crushing the Coronavirus, racial equity in so many ways and again, addressing the climate crisis. Legislatively, those are executive orders. Legislatively, we have been working. I’m very proud of our committees who are diligently working on the coronavirus release legislation as a basis for reconciliation, should that be needed.
Nancy Pelosi: (01:23)
We will pass a reconciliation bill under leadership in our House of John Yarmouth, Mr. Sanders in the Senate will pass a reconciliation bill, if we need it. We would hope that we would have bi-partisan cooperation to meet the needs of the American people in terms of their health, in terms of distribution in an equitable way of the vaccine, continue with testing, tracing, treatment, et cetera, but also to meet their economic needs. So we would hope that, but we’re not taking any tools off the table. Should they not.
Nancy Pelosi: (01:58)
While our Committees are advancing this reconciliation legislation, at the same time the executive actions continue. Today’s executive action will open up the ACA’s enrollment period and take additional steps to expand healthcare. We’re very excited about that because of course, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and we see this as a matter of life and death. Very different from the Trump administration who fought the Affordable Care Act, we still don’t have the verdict from the Supreme Court to destroy the lifeline for affordable quality healthcare for all Americans, so we’re very excited about that particular healthcare initiative today, in addition to the others that the president has put forth in relationship to the Coronavirus.
Nancy Pelosi: (02:53)
Again, we are preparing for the impeachment, well we have impeached the president, but we’re preparing for the case. I’m very proud of our managers led by Jamie Raskin, our distinguished array of managers working very hard. They continue to prepare for trial before 100 jurors, members of the United States Senate. This trial is about the protection of the Constitution and the preservation of our Republic. We will insist upon the integrity and fairness of the proceedings, recognizing the role that the Senate plays in all of this. No one is above the law, not even a President of the United States and Trump must be tried and convicted to ensure that no future president will ever think it’s okay to incite insurrection, to stop the ascertainment of who the next President of the United States will be by falsely inflaming people falsely about the outcome of the election. In that regard, in terms of security, security, security, which is what we do protect and defend the constitution security, protecting American people, our very first responsibility.
Nancy Pelosi: (04:14)
And when they come to the Capitol, whether to work as a legislator, a staff, or a journalist, whatever we want, people to be safe. Later today, I’ll be meeting with General Honore, Russell Honore, who’s leading a security review of the Capitol complex. Updates on the timing, scope and details will be forthcoming. Protecting the Capitol is a matter of protecting our democracy and the House will not be distracted or delayed from our work that we are doing again, to crush the virus, to meet the economic needs of the American people and to do so in a way that is fair and just. Any questions? Yes, ma’am?
Speaker 2: (04:59)
Madam Speaker, I want to ask you about Marjorie Taylor Greene. How concerned are you about her past posts, remarks, rhetoric? What would you like to see done about her?
Nancy Pelosi: (05:08)
What I’m concerned about is the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives. Who was willing to overlook, ignore those statements assigning her to the Education Committee. When she has mocked the killing of little children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, when she has mocked the killing of teenagers in high school, at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, what could they be thinking or thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing? It’s absolutely appalling and I think that the focus has to be on the Republican leadership of this House of Representatives for the disregard they have for the death of those children.
Nancy Pelosi: (06:04)
Not only are they not interested in gun safety and gun violence prevention by passing legislation for background checks, legislation which is overwhelmingly support in a bipartisan way in the country, but to have someone who would mock, call it a fake, if those fake events onto the … is just beyond, it’s just beyond any understanding of any regard that the House Republicans would have for the House of Representatives, for the Congress of the United States and for the heartbreak of the families in Sandy Hook and at Marjory Stoneman High School, it really, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. It’s really beyond the pale. You’re just going to have to ask them why they thought that that raised itself to the level of something appropriate to do in the Congress of the United States.
Speaker 3: (07:04)
Nancy Pelosi: (07:05)
Speaker 3: (07:05)
[inaudible 00:07:05] some kind of clarity on the stimulus. Are you going to bring a budget resolution next week to the House when you start that?
Nancy Pelosi: (07:11)
Yes. We’re going to build, bring a budget resolution to the floor for next week and then we’ll send it over to the Senate. Then if they change it, then we’ll take it back and address it by the end of the week, we will be finished with the budget resolution, which will be about reconciliation if needed. I hope we don’t need it, but if needed, we will have it.
Speaker 3: (07:33)
And one more question, do [crosstalk 00:07:35] have any role in this GameStop stock manipulation that’s going on on Wall Street right now?
Nancy Pelosi: (07:41)
Interesting, isn’t it? I understand that the administration is taking a look, the SEC is taking a look at what that is. But we’ll all be reviewing it, but interesting. It’s interesting, yeah. Completely different. You had two questions. That was not considered a follow-up would you say? Yes sir?
Speaker 4: (08:03)
Just a call on security, you’ve had 30 plus members of the House send you and the minority leader a letter asking for more money for security. You have members who are worried about not only their safety at the Capitol, but when they go back to their home districts. You have a member who has talked about executing you. And you got a security bulletin yesterday from DHS about ongoing domestic violence threats. What are you saying to your members about protecting themselves and what can be done for them to feel safe?
Nancy Pelosi: (08:39)
Nancy Pelosi: (09:45)
I do think though, that while it’s appropriate, that they use their MRA for their security, they shouldn’t have to because that money is there for them to meet the needs of their constituents. In the meantime, to protect themselves and their constituents when they communicate with them, that is confidential, private and not provocative, but then also for us to have. And that’s what we’ll be looking at recommendations from, General Honore will have some interim report today and then he’ll continue his work as we go forward. But it’s very important.
Speaker 4: (10:24)
You’ve been the subject of threats that comes with the job of being Speaker. Many of your members, not necessarily, some of them feel like they’re targets now. What do you say to your Caucus, to your fellow House members?
Nancy Pelosi: (10:37)
Well, what we’re saying is that we’re going to approach it in a way that will truly protect them, that the issues they raised in their letter have by and large been in effect. So they may be relieved to hear that. There’ll be hearing also from the Sergeant in Arms today, and you’ll see his letter talking about how their protection is further enhanced by certain initiatives that were taken. And as I said, General Honore is looking to see what really will work in terms of their service here, their service at home, their transportation in between. But I call to your attention, the Sergeant in Arms letter, because there’ll be more specific about Air Marshals, et cetera. But this is very, very important. It shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be that not only is the President of United States inciting an insurrection, but keeps fanning the flame endangering the security of members of Congress to the point that they’re even concerned about members in the House of Representatives being a danger to them.
Speaker 5: (11:53)
Speaker Pelosi, What exactly did you mean when you said that the enemy is within? What exactly did you mean by that?
Nancy Pelosi: (11:58)
It means that we have members of Congress who want to bring guns on the floor and have threatened violence on other members of Congress. Yes, sir?
Speaker 6: (12:07)
Madam Speaker, do you believe that the President can get a fair and complete trial that lasts only one week?
Nancy Pelosi: (12:14)
Of course. Of course and that’s what our system is about. I don’t know how long it will take. It depends on the response that he will make, but it will be a fair trial and respectful of the role that the Senate plays now that it goes over to there, yeah I do. Yes, sir?
Speaker 7: (12:33)
Now, Madam speaker on LGBTQ issues, the President campaigned on signing the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. When will you hold a vote on the legislation?
Nancy Pelosi: (12:45)
Thank you for that question. This is such an exciting piece of legislation for us. We passed it in the last Congress,. No success in the Senate, it went to Mitch McConnell’s graveyard, the Grim Reaper. But I’m optimistic about it because I do think we will get strong bipartisan support in the House and in the Senate. We’re working with Mr. Cicilline, the author of the bill for when we will roll it out with him and Mr. Merkley, the Senator and then we will, again, in the calendar, it’s an early priority for us, H.R. 5. And again, it’s about ending discrimination.
Nancy Pelosi: (13:32)
I’m very pleased with what President Biden has done so far, especially pleased about eliminating the prohibition on trans people from serving in the military. That too, I think, was a triumph for decency and justice in our country, but at some other initiatives that he took about contracting and this or that, it’s amazing that we would even have to do such things, but we’re particularly proud of the Equality Act because it’s so comprehensive. And again, ending discrimination in the workplace and in every other aspect of life, not only is good for the LGBTQ community, for our whole society, but also for the businesses that want the very best they should be hiring without any concern of complaint about the diversity that they are introducing into [inaudible 00:14:34]. That’s why we think we’ll have strong bipartisan support. We think the business community will help us in the Senate. Yeah. One more. No, I’m sorry. [I said 00:14:48].
Speaker 8: (14:46)
Thank you, Madam.
Nancy Pelosi: (14:47)
Speaker 9: (14:47)
So you believe, that you say reconciliation is a backstop that you’d rather have a bipartisan bill-
Nancy Pelosi: (14:54)
Speaker 9: (14:56)
But it sounds like you’re not optimistic that that will happen. Is that correct?
Nancy Pelosi: (15:02)
Well we have to be ready. I do think that we have more leverage getting cooperation on the other side, if they know we have an alternative as well. But I would think if we’re talking about additional funding for vaccines, not only production, but their distribution. If we’re talking about putting money into the pockets of the American people with the direct payments, if we’re talking about supporting state and local government, so that they’re able to implement all these things, open our schools, our healthcare workers, our police and fire, first responders, our teachers, our teachers, our teachers, transportation, sanitation, food workers, I would hope that the Republicans would be supportive of that. Many of the localities that will benefit have Republican mayors and Republican County executives.
Nancy Pelosi: (15:56)
So I would hope that we would be able to do it in a bipartisan way. And again, if there’s an argument that needs to be made to people that we need more funding for the vaccines, more distribution resources, more of the vials and syringes and all that makes it happen, I think many of the Republicans would be supportive of that and I hope so. But we cannot not have it happen. We have to act and that is why I said we want it to be bipartisan always, but we can’t surrender if they’re not going to be doing that instead, we will pass it. Thank you all very much.
Speaker 10: (16:41)
Will you be expelled from the House Madam Speaker? [inaudible 00:16:45] to be expelled?
Speaker 11: (16:46)
Did Vice President Mike Pence come testify?
Speaker 12: (16:47)
Do you want to show me [inaudible 00:17:30]?