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28 марта, 03:43

Pelosi Statement on Seriously Belated Progress on Defense Production Act

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Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement on the President’s much-delayed and limited step to use the Defense Production Act to address shortages of ventilators but not of other key materials needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic: “The news that the President will finally begin to use the Defense Production Act to mass produce ventilators is an important but seriously belated step. “Much more must be done.  The President must use the full powers of this law to address the dire, widespread shortage of materials required to fight this pandemic, including diagnostic test supplies, masks and other personal protective equipment.  “For far too long, the President has downplayed the need for these supplies and disregarded the evidence, at a grave cost to our country.  Just yesterday, the President questioned whether more ventilators were needed – after nearly 100,000 Americans were diagnosed and 1,000 tragically died from coronavirus. “Our frontline health care workers, hospitals, health systems, local and state governments and the people they serve need to know that the federal government will be there for them in this time of great need."

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28 марта, 00:44

Pelosi Floor Speech in Support of H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

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Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks: Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.  I thank the distinguished Democratic Leader Mr. Hoyer for yielding and for the manner in which he has enabled so many of our Members to participate in this debate today.  Thank you, Mr. Hoyer, for your leadership on the legislation and also for leading us today.  And I thank Mr. Brady for his leadership as well, for facilitating this conversation.  And I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for keeping us reasonably on time, as much as possible for Congressional Members.  Thank you for the strength of your authority as Speaker Pro Tempore today.  I thank all Members on both sides of the aisle for the seriousness with which we have all taken this important challenge.  Mr. Speaker, last week, His Holiness Pope Francis said, in his world prayer, he said, ‘Enlighten those responsible for the common good, so that they might know how to care for those entrusted to their responsibility.’  That is His Holiness' quote.  And that is the responsibility that we all have.  Today, as we have all acknowledged, our nation faces an economic and health emergency of historic proportions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the worst pandemic in over 100 years.  As I proceed with my remarks, I want to say to our colleagues, who are watching the proceedings from their chambers in the House, to come forward and come to the Gallery and listen from here, so that when the time comes we will be prepared to proceed.  The distinguished Leader on the Republican side, Mr. McCarthy, and Mr. Hoyer have sent a communication to all of you to that effect.  But it is very important that you come now.  The sooner you come, the shorter my remarks will be.  [Laughter] And I want to thank the distinguished Leader on the Republican side for his leadership throughout all of this to achieve a bipartisan legislation and to do so as expeditiously as possible in the House, in the House, so that the message will be clear to the American people that whatever concerns we may have and whatever we want to do next, right now we're going to pass this legislation.  And that is because so many American families have been touched by this crisis.  More than 82,000 Americans so far have fallen sick – a number certain to surge as testing goes forward – which is already the most in the world.  We've gone past China and Italy.  More than 1,200 Americans have tragically died.  It gives you chills just to think of it.  Millions of workers are losing their paychecks, including more than, as has been mentioned on both sides of the aisle, 3.2 million Americans who filed for unemployment last week alone.  A staggering, record-shattering figure.  Countless health care workers, first responders and others fighting on the front lines in this crisis are at great personal risk.  The American people deserve a government-wide, visionary, evidence-based response to address these threats to their lives and their livelihoods, and they need it now.  Again, I acknowledge the bipartisanship in which we – on which we bring this legislation to the Floor.  Last night – late Wednesday night, as the Leader acknowledged, the Senate unanimously passed legislation which transformed, in our view – since you acknowledged, Leader McConnell, I will acknowledge our distinguished chairmen on our side, which – they transformed a Republican, corporate-focused bill into a Democratic, workers-first focus.  And we salute our chairs, working in a bipartisan way and in a bicameral way, across the aisle, across the Capitol, we are able to dramatically expand Unemployment Insurance and defeated attempts on the Senate side to claw back the $600 per week added benefits that would provide essential relief to the record number of Americans losing their jobs.  And I salute Chairmen Richie Neal and Bobby Scott for the work that they did on this.  I know this is the work of the Ways and Means Committee.  And successfully achieve full direct payment for workers, this is so important, ensuring that working class American families will be eligible to receive as much as $3,400 dollars for a family of four.  I thank, again, Mr.  Neal and Madam Chair of the Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, who – both of them had bigger proposals.  But, nonetheless, advocating for all this.  By the way, I would suggest, instead of saying it's going to take a few weeks for the checks to get there, that the Administration electronically transfer those direct payments immediately.  We ensured in the bill that any taxpayer dollars given to industry goes first and foremost to workers.  Workers' paychecks and benefits, not used to pay CEO bonuses, stocks, fund buybacks or dividends and the rest.  And I thank – and we have secured robust special oversight that will hold the Administration accountable for this.  And I thank the distinguished Chair of the – where did he go?  Energy and – the Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, Mr. DeFazio, for his leadership in that regard.  I will not try to find all of you because you may be in the Gallery as we are encouraging Members to come.  Here we go.  We're also proud – again, I want to salute the Congresswoman Waters for the work, for the holding – having the oversight provisions in the bill for the account that is going to be spending money out.  We're also proud to have secured truly historic investment of hundreds of billions of dollars in hospitals, health systems, state and local governments, ensuring that they have the tools they need to combat the virus.  I salute Chairman Pallone, Congress – Chairwoman Lowey of the Appropriations Committee and Chairwoman DeLauro for making so much of all of that possible.  And when we talk about state and local government, I want to express pride in our own Governor, Gavin Newsom.  He was on the front line of attacking this, as well as my own Mayor Breed who has disciplined us to shelter in place.  For small businesses, thank you, Congresswoman – Madam Chair Velazquez.  And working in a bipartisan way, we want fast relief for those in need, including by securing $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000, and making payroll costs, rent, mortgage interest and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.  And for the first time, we have grants from the SBA and, thanks to Secretary Mnuchin – he is facilitating this by not just all of the loans going through the SBA, but going through banks with the SBA, which makes this all go much faster.  For our students, we've passed payments for – paused payments for federal student loan borrowers, paused the payments, and suspended wage garnishment and negative credit reporting during this time for that and for so many other things relating to our students.  I thank Bobby Scott, our Chairman of Education and [Labor]. And for our veterans, you heard earlier all of these chairmen make these presentations.  For our veterans we secured nearly $20 billion dollars in funding to improve VA’s readiness with equipment, tests and additional care, as, again 571 veterans and 185 employees have now tested positive.  I thank Chairman Takano and others on the Committee for their leadership.  For our homeowners, renters and homeless creditors, again, I thank – and consumers, I thank Chairwoman Waters for her leadership there.  Since the beginning of this crisis, we have fought to ensure that our nation's response puts families first.  As we go through this.  So the first two bills – that we worked in a bipartisan way on – were about addressing the emergency.  The first bill was about testing, testing, testing, to ensure that everyone in the country would have access to free testing, among other things.  It had in there issues that relate to research for vaccines, research for a cure, but many other things, addressing the emergency.  In the second bill, which also focused on the emergency, we have masks, masks, masks and many other provisions focused on the emergency.  But taking us to this bill today, which is about mitigation.  The distinguished Mr. DeFazio would say, ‘first we had emergency, then we had mitigation.’  Doesn't mean we're finished with emergency.  But it's moving on to mitigating some of the economic and health damage caused by it this pandemic.  Next, we'll move to recovery and hopefully that will be soon.  Always, though, addressing the emergency and the mitigation needed.  How are we coming, Mr. Leaders?  How are we coming with our Gallery?  Speaker Pro Tempore.  The House is not in order.  Speaker Pelosi.  As we have all said universally, and we say it almost all the time that we come to the Floor, no bill is perfect.  No bill is perfect.  But we want to make sure that at least it comes part of the way to being sufficient.  I do think that we should, when we're considering a bill, appreciate for what is in the bill rather than judge it for what is not in the bill.  But we do know that we must do more.  There's been a constant communication among all of our Members – I'm sure on both sides of the aisle –  when you're at home or here, with doctors, health care providers, laborers, small businesses, nonprofits, faith groups and scientists on the daily needs and developments in your communities.  The on-the-ground reports and clear-eyed thinking we have are essential to crafting our approach to all of this.  So, again, listening to Members on both sides of the aisle and the comments here today, as well as the input you have been giving in the legislative process we know that this cannot be our final bill.  Yet, this bill, again, is – I think Bobby Scott called it a down payment.  We must advance a fourth bill to address the continued needs.  For our fight against the coronavirus, our state and local governments will need vastly more support for preventing, preparing for and responding to the crisis.  Our hospitals and health systems still need vast infusions of funding so they can treat those in need.  We must do more for our health care workers – and this has been a current theme on both sides of the aisle, our gratitude for our health care workers.  They are our heroes.  We're thankful and grateful to them.  We pray for them.  But we need to do more for them than just to say those words.  Our front line health care workers, and whether they're emergency need, our firefighters, our law enforcement, face a dire lack of medical and personal protective equipment – PPE – personal protective equipment.  That's the reference.  When you see PPE, that's what it is.  We must ensure that the President uses the Defense Production Act to its full extent to provide the tools that we need to combat this crisis.  All workers are risking their lives on the front lines of this fight and need stronger OSHA protections to keep them safe.  Thank you, Mr. Scott.  This week, for example, for example – and you probably all have examples – this week we learned of the tragic death of Kious Kelly, a nurse manager in New York who died in the line of duty from coronavirus.  He and his fellow nurses risked their lives without proper protective equipment, because the hospital supply simply did not have enough.  Nurses were given a single plastic protective gown to use for an entire shift when protocol called for a change of gowns between interactions with patients.  Other nurses were forced to resort to tying bandanas over their faces in place of proper equipment.  And still others even began tying plastic garbage bags around disposable scrubs they were given in place of proper scrubs for extra protection.  As Mr. Kelly's sister said, ‘His death could have been prevented.  I'm angry.  He was healthy.’  And now our nurses, doctors, health care workers and first responders need action.  We have to make sure they know that help is not only on the way, but it is a priority for all of us.  These people risk their lives trying to save other people's lives.  Then they take home what they interacted within an infected environment – take home.  This is just asking far too much.  Our families our workers, our retirees still need more money in their pockets to protect their income security, with increased SNAP.  One thing we couldn't get in the bill was the increased – the fifteen percent increase in food stamps for our children, for our seniors, for those who qualify.  Bigger direct payments – I hope that we'll be in agreement.  I know that Richie and Maxine had the idea of ongoing direct payments, so bigger direct payments.  Pension protections – we had a protection in the legislation.  It was supported by everyone.  The President of the United States supported it, but Senator McConnell said he would save it for the next bill.  So, that's why I'm mentioning it, for the next bill.  And then we need more expanded family and medical leave.  Let me give you an example.  Come on, my colleagues, to the Gallery.  Let me give you an example.  If your parent is sick, but had an ongoing caregiver in the home or went to a senior health center on a daily basis, and because of the virus that caregiver couldn't come or that health center was closed, you would be able to give – you would be able to take family and medical leave.  However, as in the case of many Members here, if your mom or your dad are healthy, and they contract the coronavirus, you would not be able to take family and medical leave.  But we would like that to say, ‘It’s for those who cannot care for themselves – who cannot care for themselves.’  It just doesn't make any sense in my view.  So in any case, we need that and without exception.  And all Americans need free coronavirus treatments so they don't have to fear the high cost of a hospital stay.  When we said the tests were free, it didn't mean the test is free but the visit to the doctor is not.  So, in the days and weeks to come, Democrats will continue to advance legislation to meet the urgent needs of all affected by the coronavirus.  I keep saying the coronavirus because in this – people say, ‘How come we didn't do this or that?’  Because this is specific to the coronavirus challenge that we have. I just want to say a word about our children as I close.  So many of our children – I want them if they are paying attention – distinguished Congresswoman Brooks mentioned the children.  We are so sad for them that they cannot be fully engaged in school as they were.  Some have access to remote learning and the rest.  And this has had a deep impact on American life as it affects our children as well.  When I see that some graduations have been canceled – and hopefully not so many more if we can get through this – and they – I’ve been, as a mother of five, grandmother of nine personally, but officially in my leadership role, I have seen hundreds of thousands of graduates.  And what's exciting about it personally and officially is to see the excitement of the families when their child graduates.  But when that family happens to have someone on the stage who is the first in the family to graduate, the pride, the joy, the patriotism, all of it is so exuberant and many of them will be deprived of that experience of seeing that child walk across the stage.  Let's try to get this.  We have the best minds working 24/7, all hands on deck to find a cure.  Let's make sure that we give them the resources they need to do so.  But at the same time, that we obey the science that says shelter in place or whatever it happens to be.  As we go forward, let us pray.  Let us remember what His Holiness told us, what he told us was that we have a responsibility for the common good.  So, let us pray for all the ones who have lost family members and others struggling with the illness now.  Let's pray for our heroic health care workers and first responders who are risking their lives to care for the sick every day; the men and women in our factories making more medical supplies and personal protective equipment; the farmers, producers, grocery workers keeping food on the shelves; our truck drivers; postal workers; everybody who is contributing to the effort; and the scientists, as I say, all hands on deck, 24/7 for a solution.  Congress must show the same courage, same resilience, same strength and with a great unity and urgency to put families and workers first.  Let me, again, thank everyone who had anything to do with this, and that means almost everybody in this room.  Let me thank the Senate Democrats and Leader Schumer for his work, as you acknowledge Leader McConnell.  Let us, again, return to the words of His Holiness, Pope Francis.  ‘May we enlighten those responsible for the common good so that they may know how to care for their – those entrusted to their responsibility.’  With that I hope we have the biggest possible vote for the American people to show them that Congress' heart and the country's heart is full of love for the American people.  And with that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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28 марта, 00:20

Pelosi Statement on President Trump Signing Third Coronavirus Bill

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Washington, D.C. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement after President Trump signed the third coronavirus response bill: “Thanks to the leadership of Congressional Democrats, today, President Trump signed a bill that has been transformed from corporate-focused to workers-first.  It is the third in a series of bills where Democrats insisted on taking responsibility for families and workers first. “For our workers, Democrats dramatically expanded Unemployment Insurance and defeated Republicans’ attempt to claw back the $600 per week in added benefits that will provide essential relief to the record number of Americans losing their jobs.  We successfully achieved full direct payments for workers, ensuring that working class American families will be eligible to receive as much as $3,400 for a family of four.  “We ensured that any taxpayer dollars given to industry goes first and foremost to workers’ paychecks and benefits – not used to pad CEO bonuses or fund stock buybacks or dividends.  And we have secured robust, special oversight that will hold the Administration accountable. “We are also proud to have secured a truly historic investment of hundreds of billions in hospitals, health systems and state and local governments, ensuring that they have the tools needed to combat the virus.  “For small businesses, we won fast relief for those in need, including by securing $10 billion for SBA emergency grants of up to $10,000 and making payroll costs, rent, mortgage interest and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.  “For our students, we paused payments for federal student loan borrowers and suspended wage garnishment and negative credit reporting during this time.  “For our veterans, we secured nearly $20 billion in funding to improve VA’s readiness with equipment, tests and additional care. “Our nation faces one of the gravest health and economic emergencies of the last century.  This bill is a downpayment. We must deliver free coronavirus treatment, more help for hospitals, states and local governments, increased SNAP, bigger direct payments, pension assistance and expanded FMLA — without exception.  “While we thank our heroic health care workers and first responders they must have the personal protective equipment to safely do their jobs and strong OSHA rules to protect them in the work place.  Right now they are risking their lives to save lives, and we must get them supplies immediately. “We must do more to address the health emergency, mitigate the economic damage, and provide for a strong recovery.”

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27 марта, 23:00

Pelosi Remarks at Bill Enrollment Photo Opportunity for the CARES Act

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Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a bill enrollment photo opportunity for H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks: Speaker Pelosi.  Good afternoon, everyone.  Thank you, all, for keeping your distance from each other, and we from each other here. This is a very special day for us.  I think it sends a very clear message to the American people, to America’s families gathered in their homes, to all of the health care workers working to bring solace, administer to the needs of people who need their help, to the families that have lost a loved one.  We want to send a message to them that America’s hearts are full of love, America’s hearts are full of love for them.  And that we are all a family.  And, like many families, we have our differences, but we also know what is important to us.  And America’s families are important for us. So, we are so pleased, today, to have been able to have passed on the Floor, practically unanimously, this important bill, CARES.  And we want to demonstrate that we do care for the American people in every way. We are so honored to have the distinguished Republican Leader of the House with us today.  I was honored to work with him in a very bipartisan way as we went along.  Again, having our disagreements but also knowing our purpose. With that, I want to yield to the distinguished Democratic Leader.  Excuse me. [Laughter] He called you the Majority Leader.  I’m calling you the Democratic Leader.  Steny called him that. [Laughter] In any event, the distinguished Republican Leader of the House.  His office is right there, you see the sign.  Kevin McCarthy of California. * * * Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Leader. I want to join you in acknowledging the leadership of our committees in all of this.  Richie – Chairman Neal – you started with Ways and Means, so will I – Richie Neal.  Nita Lowey, who’s not here right now, but who led the fight in the Appropriations Committee – the important discussions in the Appropriations Committee.  Here is Rosa DeLauro from that Committee, who represented her Committee on the Floor and in the discussions.  Peter DeFazio, Transportation and Infrastructure.  Bobby Scott, Education and Labor.  Maxine Waters, Financial Services.  Mark Takano, Veterans Affairs.  Nydia Velázquez, Small Business.  Frank Pallone, Energy and Commerce.  Jim McGovern, our Rules Committee Chair, was very helpful to us.  As was so many of our other Members here.  I do want to acknowledge, also, Zoe Lofgren from House Administration. And then, of course, our distinguished Leader, Mr. Hoyer.  Thank you for leading us on the Floor today.  But, not only that, leading us through all of this discussion.  Mr. Clyburn to make sure that we were not only on course substantively, but that we had the numbers needed to get the job done today.  That would not have happened without you.  To Mr. Ben Ray Lujan, thank you so much also for your work. And I do want to acknowledge Chuck Schumer and some of the Members on the Senate, Dick Durbin especially, and members of their committees as well. But this is – what we have to do now, and as the Leader was speaking I am further encouraged to say that what we have to do now, well we need to do more, but in terms of this bill, what we are all working on right now is to translate it into what it means.  A toolkit for our Members so that any one of their constituents, if they are a small business owner, whatever their category is, that they know immediately how they can avail themselves of what is in this legislation.  It’s there.  It is substantial.  We need to do more.  I just want to say, once again, I think it is very important that we do more for the personal protective equipment so that our health care providers have what they need.  And I want to acknowledge the great work of Anna Eshoo in this regard.  Greg Walden – where is Greg – has been working in all of this as well. Leader McCarthy.  Would you mind – I think I forgot Kay Granger, so would you thank her? Speaker Pelosi.  Yes.  And on the Appropriations Committee, they worked in a bipartisan way in the House and with the Senate.  And I want to join the Leader in acknowledging not only Nita Lowey as our Chair, but Kay Granger as the Ranking Member on the Committee. So, with that, it is now time for me to sign the enrollment of the legislation so we can send it right over to the Senate.  We thought Senator Grassley would be with us, but then he had a change of plans.  But we will send it to them and then they will send it to the President so that he can sign it as soon as possible so that as soon as possible it’s benefits will be available to the American people. I thank all of those who are gathered here for their distinguished contribution to all of this.  I wish I could have a pen for all of them.  As you know, I usually like to do that.  However, they told me because of the virus I can’t touch the pens.  But I will get you a pen, dotting the ‘I’ and all that. So here we are.  Aren’t we proud?  Usually we are crowded around, but – [Applause] Thank you all.  Thank you.

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27 марта, 02:26

Transcript of Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Today

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Washington, D.C.  – Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her weekly press conference today in the Capitol Visitor Center.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks: Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning, everyone.  Reporter.  Good morning.  Happy Birthday! Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you.  I am not celebrating, though, until I can hug my grandbabies.  I am waiting for that day.  Hopefully, that will be soon.  But thank you.  Last night, as you know, the Senate passed important legislation.  We're very proud of the product.  We think it is a – we did jiu‑jitsu on it and it went from a corporate‑first proposal that the Republicans put forth in the Senate to a workers‑first – Democratic, workers‑first legislation.  But let's first back up.  As I was coming here, I saw that nearly a thousand deaths in the United States.  Nine hundred yesterday, so I don't know what the number is today, but they're saying nearly a thousand deaths in our country.  Tens of thousands of people are – we have tens of thousands of cases.  This is a pandemic that we haven't even seen since – for over a hundred years in our country.  It's really such a tragedy.  So, we had to take important action.  We had to take action, though, that puts families first and workers first, and that's what we did when we did our first legislation.  The first two bills were about addressing the emergency directly: $8.3 billion for research for vaccines, for a cure, and that's of course the light at the end of the tunnel.  But funding for testing, testing, testing, very important so that we know – we can take inventory of the challenge that we face and, more importantly, that we can address each family's concerns about this.  The next bill was about masks, masks, masks, so that we can test, test, test, among other things. Emergency.  The bill that was passed in the Senate last night and that we will take up tomorrow is about mitigation.  Mitigation for all the loss that we have in our economy while still addressing the emergency health needs that we have in our country.  And next, we'll go from emergency, mitigation to recovery in terms of where we go to grow the economy to create more jobs in light of the reality that we have just been through.  So right now, we have the legislation that will come to the Floor tomorrow.  I anticipate – I feel certain that we will have a strong bipartisan vote.  And we take some pride in the fact that, as I said earlier, Congressional Democrats in the Senate and in the House were able to flip this over from corporate, trickle‑down Republican version to bubble‑up, worker‑first, families‑first legislation.  So, again, we have some other things we want to do, but first we want to take pride in what happens there.  For workers, we were able to get, of course, extended and expanded – extended from what the Republicans wanted and expanded Unemployment Insurance.  That is so very, very important.  Of course in terms of funds that go to major corporations or companies or anyone, the direct condition is that, for example, at the airlines, that the money – the money that is given to the airlines is given to the workers directly.  Just a pass‑through, it goes directly to the workers, and have some conditions on – for other money that goes to any of these companies that they have no buybacks, no dividends, no bonuses.  All of those kind of concerns are so offensive, that happened before with federal funds infused into their entities.  So we're very happy about all of that.  One of the differences, as I said, they're corporate down, we're bubble-up from workers.  I think was demonstrated last night.  Can you believe that almost – I think it was every Republican – I think it was 49 Republicans last night voted, in the Senate, to deprive those on unemployment insurance of the additional $600 a week.  How could it be that in this time of stress and strain and uncertainty about health and life and livelihood that they would vote that way?  But I think it does demonstrate the point that I made, that [they are] not about workers first. But the bill got to be there.  And I thank the Senate Democrats for using the leverage they have with the 60 votes.  I take pride in what we had in our House bill that is in the Senate bill now.  So for workers and for families, with all three of our bills, we have put families and workers first.  Again, I hope that the UI will – right now we want people to take advantage of all of this quickly.  The UI will depend on how the states do it, and they're not all uniform, but we want people to know exactly how they can benefit from that.  And we're putting that all together so all of our Members, on both sides of the aisle, can know how they can facilitate enabling their constituents to take advantage of the opportunities there.  So, again, the bill last night and tomorrow will be a large infusion of funds for hospitals, health systems and state and local governments.  We want more.  And this was a big, strong step, but we need more.  Small businesses – I am so proud of the work of all of our Chairmen.  They were just dazzling in their knowledge, their strategy, their just – their experience in getting the right kind of bill passed, even though, again, compromised – compromising – not getting everything we want, but recognizing that we won the day.  Small businesses wants fast relief.  Small business, they have – for rent, mortgage, utility costs, eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.  I salute Congresswoman, Madam Chair Nydia Velázquez for what she was able to accomplish there.   Students: we secured billions of emergency education funding.  Thank you, Bobby Scott, on our team, and our appropriators, Rosa DeLauro, Nita Lowey, etcetera, doing so much work there.  Don't get me started on naming my Members, I will be talking about all of them.  I will, and you will see how they present tomorrow on the Floor.        And we have oversight.  You know, there was this idea that they put forth that there would be a $500 billion slush fund for the Secretary of the Treasury with no accountability whatsoever.  Are you kidding?  For all respect in the world for the Treasury Secretary, that was a complete nonstarter.  So, I am pleased that language that was in the House bill and in the Senate bill – it has an Inspector General specifically for that account, and also a Congressional panel of five people appointed by the leaders to oversee how that funding is disbursed.  It comes back down, though, to the fact that people are at risk.  As I say, tens of thousands of cases, nearly a thousand deaths in the United States.  I said from the start we must have a proposal that is government‑wide, science‑based, so that we can really address the challenge that we face in a scientific, evidence‑based way.  That is not necessarily the course that has been advocated by some, but it's where we must be if we're going to end this.  From a scientific standpoint, we have the best minds working 24/7, all hands on deck to find a cure, which is of course the light at the end of the tunnel.  But, if you do not heed the advice of the scientific community about isolation and not – and avoiding as much communal contact as possible – in fact none, then the light at the end of tunnel may be a train coming at us, the proverbial train.  And we cannot – every day, every week that is wasted on not taking that warning seriously is a problem.  It's a problem.  So let us thank our men and women, our health care providers, our first responders, our emergency service people, firefighters and the rest who are not only responding to this but initiating their own efforts, sometimes risking their lives to save others' lives.  We need to get them more personal protective equipment, it's absolutely essential, and it is a shortfall right now.  We would hope that the government production – Defense [Production Act] would be called upon to call upon industry to convert to making ventilators and the rest.  Testing, testing, testing.  Masks, masks, masks.  Ventilators, ventilators, ventilators.  What's the mystery?  We need many more.  And the ventilators, just for your information, is not about making you breathe easier.  It's making you breathe, period.  It is vital to life and death in many, many, many cases.  So, we need an unlimited number, let's think of it that way, endless number of ventilators, just to name one thing.  But everyone: the farmers, the producers, the grocers, everyone who's keeping America fed, our truck drivers, postal workers, delivery people, everyone who is making this survival possible, we thank.  And again, we thank our scientists for striving to find a cure.  So tomorrow we will go to the Floor for this legislation.  But as I have said, there are so many things we didn't get in any of these bills yet in the way that we need to.  So the next step would be – well, among other things, we want to have more – better definition of who qualifies for family and medical leave.  I can give you some examples if you wish.  Stronger OSHA protections for our workers – essential, essential to life.  Pensions: we had a proposal on pensions in the legislation that, my understanding was and I trust it is true, that the President supported, but Senator McConnell wouldn't do it, but said we'll do it in the next bill.  So we're ready for that.  Increased SNAP: one disappointment in the bill was they would not increase – we were asking for a fifteen percent increase in food stamps at this very fragile time for many families.  They wouldn't do that in this bill.  More money for state and local governments: that could be – I spoke with the Secretary this morning about how we we're just not doing enough for state and local government.  That's just the way it is.  We had 200 billion in our bill.  We ended up with 150.  But neither of those figures is really enough.  But we're hoping, and I mentioned to him that the Fed, and I talked to Chairman Powell about this, that they would expand the opportunity for, shall we say, helping out state and local government, municipalities and the rest.  In the bill we call for that, but really permissively enabling the Secretary to do it, but not requiring him to do it.  And the Administration did not want the requirement.  But they say that that is what they intend to do.  We'll see.  And, hopefully, that is the case.  But we're still going to need to have more money for state and local governments, municipalities and the rest.  Then one of the important things that just, we have to insist upon, we said free testing, free testing, free testing, but with free testing is the visit to the doctor's office, the treatment that goes with it, and that has to be free as well so that we encourage people to be tested, and if they are and they need treatment, they're not fearing the test because they can't afford the treatment.  This is all a public health issue.  It's an everyone's issue that everyone be tested who needs to be tested.  Not everyone, but who qualifies to be tested, but that they do not incur a huge deductible or whatever, a copayment, whatever, for being tested and have the follow‑up treatment.  And then there's just one other – this came as kind of a – I don't want to say a surprise because nothing surprises me around here but it was curious that in this bill they decided to treat the District of Columbia in a very discriminatory way.  It really makes no sense unless you have some other motivation.  The District of Columbia has always been treated like a State in terms of distribution of funds, and under that formulation they would have gotten well over a [billion] dollars, maybe a [billion] and a quarter or so, and under the formula they just decided to treat them like a territory now.  And they get maybe a half a billion – excuse me, half a [billion] dollars less.  I don't know exact figures, but it's very significant.  Say it's a third less than what they are getting when they're fighting this challenge here in the District of Columbia.  It doesn't make any sense and we have to have legislation.  I don't know if you saw Chris Van Hollen, Senator Chris Van Hollen last night at the – during the debate spelling this out.  I know it's of concern to Steny and to Mr. Connolly and Mr. Beyer and our colleagues from this region, Mr. Raskin – well, the list goes on. But it is, it's just – it doesn't face the realities of the public health crisis that we have in our country, and it goes out of its way to do something so out of the ordinary.  Let's just hope it was – well, it was a decision.  It wasn't an accident.  It was a decision.  So, let's make a decision to correct that.  But again, let us all be very prayerful about how we go forward.  We want the American people not only to wash their hands regularly and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate all the time, but to understand that we view them as our bosses.  They are our bosses.  We are responsible to them.  On Sunday morning when we met with the M's – McConnell, Mnuchin, McCarthy – Chuck and I were there, and I said, ‘Since it's Sunday morning, why don't we begin with a prayer’ – my part of it, not their part of it, my part, and I will begin with a prayer.  So his Holiness Pope Francis called for a world prayer.  I won't do it justice, but what he did was to pray that those who have the responsibility to care for others would be enlightened to take that responsibility and act upon it.  When I finished my prayer, the Secretary said, ‘Well you've quoted Saint Francis,’ – I mean, ’Pope Francis. I'll quote the markets.’  So that's kind of how we – God knows we want the markets to succeed.  That's very important.  The markets are not going to succeed unless we take care of people and we restore their health, whether there's a cure or whether there's behavior that reduces this tragedy in our country.  But let us work together in the most bipartisan way possible to get the job done as soon as possible.  It won't happen unless we respect science, science, science.  And for those who say we choose prayer over science, I say science is an answer to our prayers.  Any questions?  Q:  Madam Speaker, a lot of Americans have heard a lot about the direct payments that they're getting as part of this bill.  Speaker Pelosi.  Yeah. Q:  And the biggest question they have is, ‘When are we going to see these checks?’  Why not approve this bill by unanimous consent so that American families don't have to wait even a moment longer to get this money in their bank accounts?  Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you for your question.  The two are completely unrelated.  It doesn't have anything to do with unanimous consent.  Tomorrow, we'll bring the bill to the Floor.  It will pass.  It will pass with a strong bipartisan support.  I spoke to the Secretary about this today.  I said, ‘Why don't we do the direct payments technologically so that they can be received more immediately?’  I don't know if that's their plan, but I hope that it would be.  But the people are either for them.  We had bigger direct payments in our bill, I don't think we have seen the end of direct payments.  But with all respect to your question, it has nothing to do with unanimous consent.  I don't think we will get unanimous consent.  I think there are some people on the other side of the aisle who are coming here to – would object to that.  But we're not worried about that.  Our Members want to come back in order to have the debate, and we expect to have a voice vote on it.  But if we don't, we'll be prepared for whatever it is.   But one way or another, with losing no time with a UC or anything else, we will, we will be passing the bill tomorrow.  So, thank you.  Q:  Madam Speaker, what would you say to Americans that have concerns about these – these loans given to corporations?  Why wouldn't these corporations seek private loans?  And isn't it a moral hazard to bail them out?  Shouldn't they have been more conservative with their cash flow to be able to weather this storm?  Speaker Pelosi.  Well, everything that we do in this bill is about the workers.  And so where there is any transfer of funds to any entity, it is for them to keep their workers employed or pay benefits to their employees.  So nothing is going to anybody without conditions.  Q:  But some of these CEOs are making upwards of 80 million a year. Speaker Pelosi.  Well, but that's another issue.  We can't deal with that now.  But we did prohibit.  And thank you for your question, so I can say again, the conditions include preventing any buybacks, all the things that they did in previous times when they had resources, just used that money to enrich themselves in terms of dividends, bonuses, and the rest.  And there are some considerations about CEO pay in all of this.  But this is an opportunity for us to have the leverage switched from the top, from trickle-down from corporate headquarters to bubble-up from the assembly room floor.  Yes, ma'am?  Yeah, Nancy? Q:  Madam Speaker, thank you. Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you. Q:  You have already started talking about the next phase.  Speaker Pelosi.  Yes.  Q:  How quickly do you think that bill needs to come together?  How big do you anticipate it will be?  And do you intend to work on it from Washington or from California?  And finally, who should take the lead on it, the House or the Senate?  Speaker Pelosi.  Well, we'll be taking the lead.  I think we'll – right now what we're advocating is, you know, we took the lead on some, they took one.  We really should be operating four corners, the four, the House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans, as we go along to find as much common ground as we can.  But we will be – I will be working on most of it from here, but also with my committees.  In the course of this whole thing, my committees were outstanding.  The committee chairs were, as I said, dazzling in their knowledge and brilliance about how to get the job done, and they made a tremendous difference.  Of course we didn't get everything we wanted, but it's a compromise.  We did very well.  And that's why I got a call yesterday from somebody on the other Senate side, not on the Democratic side, saying these Members think that it's too much of a Democratic bill.  What can I say?  So, in any case, we will go through the committees.  Bobby Scott on the Education and Labor Committee, which oversees Family and Medical Leave, will be working on that, as will be the appropriate appropriators, Rose DeLauro and that.  We will work House and Senate.  We have the legislation with Patty Murray that they rejected, but we'll bring it back.  The OSHA is also from that Committee.  The OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health issues are very important, more important at this time than any time anybody can remember because people are going into an infectious situation.  So, we'll be having our technological, by phone and perhaps even beyond that, have our meetings to bring that together.  But in this case, Nancy, it's going to be public sentiment.  People will say, ‘Well, why do we need another bill?’  We need it because the health workers working in those settings need it.  We need it because if a family – for example, if your mom – bless her heart.  I don't know if she is? Q:  She is healthy.  Speaker Pelosi.  Wonderful.  So she is healthy.  Q:  Isolated. Speaker Pelosi.  Okay.  So if your mom, for example, if your mom were in a – was in a day senior health center, where they take them in the day and they get the health needs and all that and then come home, or was at home and had a health care provider in the home, and because of the coronavirus those two entities, one would close and the other could not come, you would be able to take Family and Medical Leave to care for your mom.  If your mom is well and she gets the coronavirus, you can't take off work to care for her and get Family and Medical Leave because those two conditions were not met.  We strove to have them say those who cannot take care of themselves, but they wouldn't accept that language.  But it doesn't make sense, does it?  So anyway, we want to improve on that and improve how many other people would avail themselves of it.  So, again, it's a – these are needs that people have.  This is not – this is all – understand this about this, it's really important to know this.  This is all about the coronavirus.  It's not about anything else.  It's about the coronavirus.  So, this is temporary, for this period of time.  And it's important to know that because people said, ‘Well, why should we do it?’  Because of the coronavirus.  It's a public health issue and we have to keep people as healthy as we can, and Family and Medical Leave is one way to do that.  And then some of the issues that I meant, if they're getting tested then they should not have to pay a high copay for the other services that go with that test at this time when we're talking about the – of course, the direct payments are directly related to this.  But just to that point, we want to engage the public in that discussion.  The timing is interesting because I see the Senate said they were leaving until – Q:  The 20th.  Speaker Pelosi.  The 20th of April.  I guess that's after Easter and Passover.  I think everybody has to be on call for what we need when we need it and we don't know what that might be.  But whatever it is, we'll be ready.  Q:  A question and a half.  Do you anticipate – Speaker Pelosi.  Is that allowed, a question and a half? Q:  Do you anticipate having unanimous support from your Democrats tomorrow on this bill?  Speaker Pelosi.  Yes.  Well, and let me say this.  I'm not asking any – we will have a victory tomorrow for America's workers.  If somebody has a different point of view, they can put it in the record.  But we're not worried about that. Q:  The other question was Governor Cuomo yesterday expressed a lot of concern that – Speaker Pelosi.  Which one was the half? Q:  That was the half. [Laughter] Q:  Yes, that was the half.  Governor Cuomo yesterday said he's really worried about his state budget, that the money in this bill isn't going to go nearly far enough to fill the hole.  Other states will likely have that problem.  Do you think the next bill you are going to have to dedicate significantly more, essentially, to bail out state governments who cannot do this on their own and can't fund the deficit?  Speaker Pelosi.  Well, thank you for your question.  I did have the occasion to have the benefit of the Governor's thinking yesterday.  And I have enormous respect for him.  I think he is doing a spectacular job at what he is doing.  And it's something we've never seen before.  But I also see that with my own Governor, Gavin Newsom in California.  They remind me of each other in terms of they're so values‑based and they're determined to do the right thing and respecting the dignity and worth of every person.  But it takes money.  And we have, thanks to Jerry Brown, a big budget surplus in California, which is going to be eaten away by this.  So, it's not a question of bailing out states, it's a question of meeting the needs of the people.  And that's our responsibility to do.  He’s called it a drop in the bucket.  Well, it's several billion dollars, and it isn't anywhere near enough.  But it's still seven billion – several billion.  I think $5.6 billion, something for New York.  We have to do more.  And if we don't face that reality – and we're encouraging the states then to give money to localities as well because they – in our situation, in California, for example, San Francisco provides a lot of the – cities and counties provide a lot of the care throughout the country and meeting the needs, whatever they are, on a public health issue.  So, there's no question that more money will be needed.  Now, can we do it through the Fed and some low to no interest lending to the states?  Let's see what they can do.  And that was my conversation with the Secretary this morning about, I wish it were more required rather than permissive for the Fed to do that.  They preferred this route, which I respect.  Now, let's get it done.  But make no mistake, all the states around the country – we talk about New York and California.  Look at Louisiana, which is now ground zero for the world in terms of the explosion of this challenge – in the world.  And that's – and they reference some of that to Mardi Gras and the rest, but we'll see.  I have grandchildren all over the country, as you probably know, and one who goes to school in New Orleans, so I watch that pretty carefully.  Well, I watch the whole country.  So, in any event, the challenge is there.  The interest rates are low.  The secretary – Chairman of the Fed, Mr. Powell, said to me, ‘The interest rates are as low as they'll ever be.  Think big.  Because whatever you borrow to do with this is going to be at the lowest interest.’  What we did last night and what we will do tomorrow, $2 trillion, is about the cost of the tax scam that the Republicans foisted on the nation to give 83 percent of the benefits to the top one percent, whatever it was plus the interest on the loan, on the debt, indebting our kids and their future, paying the bill for tax breaks for the high end.  Said it was going to pay for itself.  It never does.  Said it was going to create jobs.  It didn't.  However, this is an emergency, a challenge to the conscience as well as the budget of our country, and every dollar that we spend is an investment in the lives and the livelihood of the American people. We can go bigger, especially now the interest rates are even lower than at the time of the tax scam. So it isn't even – it's like I gave you a dime for a cup of coffee.  It doesn't cost a dime anymore.  It costs much more.  Let's recognize that reality.  But again, let's do it in a way that stays focused on the kitchen tables of America's families, their needs, their concerns and how we can again meet those needs as Pope Francis told us to take responsibility for.  Thank you all very much.  Thank you.

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26 марта, 08:24

Pelosi Statement on Senate Passage of Third Coronavirus Response Bill

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Washington, D.C. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement after the Senate passed the third coronavirus response bill: “Our nation faces the worst pandemic in over fifty years.  Urgent action continues to be needed to address this threat to the lives and livelihood of the American people.  “Tonight, the Senate voted on legislation which, thanks to the leadership of Congressional Democrats, has been turned upside down from a Republican corporate focus to a Democratic workers-first focus.  I’m especially pleased that we defeated Republicans’ cruel last-minute attempt to claw back the $600 in expanded Unemployment Insurance that will provide desperately needed relief to so many workers losing their jobs.  “On Friday, the House will take up the  legislation with strong bipartisan support.”

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25 марта, 15:37

Pelosi Statement on Senate Coronavirus Bill Agreement

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Washington, D.C. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement on the Senate’s coronavirus legislation: “America is facing a grave health crisis with a serious impact on our economy.  I salute the strong leadership of Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats.  I especially thank our House Democratic Committee Chairmen, who worked hard to move the Republican proposal from corporations-focused to workers-first and who will now review the legislative text of this agreement with our Caucus.  “The Republican bill proposed by Senator McConnell on Sunday was a non-starter.  “This bipartisan legislation takes us a long way down the road in meeting the needs of the American people.  While the compromise does not go as far as our Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act, thanks to the unity and insistence of Senate and House Democrats, the bill has moved a great deal closer to America’s workers.  “Bold legislation is desperately needed to protect the health and well-being of the American people: For fighting the coronavirus, Democrats fought for and won a large investment in hospitals, health system and state and local governments in this agreement, to give them the resources they desperately need during this emergency. For our workers, we secured a massive increase in Unemployment Insurance benefits to match the average paycheck of laid-off or furloughed workers.  For our small businesses, we won a significant expansion of fast relief for small businesses and made rent, mortgage and utility costs eligible for SBA loan forgiveness.  For our students, we secured billions in emergency education funding and eliminated income tax on student loan repayment assistance by an employer. For accountability and oversight, we prevented secret bailouts and added special oversight requirements. “House Democrats will now review the final provisions and legislative text of the agreement to determine a course of action.”

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24 марта, 02:11

Pelosi Remarks on Press Call to Mark 10-Year Anniversary of the Affordable Care Act During Coronavirus Crisis

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Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Senator Bob Casey, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Former HHS Secretary Sebelius and Protect Our Care on a press call to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act and to highlight what’s at stake for Americans if President Trump and Republicans overturn the law as the nation grapples with the coronavirus.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks: Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Leslie, for bringing us together on this call.  I’m honored to join Secretary Sebelius.  We worked together on this long ago.  Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, just such a strong voice in the Congress coming as a health care provider herself and knowledgeable about the policy by her experience in the Obama Administration.  Of course, Senator Bob Casey – I don’t know if he’s joined yet but I thank him for his leadership.  And I know that our VIP on the call is Laura Packard, so thank you Laura for your generosity of spirit to share your story with us.  Again, thank you, Leslie. Ten years ago, seems like yesterday, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law.  It was a great, historic day.  It was a big deal, to paraphrase Vice President Biden.  It is also important to note that I was very proud of the courage of my Members to take the big vote along the way. I want to praise – our inside maneuvering would not have been successful without the outside mobilization of many of the groups coordinated by Protect Our Care.  So, thank you for that.  Not only for then, but into protecting the legislation with 10,000 events in the year that they were trying to undermine the Affordable Care Act even further.   I do want to mention Senator Ted Kennedy.  He has been an inspiration to us for years on the subject and just – I don’t think this would have happened in the way it did without his leadership and I thank him for that.  He always saw this as a moral issue. So, again, we took a big, monumental step forward for the health and financial security of the American people.  Now, we have – as you indicated – we expanded health care to 20 million more, delivered better coverage for more than the 150 million Americans with health care insurance through an employer, and as you mentioned very, very importantly, the pre-existing condition benefit the President is undermining. So, it – when he – I’m urging him today to remove, to withdraw from the lawsuit in the Supreme Court, just to call more attention to the fact that he wants to remove – he wants to return to lifetime limits on health care.  He wants to remove essential health benefits.  He wants to take young people who are on their parents’ insurance off.  He wants to open up the prescription drug donut hole.  He wants Americans with pre-existing conditions to be discriminated against in terms of health care and cost. So, from day one , we’re so proud of Lauren Underwood and our House Democrats.  Democratic Freshmen have been leading the way to defend and enhance the law.  But instead of joining us to strengthen the law, the Trump Administration is in court again to sue to tear it down entirely.  We can’t let that happen.  And day one – when I say day one I mean literally day one – Member of the Freshman class – representing the Freshman class, Colin Allred went to the Floor and said we were asserting the Congressional intention to go to court to fight what they were doing.  So, again, it’s a happy day in terms of what we did then.  It’s a challenging day in what they have tried, as Leslie mentioned, to dismantle it.  It happens at a time when we need it more in terms of this pandemic.  So, again, thank God for everyone who made this all possible.  A special thanks to President Obama.  He was just magnificent with his vision, with his attention to detail, with his strategic thinking.  He really – well, it wouldn’t have happened without him.  And it wouldn’t have happened without Harry Reid, so I want to send a kudos to him, as well as all our Committee Chairs. But again, let me get back to the outside.  You all – the outside mobilization made a tremendous difference.  We could not have gotten over the obstacles that they put there without everyone, whether it’s nuns on the bus or patient advocacy groups or you name it – or Protect Our Care, that great coalition that you had.  It’s something we’re all very, very grateful for.    And we have to continue this fight to win in court or help them not go to court, but as we prayerfully, prayerfully go into this discussion – further discussion on the coronavirus challenge, thank God for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I yield back, and I thank all of you for what you are doing to keep America healthy.   *** Q:  Thank you, and thank you for holding this call. Yesterday, during the taskforce briefing in the evening, President Trump implied – he suggested that Republicans can get started on creating and promoting a new health care package.  I’d like to hear all of your comments on that, amid this coronavirus if that’s even a possibility? Leslie Dach.  I’ll see if the Speaker is still on and would like to answer that and – Speaker Pelosi.  I’m on.  Yes, the – remember repeal and replace?  They never came up with the replace and they couldn’t get away with the repeal. So this is just another notion that the President, the notion-monger that he is, has put out there.  Instead of doing that, he should be withdrawing his support from the case before the Supreme Court.  He should be urging the Medicaid states – the states that have not expanded Medicaid, to do so.  He should exercise the Defense Production Act so that we would have what we need to protect our workers who are caring for people with coronavirus instead of pie in the skying it, baying at the moon about the fact that he thinks he is going to get a health care bill.  Perhaps he didn’t notice that he lost miserably in the 2018 elections, so that’s mythology – a myth. But I will say that I’m so proud of everything I heard on this call.  And I thank Madam Secretary and Senator Casey for their kind words.  We were at the scene of our triumphs together, so I want to acknowledge their importance in all of that as well.  So I just – I don’t – it’s just an irrelevant thing.  Instead of making mistake after mistake after mistake after mistake as the President has in this coronavirus challenge, he should listen to science, listen to evidence and make science-based decisions instead of people having to explain what he really meant later. And, again, Mr. President, withdraw from the case and, two, expand Medicaid to keep America and make America healthier. *** Q:  Thank you, and thank you for doing this call.  This question is for Speaker Pelosi.  The ACA plans do have gaps that are showing during this crisis: people still face high deductibles and copays that could land patients with high bills.  Are you considering any additional insurance coverage requirements.  I know insurance companies have said they’re open to a special enrollment period as long as they have government funding to offset any costs they want to incur, but they also just had the health insurance tax repealed.  Could you address some of that? Speaker Pelosi.  Yes, ma’am.  Thank you.  Thank you so much for your question. Because of the situation that we’re in, we were unable to roll out before the – a week and a half ago, we were going to roll out our Affordable Care Act enhancement and it would address some of the things that you talked about. As Madam Secretary and the Senator know, at the time, we were under the Budget Reconciliation Act and we had to pay for everything that we did, and we did.  It was paid for.  However, entering into this enhancement act, again having to pay for it probably, but nonetheless we would increase the amount of money a family can make in order to be eligible for subsidies.  And this would be a big difference because there was like a gap between where we – whatever the percentage was of poverty and the subsidy and where affordability was.  So that’s one very important part of it. Of course there’s some things that have retired – have just gone out of existence because Republicans put them out of existence or would not renew, for example, reinsurance, very, very central to covering the costs for insurance companies to be able to afford high-risk situations. So, it is – again, every piece of legislation is subject, especially one, you know, so many people and at such a cost – and when I say cost, if we want to pay for it, we have to subject everything to the harshest scrutiny to see what works and what doesn’t.  But affordability, affordability.  That’s why it is called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.   Affordability was – we could have had a gimmicky kind of a name, but affordability was the point, because affordability means accessibility to quality care.  So, I’d like you to see what we are doing with our enhancement act, which goes into many aspects of your question, but affordability being essential.  *** Q:  Thank you, it’s Suzanne Malveaux.  I don’t know if the Speaker’s still on the call, but just wondering if you could respond to some of the recent tweets that we’ve heard from the President talking about the: ‘We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.  At the end of fifteen day period, we will make a decision as to which way we want to go,’ suggesting that those who will be impacted or inflicted will be treated, and then encouraging Americans to go about their daily business and go out with the – go on with the economy.  If you could just comment about the approach, the timetable and how you see this. Speaker Pelosi.  Yeah, I – guess I am off mute – I had to make sure I was off mute.  Thank you for your question.  Let’s just say what we have always said from the start, is that we need a government-wide, coordinated, evidence and science-based approach to all of this.  None of the above has been in the President’s plan. I’ll just tell you this story because yesterday, my granddaughter turned eleven.  And over the weekend – one day, toward the end of last week, she heard me saying, ‘If only the President had not fired the people who were in charge of prevention at the National Security Council… if only the President had faced the reality, and not been in denial about this from the start… if only the CDC had taken the [tests] from WHO, instead of insisting they do their own which were ineffective and prolonged the time…  if only the President were not, again, denying the, even when the numbers were growing, that they were growing,’ – the list goes on and on.  So, she said to me, ‘Well, you know what?  I’m tired of hearing “If onlys.”  Let’s do something about it.’  I thought that was very wise from a child.  So, let’s put aside the extremely long list of mistakes the President continues to make.  That statement is not founded on science.  The scientists there – I don’t know what goes on behind that.  But I do know that it is essentially important that we stop his mistakes and we have strove – striven to have this be non-political, as bipartisan as possible, as unifying as possible, as prayerfully as possible.  But the President will not take responsibility and he’s a notion-monger, just tossing out things that have no relation to a well-coordinated, science-based, government-wide response to this.  Thank God for the governors who are taking the lead in their states.  Thank God for some of the people in the Administration who speak truth to power.  But really – so that’s what I have to say about some of what he had to say.   I don’t know specifically about what he did yesterday, because we were writing our bill.  I wasn’t – it got a little bit long for me yesterday, to just hear some more misrepresentations on the part of the President.  But again, in the Congress, we’re hoping to work in a bipartisan way to have the resources that are necessary, the policy that is needed, the respect for workers – putting workers and families first.  And I just put out a press release about the bill that we’re about to unfold, as to what we see in the House as a values-based approach to this and not saying people should just leave their homes and go work on the basis of what? So, again, we’re asking the President to undo this case in the Supreme Court.  It relates to both the Affordable Care Act and the virus – we’ve got to ask the states to expand Medicaid where they have not.  We want him to do the [Defense] Production Act, so we have the PPE, the personal protection – protective equipment so that our people can work safely.  They’re so noble to go to work. And also, I’m hearing that Mitch McConnell is saying that I’m holding up the masks.  No, the masks in the bill that we put – Putting Families First that the President signed last week.  We had two bills.  The first one – the appropriations bill, which put the money for vaccines and research and so many things to help states.  The second bill that did more of the same, but also gave the go ahead for the masks, giving immunity from liability to companies that are making masks.  I didn’t like doing that, but weighing the equities knew we had to get the masks out.  So, that Mitch McConnell would bring up masks is really strange, but not stranger than taking up a vote when you don’t have the votes. And so – so again, this is this third tranche in all of this, and we want it to be worker oriented, not give away the store to those who might do buybacks, dividends, CEO pay and not honor the responsibilities they have to their workers.   And with that, I am going to have to excuse myself, because, as Leslie said, we have – I have to get ready for another call and roll out our bill.  It’s called Take Responsibility [for Workers and Families] – it’s sort of like a message to the President – take responsibility putting workers and families first. Thank you, Leslie, for the opportunity with such distinguished panelists.  I especially want to thank Protect Our Care for their mobilization outside, which has been acknowledged as essential, and I thank Laura Packard for her lovely, generous sharing of her story and wish her well.  So, thank you all.  Thank you, Kathleen.  Thank you, Lauren.  Thank you, Leslie.  Thank you, Senator Casey.  Thank you, all. 

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23 марта, 22:43

Pelosi Remarks on 10th Anniversary of Affordable Care Act & Unveiling of Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act

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Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered a statement on the 10th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and the introduction of House Democrats’ Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks: Speaker Pelosi.  Good afternoon. Ten years ago today, on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law.  On that proud day, we took a monumental step forward for the health and financial security of the American people. We expanded new health coverage to 20 million people and delivered better coverage to the more than 150 million Americans with health insurance through their employer.  We passed the Affordable Care Act because we believe that in the United States of America, health care must be a right, not a privilege.  The late Senator Ted Kennedy made that belief the fight of his life. Thanks to the leadership of President Barack Obama, who was dedicated, knowledgeable, strategic and determined to succeed; thanks to the clear vision of our Committee Chairs crafting the legislation and the deep courage of Members of Congress; thanks to outside mobilization of patient advocacy groups, Nuns on the Bus, March of Dimes, Protect Our Care, Little Lobbyists and others, the Affordable Care Act stands today among the greatest pillars of American health and financial security: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act. Now, we find ourselves in the depths of one of the most serious health and economic emergencies our nation has ever faced.  The protections of the Affordable Care Act are more important now than ever.  But right now, in the middle of coronavirus, the Trump Administration is in court suing to tear down the entire Affordable Care Act.  Every last protection and benefit. If President Trump succeeds in striking down the ACA in court, gone is the ban on insurers putting limits on your health care, gone are guaranteed essential health benefits and free preventive services, gone are young people staying on their parent’s insurance until age 26, gone is the health insurance of 20 million Americans and gone are the lifesaving protections for more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Today, therefore, I am calling on President Trump to abandon his lawsuit seeking to strike down the Affordable Care Act.  Instead, the President must urge the fourteen states who have refused to expand Medicaid to do so.  Last Thursday, Pope Francis offered the world this prayer: ‘Enlighten those responsible for the common good, so that they might know how to care for those entrusted to their responsibility.’ Today, House Democrats are unveiling the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act – a bill that takes responsibility for the health, wages and well-being of America’s workers.  Democrats take responsibility for our workers.  We require that any corporation that takes taxpayer dollars must protect their workers’ wages and benefits – not CEO pay, stock buybacks or layoffs.  We strengthen Unemployment Insurance so that it can replace the average wages of our workers who are losing their jobs and hours. For our small businesses, we provide fast relief with grants and loans to tide them through this crisis.  For our doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders and hospitals and other health institutions, we provide desperately needed funds to care for those who are sick – and to ensure they have Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, that they need.  We protect our health care workers by requiring the Administration to enforce our stronger OSHA protections. For our families, we give direct payments to America’s families in a robust way and strengthen the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.  We give more workers the security of guaranteed paid family and medical leave, including those caring for our seniors.  And we make coronavirus treatment free for the patient. For our students, we provide emergency funds for our schools and universities.  We help current borrowers with their student debt burden and the GI Bill benefits.  We bolster SNAP and other initiatives to address food insecurity. For our democracy, we ensure that states can carry out this year’s election and require early voting and vote-by-mail. I am grateful to our Committee Chairs and Members for their extraordinary leadership and work for America’s workers and families. The Senate Republican bill put corporations first.  But because of the insistence of Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats, progress has been made.  We urge the Senate to move closer to the values in the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.          We must be bold and forward-looking in our thinking.  We must be swift and evidence-based in our actions.  And we must be prayerful.  God bless the families of those who have lost loved ones and those fighting this terrible illness now.  God bless our nurses, doctors, first responders and men and women in uniform.  God bless the men and women in our factories making medical supplies, cars, all of it, and those keeping our grocery shelves stocked with food.  God bless the scientists racing to find a cure.  God bless all of you.  And may God always bless America. Thank you.

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23 марта, 19:24

Pelosi Statement Ahead of Unveiling of Democrats’ Third Coronavirus Response Bill

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Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released this statement ahead of the unveiling of House Democrats’ third coronavirus response bill, the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act:  “The Senate Republicans’ bill, as presented, put corporations first, not workers and families.  Today, House Democrats will unveil a bill that takes responsibility for the health, wages and well-being of America’s workers: the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.  “Democrats Take Responsibility: For our workers and small businesses: our bill requires that any corporation that takes taxpayer dollars must protect their workers’ wages and benefits – not CEO pay, stock buybacks or layoffs.  It gives our small businesses fast relief with grants and loans to tide them through this crisis.  And it strengthens Unemployment Insurance so that it can replace the average wages of our workers who are losing their jobs and hours.  For our doctors, nurses, health care workers and first responders: It gives hospitals and other health institutions the desperately needed funds to provide treatment and care to all those who are sick and to ensure they have the Personal Protective Equipment to protect health care workers and first responders.  It protects our health care workers by requiring the Administration to enforce our stronger Occupational Safety and Health Administration protections.  At the same time, it calls for the president to invoke the Defense Production Act immediately. For our families: It gives direct payments to America’s families in a robust way and strengthens Child Tax Credits and the Earned Income Tax Credit.  It gives more workers the security of guaranteed paid family and medical leave, including those caring for our seniors.  And it makes coronavirus treatment free for the patient. For our students: Pumps nearly $60 billion into schools and universities, with $50 billion directly provided to states to help them stabilize their funding for schools and nearly $10 billion to help alleviate the harm caused by coronavirus on higher education institutions, while providing them with added flexibility to continue operating during the crisis.  The legislation also helps current borrowers with their student debt burden and GI bill benefits.  We also bolster SNAP and other initiatives to address food insecurity. For our Democracy: Ensures that states can carry out this year’s election with billions in grant funding for states through the Election Assistance Commission and a national requirement for both 15 days of early voting and no-excuse absentee vote-by-mail, including mailing a ballot to all registered voters in an emergency. “I am grateful to our Committee Chairs and members for their extraordinary work for America’s workers and families.  Because of the Senate Democrats,  progress has been made.  We urge the Senate to move closer to the values in the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act.”

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22 марта, 23:19

Dear Colleague on Update on Coronavirus Bill Negotiation

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Dear Democratic Colleague, Today, we are finalizing our Take Responsibility for Workers and Families legislation.  As we do so, the Senate continues to engage in negotiation.  Leader McConnell had to postpone his 3 p.m. cloture vote on the motion to proceed because, thanks to Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats, he did not have the 60 votes required. Our Committee Chairs have worked diligently to present legislation which recognizes the gravity of the coronavirus challenge.  I am writing to thank all of you for the invaluable intellectual resource that you are to meeting that challenge.  Your work during the District Work Period communicating with health care providers and institutions, small businesses, people of faith, non-profits, scientists and other stakeholders has equipped us to proceed forcefully. There is at this time a big difference between the Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act and what the Senate Republicans are proposing.  As the Senate continues to talk, we must continue to act For The People. Last Thursday, Pope Francis offered the world this prayer: “Enlighten those responsible for the common good, so that they might know… how to care for those entrusted to their responsibility.”  Democrats Take Responsibility. Thanks again for your dedication to the health and well-being of the American people at this sad time. Sincerely,

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21 марта, 19:00

Pelosi Statement on the 55th Anniversary of the Selma Marches

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San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi today released this statement commemorating the series of marches in Selma, Alabama that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965: “Fifty-five years ago, thousands of brave, patriotic Americans stepped forward for a third and final march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to lay claim to the fundamental right to vote.  Despite the violence, tear gas and bloodshed inflicted on them during the previous marches, these heroic men and women, young and old, from every corner of the country marched for justice and equality, and in the process, changed the world forever. “The courage and determined spirit of the Selma Foot Soldiers summoned a nation to action and finally secured passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act.  Yet, today, the right of every American to access the ballot box faces a relentless assault from Republicans determined to roll back progress and deny the opportunity for every American to have their voices shape the future of our nation.  Last year, House Democrats passed H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, to dangerous voter suppression tactics and restore the critical protections of the Voting Rights Act.  Now, Leader McConnell must end his outrageous, partisan obstruction and finally take action to pass this critical legislation.   “On this momentous anniversary, we honor the stories of all those who risked everything on the long, dangerous march toward freedom.  Led by the Selma hero and Conscience of the Congress, John Lewis, and the voices of all those who continue to fight for justice, House Democrats remain committed to making progress For The People as we work to redeem our nation’s Founding promise that all are created equal.”