tv Speaker Pelosi Holds News Conference CSPAN April 8, 2021 2:02pm-2:35pm EDT
the congress and country are united in grief and gratitude for the heroism of billy evans and our capitol police force. we hope it is a comfort to his family, his mother janice and beautiful children logan and abigail and cap eco-police force -- the capitol police force. so many people are praying for them at this sad time. just as we were in morning, we have got news that congressman hastings has made his passing. congressman hastings is an icon for fighting for america's working families, which he always did in the most dignified
way. he was a historic force in politics in america and the legacy he left is one that we are all very proud to be associated with. working with his family and -- we will be celebrating his life in the capital as well. as we mourn the passing of officer evans and congressman hastings, we have to also remember that over 550 million people -- 550,000 people, excuse me, have died from the coronavirus in our country. we want to their families to know that they will always be in our hearts. that was really important for us to pass legislation to stop the spread of this deadly virus.
i salute president biden and vice president harris for their leadership in the passing of the rescue bill. yesterday, around the country, we had teach in's, so the public would know what is in the belt and how -- what is in the bill and how they can benefit from a directly. we had 70 events around the country that day. some that event sooner, others will continue later today to talk about family-friendly legislation. on saturday with care can't rate -- weight --wait. meeting caregivers needs that our country in the time of the cyrus. yesterday i was in chinatown.
i was at the northeast medical services center there where they are vaccinating in a culturally appropriate, linguistically comfortable way, reaching out to the community. especially poignant at this time of a api violence hate crimes in our country. it was wonderful to be with them and see what model they are to the country in reaching out to previously underserved communities when it comes to this vaccine. they will be beneficiaries -- they are beneficiaries of the rescue package. it was my honor to complement them on the work they are doing. again, all over the country,
members are reaching out to community groups who have the confidence as members of their communities -- of members of their communities to make sure they avail themselves of the benefits of the rescue package. in terms of saving lives, i am so proud of what president biden presented this morning addressing the epidemic of gun violence in our country. more than 41,000 americans died from gun violence last year, the highest yarn record so far. with the most vulnerable being women, children, communities of color who were does abortion really -- who were disproportionately affected. stopping the spread of ghost gun's will help ensure dangerous people cannot access firearms to reduce community violence.
again, we are proud in the house that we have already passed hr eight under the leadership of congressman mike, robin kelly, and so many others working on this issue for long time, as well as mr. clyburn closing the south carolina loophole. that is so necessary, as we see another act of violence in south carolina today. these bills are common sense. they are bipartisan. over 90% of the american people support what we are doing. we are getting ready now for the american jobs plan, plan -- a plan that this country clearly needs. you have heard me say again and again, when we talk about building infrastructure and creating jobs in our country, we have to take big and
transformative lay, as thomas jefferson did with his first initiative -- transformative lay -- transformatively as thomas jefferson did was its first initiative. as teddy roosevelt it with his national parks initiative. as president eisenhower did with the president -- the interstate highway system. and now, what president biden is presenting. all americans thinking big. build back better. as we say in the house, in every zip code in america so that everyone can take full advantage of what infrastructure does. it creates jobs. it creates commerce in the moving of products -- produce
from farms to market or other products from production to the marketplace, people to school and work, and the rest, clean air for our children, clean water for them to drink, get the lead out, and again, to talk about how we do this in a way that involves everyone in our country, all across our country. we hope to do this in the most bipartisan way possible. infrastructure has not been a partisan issue in the past. we hope that it would not be now. and so, again, we do not want to do this in a way that is ancient. we want to do it in the future. some of the times you have heard people say we want to be on the right side of history. we want to be on the right set of the future as well. building infrastructure as a safety measure as well. the safety of our bridges,
roads, the water our children drink. we have a legislative filled week. before we broke for the holy season we had a time for committee work that has prepared us to bring legislation to the floor when we come back in the next week. i would be pleased to take questions. >> if you would like to be added to the q2 ask a question please select the right-hand option on the reaction to on your screen. one moment when we wait for reporters to join the queue. speaker pelosi: i am excited about saturday. i will be joining the national domestic workers alliance. i am so honored to be invited to
join their initiative on saturday. any questions? >> our first question comes from air lawson with bloomberg news. -- eric lawson was bloomberg news. >> what are the next steps of the american jobs plan, get to get together? there is some confusion about the americans families plan. it's impossible this gets wrapped into the jobs plan? how are you approaching that issue? speaker pelosi: it is pretty exciting what we are talking about this next bill. a few weeks ago, i suggested, or asked, or called upon, my committee chair to reach across the aisle on the infrastructure aspect of this bill to see where we can find bipartisanship. this is never been partisan. but when we go forward with this
legislation, we have to involve everyone. that means women should be participating in how we will build the future of our country as well. for that to happen, what was in the rescue package" will be in the family bill are very important when we talk about childcare, eldercare, and the rest, so everyone can dissipate -- participate. if you are going to build infrastructure, you have to have workforce development. education is important. investing in education. nothing brings more money to the treasury, nothing, then education of the american people. from k-12, higher education, lifetime learning, training for our workers so that they can build for the future.
all of these things are related. i think we will have two bills. we have this bill that we hope we can do especially in infrastructure bill. it has always been bipartisan. we will do so in a bipartisan way. if we have to go to reconciliation, that is a lever, but i hope it is not something we need to do. the timeline of mr. defazio thinks we can do our part in the house probably in may. at least the committee would be ready at that time on the hope that our part in the house would be largely done before the fourth of july. whether the whole package will be done then, we just do not know. as some have suggested, we want to do it before the august break. our plan does have, not only
infrastructure, roads, mass transit, water, broadband, education, housing, but also, how we do it. what we do, and how we do it, in a way that involves jobs. think of this as the american jobs plan as we just finished the american rescue plan. >> our next question comes from lindsay mcpherson with vertical -- roll call. >> related to what you said about wanting to be bipartisan, how do you judge that? when you expect to make that determination on whether it is possible to do it in a bipartisan way? speaker pelosi: lindsay, thank you.
we want bipartisanship every step of the way. we want to build consensus within our own party as we go forward. again, many of the projects we are talking about have regional significance. they are bipartisan in their region. we are hoping we can translate the needs of the communities across the country, which are nonpartisan, into legislation that works for everyone. at every step of the way, whether it is -- for example, they had a committee hearing on electrification before the break for holy week. mr. defazio presided as chair of the committee. one of the people testifying, the head of fedex, said we are
going electric. we think, separate from that, that the personal system will go electric. many fleets will be going electric. we need to have the infrastructure for recharging around the country. the distribution of those charging stations is absolutely central to what we want to do to be competitive in the world with our cars. it is about jobs in every way. it is also about having the infrastructure to support the new automobiles that we want to be competitive in selling in the rest of the world. that was a positive meeting. i did not hear too much complaint from republicans coming out of that. much of what we want to do is
going to be based on data, which hearings will provide for us. based on information, facts, data, science, science, science, i think in the communities we will see more common ground then we have seen. that was troy nehls a rescue package -- that was true in the rescue package. i hope it is my -- more bipartisan as we go into the infrastructure, every step of the way. we were receiving a briefing from the secretary of the treasurer yesterday. she said we are here to listen to people's ideas. that is across the aisle, as well, within our own party. >> our next questions from -- chris van cleat with cbs news. >> given what happened last
friday at the capital, in terms of security, do you feel there needs to be a rethinking of the fencing around the capitol? does there need to be at increase of security given the intelligence law enforcement continues to see? speaker pelosi: there has to be a discussion of it. thank you for your question. we have been preparing a supplemental to meet the security needs of the capitol. both in terms of what needs to be done to harden the windows and doors and what is needed in terms of increasing the size of the capitol police force, filling the vacancies there now, over 200. the training we need to do, the intelligence gathering that is so important, as well as the
infrastructure. some people want no outside structure. we have a report from general honore which talks about fencing available when needed, which i respect. that is all a discussion. but the fact is, very soon, we will have to pass the supplemental to have the funds to harden the capitol, to increase the personnel, to make judgments about fencing. people have very definite opinions one way or the other. sadly, it was good friday, we were just about to enter into a time of, for catholics, the most holy time. then the sadness of it all.
the psychological impact it had for people who work there. that is why we are so appreciative of the capitol police who protect us. when we have the supplemental put forth, which will be soon, we will have a discussion a few what happens with the fencing and the rest. people are listening and respectful, but also, we have to be careful. none of us, maybe some of us, our security experts, but most of us would have to pay attention to those who are security experts at law enforcement leaders who have made proposals to us. it will be soon. >> our next question come from cnn. host: -- speaker pelosi:hi.
>> can you hear me? speaker pelosi: yes. >> given senator joe mentioned, the infrastructure package, and generally the future, i am wondering, from calls from republicans to pare back the price tag of the infrastructure price tag, are you willing at all to pull down the price tag significant he in order to win over republican support? -- the price tag significantly in order to win over republican support? speaker pelosi: the president is willing to listen but it cannot be too small. it needs to be transformative and big. i think we have to start with what the country needs. the country needs a major infrastructure plan, a jobs bill
that enables everyone to participate in how we build back better. then at that point, we will find out how much money we need. what the president proposed is probably appropriate. we had some in our party you are saying it is not big enough. we have others, -- i'm not familiar with senator manchin saying it was too big. i'm not up-to-date on his latest statement. but i do know that the president put forth what is needed. we need roads and bridges. the american society of civil engineers says that we are trillions of dollars behind. i say that the most expensive maintenance is no maintenance. that can cause danger to bridges than the rest.
we need to do what we need to do, but we also have to define infrastructure more broadly than roads and mass transit. we have got broadband now. we have water systems that are 100 years old or more. wood and brick, lead in the water. we've got to fix that. and we have got to fix our school systems. we tell children education is so report into them, to their personal aspirations, to their communities, to the families, to the competitiveness of america, and yet we send them to schools that are not wired to the future, that are very substandard. that is a mixed message. if it is important, make it important. housing, we need much more in terms of housing stock in our country. again, to have it be housing that is reflective of the needs of the people who would live there, especially, for the children.
we have big needs. i myself would rather talk about what the needs are, where can we find our common ground to go forward? hopefully we can do so in a strong bipartisan way. then we talk about how we pay for. but i do not think we start with the money and only how little we are willing to spend. it the needs of our country. as president eisenhower did with a national security initiative. the economy was not good at that time, but he put forth a -- the interstate highway system to unify the country for security purposes, as well as being a great job creator. the legislation, by the way, was introduced in a bipartisan way by al gore's dad, senator gore.
in legislation, you always listen and see where you can find common ground. but you have to think big. you cannot think small when you're talking about the greatness of america. >> our last question will come from jesse hellman with modern health care. >> thank you for doing this madame speaker. the changes made to the aca subsidies in the american rescue plan were temporary. water the plants to make those permanent? is that a priority -- what are the plans to make those permanent? and then infrastructure. speaker pelosi: as you would probably figure, the affordable care act is something very special -- i take special pride in for house democrats courageously voted for it.
as of just february, about half a million people have signed into enrollment in the extended enrollment. -- the extended enrollment p eriod. we are very excited about that. we are excited about the leadership of congresswoman underwood of illinois who expanded those who would have access to the subsidies so more people can participate. probably, in the families bill that would come next, would be a time when we would, again, i do not want to clearly define what is in what bill and when they will happen, but there are vehicles on the horizon, both in the jobs bill and in the families bill that will follow
that with -- where we will address health care issues, including what we do about prescription drugs. prescription drugs, you know, the issue of negotiating for lower prices has been a priority for democrats for a long time. forgive me if you've heard this, when we ran and one in 2006, the first 100 hours on the floor of the house we had legislation that would enable the secretary of hhs to negotiate lower prices. of the six bills, five became laws. that one did not because we could not get the votes in the senate to do that. negotiating for lower prices has been a priority for us. i would say about a half trillion dollars could be used for whatever purposes, further
expanding access to health care, other, should we say, expansions we may want to have, or it could be used for other purposes. right now, the taxpayer is paying far too much for prescription drugs. as a matter of public policy, individuals are as well. when we first started this it was about negotiating for lower prices for medicare. now we are saying, those lower prices would've probably -- would apply in the private market as well. $500 billion. i would say some may come into the jobs bill but others in the family legislation that would follow. but, as i said about education, nothing brings more money to the treasury than investing in education. when we make these policy
changes, which will be imposed by the industry, i am sure, but nonetheless, the public has to know that this is about not only lowering the costs but also reducing the burden on the u.s. taxpayer for medicare, etc. so it is a pretty exciting time. i am so pleased that the president is taking the actions that he is. if i have one word to describe it, for me what the president is doing, is integrity. it is based on our decency, and it is fair to the taxpayer. integrity, using that word meaning oneness, it has a oneness to it, that we are all joining together to build back better for the people, for the people. and to do so in every zip code
in this country. and health care benefits from so much of what we want to do in the infrastructure, in terms of clean air, clean water, broadband, in terms of how we have communicated medical issues and the rest. so all of this has a broad connection, and we have to look at it in a way that has integrity, oneness. decency in terms of meeting the needs of the american people. so i hope you will all be safe. be on the lookout for what we're doing with the national domestic workers alliance for caregivers. because really, people cannot go to -- if any of you had a child or children or sick parent or someone and you knew that you could go to work with the
comfort of knowing that they were well cared for, it makes a big difference. it makes a big difference to people when they are hiring you, that they know that you are where you are. jerry brown had this expression in latin -- do what you are doing. so do what you are doing and not be worrying about other things. of course, our hearts and minds are always with our children, but if we know that they are safely cared for or that our seniors are safely cared for, we can do what we are doing in a more focused way. that is good for your career, good for your family, first and foremost, and it is good for our country. thank you very much. stay safe. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> this concludes today's press conference. thank you. >> c-span is your unfiltered
view of government, created by america's cable television companies in 1979. today we are brought to you by these television companies who provide c-span to viewers as a public service. >> coming up today, a discussion on proposals to change the federal court structure with the american constitution society for law and policy. live coverage at 4:00 p.m. eastern on c-span, online at c-span.org, or listen live with the free c-span radio app. >> congress returns from their holiday recess next week. the senate returns monday at 3:00 p.m. eastern to continue work on the nomination of holly trachtenberg to be deputy transportation secretary i'm of the number two post undersecretary pete buttigieg.
later in the week, senators work on more nominations, including wendy sherman to be deputy secretary of state and gary gensler to chair the securities and exchange commission. the house is back tuesday for legislative business. this week, members are expected to work on equal pay for women legislation, as well as a bill to prevent workplace violence against health care and social services workers. president biden's infrastructure and jobs package is not expected on the house floor until later in the spring or early summer. watch live coverage of the house on c-span, the senate on c-span2, and follow congressional coverage anytime at c-span.org or listen on the free c-span radio app. host: joining as is the chair of the election transparency initiative. and also serves as a former acting director of immigration services from 2019 to 2021. thanks f g