Apr 30, 2020
Nancy Pelosi Press Conference Transcript April 30
Nancy Pelosi held a press conference on April 30. She snapped at a reporter asking about Joe Biden sexual allegations, saying she “doesn’t need a lecture” and re-emphasized support for Biden. She also said states & cities are seeking $1T to avert layoffs from COVID-19.
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Nancy Pelosi: (00:00)
The Democratic whip of the house, Mr. Clyburn. Now the chair of the select committee on the coronavirus, but today we’re here to talk about how we can reach out to everyone as we reach out with a broad band. Mr. Clyburn will be addressing that. He’s been a champion on it. Excuse me. Everything is about time. We’re in a time of great sadness in our country, 60,000 people have died more than 60,000 from the coronavirus. Approximately 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment insurance. The lives and the livelihood of the American people are at stake and we have to make some decisions about time. As to time this, when we would go forward to be opening up our economy and the rest. That’s the question at hand. I firmly believe that there are three steps that we must take in preparation for what comes next. Many of us have talked about testing, testing, testing. Our first bill, bipartisan bill, which we wrote in February, passed on the floor of the House on March 4th was about testing, testing, testing. The impression that was given is not everybody can be tested because we don’t have enough test and we don’t have enough mask and we don’t have this. Let’s get it, let’s get it all. So the tests were reserved for those who reached a certain threshold, but that was almost two months ago and we should be creating more tests. What will give people confidence to go into the workforce if they know that their coworkers have been tested and cleared to be there. What will we give people more confidence to know that when we go into the workforce, they’re not bringing something home to their children because the other people have not been tested.
Nancy Pelosi: (02:07)
So while we aspire to a vaccine and that is our hope and prayer and science, science, science. We aspire to a cure, hopefully they will be soon. The vaccine may take longer or there might be some, as we say, illumination on the horizon close by, but we do know that we can make the test and we should make the test available to everyone and have the subsequent healthcare that might follow that, if someone tests positive to be free. So that it is not menacing to someone. I can’t take a test because I can’t afford what comes next. I can’t take a test because if I’m positive I won’t be able to go to work. The testing is dispositive in so many ways of getting a handle on just how big this challenge is and how necessary it is for us to know who. And then as Mr. Clyburn has talked about and probably will again, testing, contact tracing, isolation and treatment.
Nancy Pelosi: (03:20)
He’ll tell us some more about that, but what is also important there is that as he has suggested, we have mobile units going out so that we’re reaching a whole other market of people who might not be aware of how they should be tested. That’s one. Two, I said if we in fact do get a cure or a vaccine, we have to be prepared to manufacture it. The Defense Production Act should be geared to this, should be geared to this. As I’ve said to you before, even if we had a vaccine tomorrow, we don’t have the syringes and the vials and everything else that goes with vaccinating people. Let’s get that done as we wait for a vaccine, let’s make sure we’re ready when it comes. And again, we can stock pile it, until it’s ready.
Nancy Pelosi: (04:15)
And third, we need to have in place an ethical, whether it is a taskforce, whatever it is, of scientists and others, an ethical approach to how a vaccine or a therapy would be distributed. So that everybody in America would know when that happens. I will have access to it. My family would have access to it. So again, as we discussed, is it, oh should we open up? Should we not open up? There’s a path, but let’s take it and let’s not say, “Well, if we’d only started sooner.” Time, let’s start now. I’m sure you’ll have some questions about Cares Act 2 and what we do there and what’s happening in meat packing plants. So I will just proceed and talk about the fact that again yesterday, very proud to have announced with Mr. Clyburn, the members of our oversight committee on the coronavirus and that would be the distinguished chairman of the committee, Mr. Clyburn. Chair Maxine Waters, chair of financial services, chair of small business, Nydia Velazquez, chair of the oversight, Carolyn Maloney. Congressman Bill Foster, Congressman Jamie Raskin and Congressman Andy Kim. I’m very proud of that and I just want to put their names out there once again.
Nancy Pelosi: (05:41)
But today we are here to talk about the issue of fairness again and how our sense of community and our sense of humanity in America is served by what policies we present, what legislation that is included in and what action we take to make that possible. I want to commend Mr. Clyburn for being in the lead for such a long time on the expansion of broadband in America. I’m going to have him speak more specifically to it, but just to commend him for the champion that he has been. The understanding that he has about it. I also want to commend Chairman, Frank Pallone, the chair of the energy and commerce committee couldn’t be with us this morning, but he has been working on this issue, made a proposal for infrastructure bill based on the taskforce that Mr. Clyburn has chaired.
Nancy Pelosi: (06:35)
And I also want to acknowledge the leadership role of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo for a specific piece that is in the proposal. But we do believe that the energy and Mr. Clyburn will discuss that. But I do want to thank Mr. Pallone, as chair of the full committee of jurisdiction for not only what they’re doing on this, but what he is doing on the testing issue and the tracing and the rest. What they’re doing on PPE and the rest and what they will be doing on oversight of their committee of jurisdiction that has so much jurisdiction. See, I’m an appropriator and we call it the almighty powerful appropriations committee. In their committee they say, “If the sun shines on anything, it’s a matter of the energy and commerce committee.” So they have a broad jurisdiction and I think the chairman for his leadership in so many ways.
Nancy Pelosi: (07:28)
And with that I want to present Mr. Clyburn to talk about this important initiative that we cannot fight this virus. We’re talking about distance learning, we’re talking about telemedicine, we’re talking about people buying things in a way that they hadn’t before and yet it’s not available to everyone. So this is about fairness and equity in every way. Access to care, access to credit, access to whatever opportunities come along in terms of testing therapies or vaccine. But what Mr. Clyburn will talk about is to make so much of all of that possible. And with that I’m pleased to yield distinguish a chair of the committee but also democratic whip of the house, Mr Clyburn.
Jim Clyburn: (08:19)
Thank you very much Madam Speaker and thank you so much for your leadership and guidance on this very, very important issue. In spite of what attempts may have been made to the contrary, my vision for this great country is drawn or from the Pledge of Allegiance. That pledge when I was a kid growing up in the little town of Sumpter, South Carolina, we used to say the pledge every morning. I remember getting to perfect it because I was in school when we changed the pledge to insert the words under God, and I remember how many times I would have to keep repeating it for failing to put those two words in it when I recited it, but we conclude that pledge. There is a phrase that means a lot to me, with liberty and justice for all. That is what has enlightened me in my service here in the Congress.
Jim Clyburn: (09:20)
And I’ve always said that my vision for this great country is making its greatness accessible and affordable for all. I have it on billboards all over my congressional district. I believe very strongly in that. This country is great, but the greatness is not accessible and affordable for everybody. And to me that’s what we should be about. I’m often reminded of when, the co-ops, the electric co-ops, pause to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the rule electrification. They wrote a tabletop book that I keep in my office and a copy in my home and it’s called, The Next Greatest Thing and let me just read for you what gave rise to that title.
Jim Clyburn: (10:25)
It was an elderly gentleman in rural Tennessee church giving testimony one evening. He said, “Brothers and sisters, let me tell you what is the greatest thing, is to have the love of God in your heart, but the next greatest thing is having electricity in your house.” I believe in that testimony, which was great for the 20th century, but the greatest thing for the 21st century to me would be having broadband in every house. That to me is what is going to be necessary and made even more than necessary by this current pandemic that we are trying to respond too.
Jim Clyburn: (11:27)
We can’t get testing done unless we have broadband, simply because when you test, what then? If somebody shows up positive, it’s time to do two things. Number one, do tracing. Secondly, you’ve got to isolate and then you got a treat. I don’t see how you do effecting tracer without broadband. If we are going to have effective treatment, you got to have broadband because our federally qualified community health centers must be equipped with the ability to do isolation and treatment. To do that, we got to have broadband and if we are going to experience as all the experts say, another round of this virus, our children are to be out of school again next year, and if that were to happen, the only way you can have online learning is with broadband. And you cannot afford to allow two thirds in many communities that I represent, only 34% of the homes are tied to the internet. That means …
Jim Clyburn: (13:03)
Tied to the internet. That means over 60% of the children are not going to be able to receive online learning. And some of them will fall behind for a second year. And once that happened, I happen to have started my professional career as a public school teacher, and I can tell you what happens if a child falls two years behind in school. That child will never graduate high school and will never become a productive citizen as a rule. There are exceptions to every rule. But as a rule, that’s what will occur. So this broadband deployment is very, very necessary. And I want to thank the speaker. This afternoon or later today we will be rolling out our broadband program. And I’m very pleased that when we had our first infrastructure meeting at the White House, the President said he got it. He understood.
Jim Clyburn: (14:09)
And I conclude with this. Last year, when we were trying to develop a legislative response to the disasters many of our farmers were experiencing, they came here and I met the farmers from all over the country. And they were telling us what we needed to do because this was the second year that they were going to be unable to get their crops out of the field. One man sitting right across from me in the meeting, when it came time for him to speak, he said this, he said, “I came here to talk to you today about my farm and the disaster that has been visited upon me, but that’s not what’s on my heart.” He said, “What’s on my heart today are the families that live in my community who go off to work every morning, they come home in the evening, they load their children into automobiles and take them down to the parking lot of the local library so they can do their homework because they’re not tied to the internet.” The only place that they can do that homework is in the parking lot at the library.
Jim Clyburn: (15:38)
That night, when I shared with some of my friends what I had heard and what it was doing to me, they looked at me and says, “You don’t get it. In my community,” two of them said, “the children go to the parking lot of the local fast food place so they can get on the internet to do their homework.” I shared this with the president and he said he got it. And when I did, Schumer, Senator Schumer said, “In New York City, 25% of the children are not tied to the internet.” And so I want to applaud the Speaker for making this a priority for our caucus. And I want to thank the President for agreeing that this is something we ought to do. I would hope that we can work together not just to make broadband accessible, but to make it affordable.
Nancy Pelosi: (16:48)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. In so many ways, such an inspiration to all of us to place this in it’s historic perspective and what it means for therefore for the future. You’re right, there are urban deserts for this. The distinguished leader on the Senate referenced that as far as New York is concerned. And I say in California, even if we gave every child in California, and there is an inclination, we have many businesses and philanthropists who want to do so, even if we gave them all a laptop, they still not into the system that Mr. Clyburn has taken the lead on making sure. And then in some communities to make it affordable, that’s what I referenced earlier, they can establish their own system.
Nancy Pelosi: (17:33)
So this has a lot of entrepreneurship connected with it and it really is directly related to the coronavirus. So we would hope that while we have a big bill that Mr. [Cologne 00:17:47] has helped shape to put into our infrastructure proposal based on the, as I say, the task force Mr. Clyburn chairs, that the task force on infrastructure, broadband, that Mr. Clyburn shares, that we might be able to get a piece of this as it is so necessary. Telemedicine, distance learning, so many other ways that it is important for people to be connected. With that, I’d be pleased to take any questions you may have. Yes ma’am.
Jim Clyburn: (18:22)
Speaker Pelosi, on these sexual assault allegations-
Nancy Pelosi: (18:27)
Okay. I’ll answer your question at the end, but we’re here to say something very important for how we fight the coronavirus and a entrepreneurial way of addressing that. I would hope that you would have some interest in that and any questions on the subject that brings us together here? Yes sir.
Speaker 1: (18:46)
As you know, layoffs are starting to be warned about by states even as some states are reopening. How critical do you think it is to get state and local funding within the next two weeks? And do you think that’s possible?
Nancy Pelosi: (18:58)
Yes. Well, I can’t answer to the timing because we’re at the mercy of the virus in terms of when the Capitol Physician and the sergeant-at-arms say that we can come together in a large number. This is very important and I thank you for your question. These are about our heroes. Our healthcare providers, our first responders, our transit workers, our teachers, our teachers are custodians of our children for a large part of the day, so many people working in terms of making sure we have food on the table, whether it’s in shops or in delivery or whatever. So much of how we function in meeting the needs of the people depends on state and local governments having the resources. Some of these people, these heroes, are risking their lives to save other people’s lives and now they risk losing their jobs because what the states and localities had to spend is just makes it unsustainable not to have layoffs.
Nancy Pelosi: (20:11)
Mr. Schumer the other day was talking about hundreds of people being laid off by hospitals in his area, some of them public hospitals, dependent on the public resources to keep them open. So this is something that is of the highest priority. It honors our heroes. And I say we are unworthy to thank them and honor them unless we’re willing to support them in a substantial way. And that way is to say this is strictly about the coronavirus. It is about what your outlays are for the virus and what your revenue loss is on that. Because again, if Mr. Clyburn’s leadership over the years, he’s been a strong proponent for making sure that localities in addition to the stake at the resources. Did you want to speak to that, Mr. Clyburn?
Jim Clyburn: (21:02)
I’ll be glad to. Thank you very much. When we look at states, I’m from a state that in law’s measure, was talked about by the Governor of New York the other day. We are sort of a [inaudible 00:08:22]. I am from a state that did not expand Medicaid. And therefore, so much of the burden of trying to meet the challenge of this pandemic goes straight to small communities, local governments, irrespective of what may be happening at the state level. If you are the mayor of a little town of 8000 or 9000 people, I think that you ought to be eligible to get direct aid from the Congress. And so, I have been advocating for a long time and will be advocating very strongly that whatever we do for state and local government, don’t leave the locals out and make sure that the small communities get their fair share.
Nancy Pelosi: (22:17)
So we may have three tranches, at state, county, because many counties deliver health services and the rest, and then the municipalities that Mr. Clyburn mentioned. Now, in addition to that, in addition, we want to do FMAC, we want to expand Medicaid, other things that help the states and over and above this. Now, how much? The states are putting together a number. You’ve heard a figure of $500 billion. This municipalities and counties have a similar figure. But again, we want to relate it to outlays and lost revenue. We’re not going to be able to cover all of it. But to the extent that we can keep the states and localities sustainable, that’s our goal. And by the way, that money is not just for one year. That could be for as much as three years, maybe even four in certain cases. So it’s over time.
Speaker 2: (23:11)
Do you anticipate that would be the largest part of this next major piece of legislation, that the state, local-
Nancy Pelosi: (23:21)
Well, the state and local, I’ve talked about almost a trillion dollars right there. I would hope so. But we do have other issues that we want to deal with and hopefully get something for broadband. There are other concerns, but not in any way as a major expenditure or investment for our heroes, for our heroes. They’re risking their lives to save lives and now they’re going to lose their jobs. It’s just stunning. And we have to address it. And when others say, “Let them go bankrupt and this or that.” That’s silly. That’s not a reason. It’s an excuse because if you don’t believe in governance, then you don’t recognize that. And the leader over there said that we’re not bailing out past bad mistakes. Well, the mistakes that he mentioned were caused by a Republican Governor in Illinois. But that’s neither here nor there. This isn’t about any other budget issues for states. It’s about the coronavirus, outlays, revenue lost. Yes ma’am.
Claudia Uceda: (24:23)
Speaker, thank you. I’m Claudia Uceda with Univision Network. I have two questions. First, what are you going to do with immigrants who are paying taxes through these peaking numbers? They are undocumented and they have no jobs. They are in a very difficult situation. Are they going to be in the next package or are they ever going to be considered? That’s first. Second, have a second question. US citizens are not getting their paychecks, their stimulus paychecks because they are married to immigrants without social security numbers. What are you going to do to help them? They are US citizens and are in that difficult situation.
Nancy Pelosi: (25:07)
Well, I appreciate your questions, actually more than two in there. The other part of it that you didn’t mention but alluded to is that there are American citizen children born in America in a mixed family. Maybe one parent is not, shall we say, up to date on documentation. And I think that that has to be addressed. In addition to that, we have been working to try to get the tax identification number as a basis for how people would get direct payments. All of it, though, speaks to the fact that we are all well-served if we recognize that everybody in our country is part of our community and that helping to grow the economy. Most of what we’re doing is to meet the needs of people, but it’s all stimulus, so we shouldn’t cut the stimulus off that.
Nancy Pelosi: (26:03)
So we shouldn’t cut the stimulus off that. In addition to that, I’m pleased today that the Chairman of the Fed is saying that he’s going to include more in terms of nonprofits and some of their outreach, which is something we’ve been asking for. We want to expand outreach opportunities for nonprofits, many of whom are there to meet the needs of some of the folks who might not be directly receiving help in that regard.
Speaker 3: (26:33)
[inaudible 00:26:33] next packages, is it part of Naval stations-
Nancy Pelosi: (26:36)
What we said was we want to address the mixed family issue and actually we’re supposed to have a call on that. I thought it was going to be… tomorrow now? Tomorrow we’re going to have a call specifically on that subject with Chuck Schumer and the Chair of the Hispanic caucus, so we’ll let you know when that is on the mixed family issue, and then I myself cannot understand why the tax number is not the basis for how some of this money is distributed, and so we’ll be making that case as well. Yes ma’am. Thank you.
Speaker 4: (27:12)
Speaker Pelosi, there’s concern that PPP funding is going to run out again, even though you all renewed it last week. Are there negotiations going on to free up more of that funding to pass that ahead of a potential next package? Or is there some concern that maybe some businesses will have to start opening now a little bit sooner than would be recommended because there won’t be PPP funding for some-
Nancy Pelosi: (27:37)
Well, let me just say our Distinguished Chair of the Small Business Committee, Nydia Velazquez, is a champion on small businesses. We all rallied for PPP because we’ve used small business as the entrepreneurial spirit of America, the optimism of it all, a dream, an idea that people work so hard, sometimes refinancing their home to do this, so there’s a lot riding on this and a lot of recourse to individuals beyond the professional piece, but the personal piece, so we’re all for that and we just did do an intervention, but we must do a CARES bill now. We cannot put that off. In fact, we never anticipated this intervention bill, the interim bill, that we passed with substantial support for small business. In fact, we practically doubled it if you include what we did for hospitals in that. So we share that concern and no, there is no plan. Our next plan will be CARES 2.
Speaker 3: (28:39)
But you said earlier that you guys are beholden to the virus in terms of when you’ll be able to get this next CARES bill done.
Nancy Pelosi: (28:46)
No, no. Well that, I’m not talking about a long time. He said a week or two, so we’re not coming back this week. Our plan is to come back the following week, but we’re not having, the next bill will be CARES 2. If we can be here for CARES, in other words you’re saying come back from PPP but don’t come back for CARES 2. No, the next bill will be CARES 2 and how we address it now. There are many people who are saying, with all the money that we’re spending on unemployment insurance and all the money that we’re spending on PPP and all that is needed to assist the states and the rest, why don’t we consider some guarantee, a paycheck initiative strictly for the coronavirus at this time? And that’s a big tall order that I’ve tasked the committees to take a look at, because this could be endless.
Nancy Pelosi: (29:33)
There are 30 million small businesses in the United States. Over 2 million have received assistance. That’s good. Maybe by 3 million, another week or so, but that’s 10%, so how much money is there for unemployment and the rest, whatever it is. As the Chairman of the Fed said to me, you’ve got to think big. You’ve got to think big. And I said the same thing to him. You’ve got to think big. And in order to think big, you have to think small about these small businesses and nonprofits. And that’s the announcement we made today. And I was very, very pleased with that. But no, the next bill will be CARES 2. Yes, sir.
Speaker 5: (30:15)
Thank you. As you think big, and you’re talking about infrastructure here, you’ve seen that President Trump is supportive of it. He tweeted right after the interim bill was passed that he wants infrastructure, but you’ve also seen the leader come off, McConnell does not want any infrastructure in this next bill. So when you’re talking about broadband, is that the only infrastructure provision you want in here or do you want something much, much broader than that in CARES 2?
Nancy Pelosi: (30:38)
Well, when we were talked about this before, but then the urgency of getting money into people’s pockets was so pervasive, that became the priority. We talked about three things. We talked about community health centers. Again, Mr. Clyburn has been the champion on that. We talked about broadband. We talked about water. Sanitation is key to this. Wash your hands 20 seconds. Wash off everything. And so the water issue for us, now, it’s a tall order for our big bill. However, perhaps we should have something in here we talked about. Mr. Colon has been talking about provisions that would say jurisdictions cannot shut off your water if you can’t pay your water bill or something. So there’s a recognition of the need for people to have water, but if there’s that recognition, we may have to do something. But I don’t know if that will be in this bill.
Nancy Pelosi: (31:39)
You know, again, time is important. We should be able to do some piece of it. The bill that Mr. Clyburn’s initiative is in a $750 billion bill over five years, so over five years. So maybe pieces of this for the next year or two could be included, but right now, again, putting money in people’s pockets, testing, testing, testing are the priorities right now.
Speaker 5: (32:07)
Just to follow up, you just mentioned something about timing. You’re not going to come back next week, is that because CARES 2 was not going to be ready or was that [crosstalk 00:32:15]-
Nancy Pelosi: (32:17)
No, that was not the point at all. Missed the announcement, I guess. It was because of how physicians said for 430 people to come back with what’s happening in the District of Columbia, kind of changed the timing when we come back, but people will be back next week. Mr. Clyburn, you want to speak to that? I’ll allow you to in a moment, and may perhaps a small business committee will be meeting next week. Small groups can come back and maybe they have a full committee meeting or maybe they have a virtual or maybe they have a hybrid, but work will be done. We’ve had already about 60 meetings in this period of time. Some of it oversight, some of it legislation, and the rest are from our committees virtually or otherwise. This week alone, as of two days ago, we had the Veterans Affairs Committee had a very successful meeting. I think it’s today or tomorrow is Homeland Security.
Nancy Pelosi: (33:18)
And again, the chairs of the committees are making their decisions about how they go forward. And again, this whole issue of the meat packing, that’s raising a lot of concerns about members as to people saying, and again, I’ll [inaudible 00:33:38] on this, Mr. Chairman. If you don’t go to work, even though you have a concern, then you could lose your unemployment insurance. Well, that’s just not what the intent of all of the four nine bipartisan bills, nonpartisan bills that we passed.
Nancy Pelosi: (33:58)
And the fact is is that there are criteria that were agreed to in the Family’s First legislation that said, if you have a child who’s not in school because schools have closed, you can take family medical leave. If you have a parent who’s senior center, whatever, or healthcare provider, the list goes on. It’s not as complete as I would like and we’d like to add more to that list, but nonetheless, there are criteria which give people the opportunity to have family and medical leave as well. So we have to look at this in its totality. This is about families first, so I’m sure that members will be wanting to come together on some aspects of that in terms of unemployment insurance availability. But Mr. Clyburn has another take on that that I wanted to share with you.
Jim Clyburn: (34:49)
Well, thank you for that question. Next week, hopefully, the full committee will be able to gather here in Washington in some capacity in some manner. I will be on the telephone with them on tomorrow as a committee, because a couple of things have already come to our attention that we think may need some immediate attention from us.
Jim Clyburn: (35:18)
One involves unemployment insurance. It came to my attention on yesterday that some states are applying policies that has relegated some people down to $95 a week. That was not our intention as you know. We intended or for the $600 coming from us to be on top of whatever the state would be. So that may be something we need to look at. I saw an account of this on one of the television shows this morning that indicate this may be a widespread application of a policy that goes afoul of what we intended. So this committee will probably be working in addition to the testing, the contact tracing, the isolation, and the treatment.
Jim Clyburn: (36:16)
That will be our primary focus. But we may have some interventions taking place because of some of these policies. Because remember, to me, we have to look at the essential workers. Beyond health care, essential workers are those hourly employees and sometimes twice a week employees working only on weekends in grocery stores and drug stores. These are the people that find themselves losing out with unemployment insurance. And so I had a long talk last night with the chair of our Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Thompson from Mississippi. It looks as if Mississippi is one of these states that’s doing that. And so we may have to do something rather quickly as a committee. It will be on the phone tomorrow, and my plan is for us to be up here next week.
Speaker 6: (37:22)
Have you heard from [inaudible 00:37:23] McCarthy about the interest of Republicans on that committee?
Nancy Pelosi: (37:26)
No, but I don’t know why they would be opposed to looking into waste, fraud and abuse, price gouging, profiteering and the rest, and the implementation of the intention of Congress in the interest of the American people, America’s families, America’s workers, and we hope that they will participate. Let me just say one more thing on that score and that is when we share this question, when will we be able to open up things? When will they be open? And so everything, whether it’s testing, whether it’s economic sustainability, whether it’s the states, it’s all related to that and therefore all related to the committee. Yes, sir.
Speaker 7: (38:15)
Two quick questions. [inaudible 00:38:16] The tribes. There’s a dispute ongoing about the distribution of $8 billion dollars in the CARES Act between the lower 48 tribes and the native owned but for profit Alaska native corporations. That’s currently tied up right now, and I was wondering, do you see that as something you guys may weigh into with CARES 2 to sort of clarifies the eligibility issues involved here?
Nancy Pelosi: (38:43)
As you know, the judge ruled this week that what is it, A and C is, should not be receiving this. The Secretary of the Treasury was supposed to, when the case was resolved, to release the funds.
Nancy Pelosi: (39:03)
… when the case was resolved to release the funds. They could have done it before, but they said we want to wait for the trial to be over. The court was very emphatic in its decision about this, and I completely… I mean, it’s just ridiculous that they would be getting in line to get funds from this.
Nancy Pelosi: (39:23)
Because here’s the thing, it’s important to note this. I thought I had something on here, but I don’t. The money that is being distributed is supposed to be, and this is the standard, necessary for the sustainability of the business, the entity, the nonprofit, whatever it is, necessary for the sustainability. There are 26,000 entities that received loans of over $2 million or more. Many of them may be very justified, but we have to take a look. Because there’s so many others who want $50,000 or $100,000, who are not being attended to.
Nancy Pelosi: (40:06)
In this particular case, the $8 billion for the tribes, and by the way, not anywhere nearly enough. I wanted more, and I want more in the next bill for the tribes because this is about states, counties, municipalities, and tribal governments. This money is supposed to be distributed there. So I call upon the Secretary of the Treasury to disperse that funding now because the court has ruled in favor of the tribes.
Nancy Pelosi: (40:33)
Again, to go back to the purpose that the funds that you apply for are necessary for the sustainability of your business. Not you’re on the stock exchange, and I’m a business, so I can apply for this. No, that’s not what it’s about. You have to be answerable for that, so I appreciate the ruling of the court. The judge was very emphatic. He was very emphatic about, “No, they shouldn’t be getting this.”
Nancy Pelosi: (41:05)
I would hope that immediately the Secretary would now release the funds. It was supposed to be as of yesterday, I think, but let’s hope that it will be today. So necessary, so needed, and the tribes have… We talk about the outlay of funds for the coronavirus. But also the opportunity costs, the revenue losses that they have because of this, so very important, and again, a down payment. We need to do more for our tribes.
Speaker 8: (41:40)
If that disbursement doesn’t happen, is this something you see trying to clarify with [crosstalk 00:41:43]?
Nancy Pelosi: (41:43)
I know it’ll happen. No, I feel pretty good that it will happen. Nonetheless, public sentiment is everything. We all of a sudden, we’re not going to give the money to the tribes, really? I haven’t had this conversation with him, but as recently as… Is that last night or the night before? I forget my most recent conversation with him was about how we can have many more small businesses that Nydia, Maxine, and the leader that insisted would be in this new bill. I’m waiting to see what those businesses are. That money that we put aside for that is already spent. We’re going to see on whom actually even more there, so we’ll see what they are. He has said he was going to look into the $26,000 to make sure that those millions of dollars went for where it was necessary for sustainability, yeah.
Speaker 8: (42:45)
To follow up on a question earlier.
Nancy Pelosi: (42:45)
A third, is that allowed? I’ll be right there then.
Speaker 8: (42:49)
You mentioned that the physician’s recommendation was decisive and critical in your decision to not come back next week for roll call votes. But that also it seems to imply that Leader McConnell is making a much different decision than what you made facing the same degree of information. I guess my question to you is do you believe that by calling people back in, is he putting his own members health and safety at risk?
Nancy Pelosi: (43:16)
Well, that is a completely separate question. Anyway, here’s the thing. We’re 430 people now that Mr. Meadows has gone. We’re 430 members. The decision was made on the strength of our numbers of people coming together. We, I thought beautifully, at the direction of the Sergeant of Arms and the capitol physician when we had to have a voice vote, spreading out into the gallery and rest. Then I wish that tableau had been seen because that was historic, and it got the job done for the American people.
Nancy Pelosi: (43:52)
Secondly, the next time we did it because there were those on the other side who were demanding a recorded vote, and they had a plan for that that worked beautifully. It took time. But nonetheless, with the separation, the social distancing, and the rest of the timing as people came in, so we could have done that again. The situation in the District of Columbia has changed a bit since then. I think that may have had some impact on what the… You’d have to talk to the capitol physician. But the on balance even from one day to the next, he said, I think we should, it’s better to wait. Now, what they advised the Senate? I don’t know, but they are 100. We’re four times that. They have some of their own members who are saying they shouldn’t be coming back, but I can’t speak for the Senate. I just know what our responsibility is in the House. In the meantime, by the time we do come back, we will be able to vote on remote voting by proxy. We will be able to have in place… Because you have to have a vote to make these changes. We’ll have the vote for what Mr. Clyburn referenced there of having some meetings in advance of, but that would be validated by what Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Cole, Chairwoman Lofgren, and Davis are working on in order to recommend a rule that enables remote committee work.
Nancy Pelosi: (45:28)
But the committees are smaller, and so some can come back. We have an auditorium to spread a larger committee in, or we have other rooms that are bigger than the normal so we say small business room where they would meet. It’s practical, but it’s all getting the job done. Everybody is working very hard in that regard. I do think that one of the things that we share, and Mr. McCarthy said this to the Los Angeles Times. I gave her my commitment that we weren’t there yet, but we were looking at it and maybe we could be, but that everybody wants to open up the Congress.
Nancy Pelosi: (46:06)
The Republicans wanted to open up the Congress. We do, too, but we want to do it in a way that if people have to stay home because of this. Whether it’s about themselves, a family member, or the transportation, which is more difficult now, that remote voting will enable them to do that. We just have to get enough people here to do the remote voting, and I feel quite competent. Mr. Whip, do you agree?
Jim Clyburn: (46:34)
I agree. I think we can effectively do a lot of committee work here. Do that in preparation of coming back at some point in the not too distant future and have remote… Whether we call it by proxy voting, in order to have these things become effective on behalf of the American people. I do see there’s a lesson coming out of these hearings. Especially we need to clarify something as it regards to people not getting what we intended that they get from the Congress.
Nancy Pelosi: (47:12)
Thank you, [inaudible 00:47:13]. Yes, ma’am.
Speaker 9: (47:14)
As far as Biden is a concern, how do Democrats square with the idea that they’re standing by Biden? But they’re using a comparatively different standard with Kavanaugh, when you demanded a investigation on Justice Kavanaugh, when a very similar allegation came out on him? [crosstalk 00:47:42]
Nancy Pelosi: (47:43)
Let me just say, I respect your question. I don’t need a lecture or a speech. Here’s the thing. I have a complete respect for the whole Me Too movement. I have four daughters and one son. There’s a lot of excitement around the idea that women will be heard and we will listen to. There is also due process. The fact that Joe Biden is Joe Biden, there’s been statements from his campaign or not his campaign, but his former employees who ran his offices and the rest, that there was never any record of this. There was never any record, and that nobody ever came forward to say something about it apart from the principal involved.
Nancy Pelosi: (48:34)
I am so proud. The happiest day for me this week was to support Joe Biden for President of the United States. He’s a person of great integrity, of great concern for the American people. He authored the Violence Against Women Act when he was the chair of the judiciary committee in the ’90s. He has been an advocate for funding it all along since then. I believe that he will be a great President of United States. He is the personification of hope and optimism and authenticity for our country, a person of great values.
Nancy Pelosi: (49:15)
So I want to remove all doubt in anyone’s mind. I have a great comfort level with the situation as I see it, with all the respect in the world for any woman who comes forward, but with all the highest regard for Joe Biden. That’s what I have to say about that. Thank you. Excuse me. Thank you, Mr. Clyburn.
Jim Clyburn: (49:32)