Pelosi Floor Remarks on Trump Shutdown
Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of U.S. House of Representatives in opposition to House Republicans’ failure to keep government open causing a Trump Shutdown. Below are the Leader’s remarks:
Leader Pelosi. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, last night, on the eve of the first anniversary of President Trump's inauguration, President Trump earned an ‘F’ for leadership. President Trump and Congressional Republicans' obsession with passing a tax scam to benefit the wealthiest in our country and corporations has blinded them to their responsibilities to the American people.
Despite controlling the House, the Senate and the White House the Republicans were so incompetent, so negligent that they couldn't get it together to keep government open. They could get it together to pass a tax credit, 83 percent of which benefits the top 1 percent. But they couldn't get it together to pass CHIP in its full complement of what it needs to meet the needs of America’s children and families and seniors.
President Trump said about President Obama at the time of the 2013 GOP Government Shutdown, this is, quote, President Trump, ‘The problem starts from the top. And has to get solved’ – he said, ‘has to get solved from the stop. The President is the leader and he's got to get everybody in the room. He's got to lead.’ President Trump then.
President Trump now. As President, President Trump tweets, ‘Our country needs a good shutdown.’ Your wish has come true. For your one-year anniversary. Because of all-around incompetence, inefficiency and prioritizing with all your heart and soul, at the expense of the rest of the country.
There is no such thing, as we know, as a good shutdown of government. Republicans’ total inability to govern is once again threatening our economy, weakening our communities and dangerously driving the military of the certainty they need to keep our nation safe. I say the economy because a shutdown hurts the economy. The facts are there from their previous shutdown.
I'm proud of the House and Senate Democrats' unity in insisting on a budget that supports our military and the domestic investments that keep our nation strong and honors the values by protecting our DREAMers.
I hope we can now conduct bipartisan negotiations, bipartisan negotiation in a transparent way that unifies the country where we can find common ground to honor our responsibility to meet the needs of the American people. It's important to note that this is the fifth Republican shutdown.
They don't believe in governance, so shutting down government is sort of a means to an end for them. I just want to note in 2013, when the Republicans last shut down government – it's really important that 231 Republicans voted to shut down government. On their side. Two hundred and thirty one. That included Speaker Ryan, Leader McCarthy, Whip Scalise, Chairwoman McMorris Rodgers.
Later, October 16, when it was time to open up government, it was just, a kind of a remarkable thing – I said 231, it was 229, let me be fair. When it was time to open up government, it was remarkable because the Republicans still did not want to do that. On October 16, 144 Republicans voted to keep government shut down. One hundred and forty four.
One hundred and ninety eight Democrats voted to open up government – to zero. Nobody voted to keep government shut down.
So it’s like, what is this? What are they talking about? Do they not think that people have a record to see what their vote had been.
This is their fifth shutdown since the 1990s. This is the fourth CR since September. Get it together. Wipe the tears of joy from your eye about passing the tax cuts that benefit the wealthy. Get down to business for everyday people in America and stop using children as a shield to cover up what you are not doing for the American people.
When we had the majority, one of the first bills – when President Obama was President, this the bill was CHIP. It has been legislation to support Community Health Centers that serve 27 million Americans. Medical education for primary care doctors who serve the needs of those children. Medicare extenders. The list goes on and on of what that package is and what the Republicans did not want to pay for in their ill-founded CR that they put forth.
CR weakens government. CR weakens our national defense. Secretary [Jim] Mattis has said that over and over. This action shuts down action. The CRs debilitate government. Let's get serious. Get it together.
Stop romancing yourselves about that tax bill and start getting serious about meeting the needs of the American people. I yield back.
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