Transcript of Pelosi Weekly Press Conference Today

April 30, 2020
Press Release

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.  I am very pleased this morning to be joined by the distinguished Whip of the House, the Democratic Whip of the House, Mr. Clyburn, now the Chair of the Select Committee on the Coronavirus.

But, today, we are here to talk about how we can reach out to everyone as we reach out with broadband.  Mr. Clyburn will be addressing that.  He's been a champion on it.

You know, everything is about time.  We are in a time of great sadness.  Sixty thousand people have died, more than 60,000 from the coronavirus.  Thirty million Americans – approximately 30 million Americans have applied for Unemployment Insurance.  The lives and the livelihood of the American people are at stake and we have to make some decisions about times.

The time when we would go forward to the economy, that is the question at hand.  I firmly believe there are three steps that we must take in preparation for what comes next.  Many of us have talked about testing, testing, testing.  Our first bill, a bipartisan bill which we wrote in February, passed on the Floor of the House on March 4th, was about testing, testing, testing.  

The impression that was given is not everybody can be tested because we do not have enoughtests and we don’t have enough masks and we don’t have enough of this.  Let's get it.  Let's get it all.  

So, the tests were reserved for those who reach a certain threshold.  But that was almost two months ago, and we should be creating more tests.  What will give people confidence to go into the workforce is if they know that their coworkers have been tested and cleared to be there.  What will give people more confidence to know that will we go into the workforce they are not bringing something home to their children because the other people have not been tested.

So, while we aspire to a vaccine, and that is our hope and prayer, and science, science, science.  And we aspire to a cure.  Hopefully, they will be soon.  The vaccine may take longer or there might be some, as we say, illumination on the horizon, close by.  

But we do know we can make the tests, and we should make the tests available to everyone and have the subsequent care that might follow that, if someone tests positive, to be free so that it is not menacing to someone that, ‘I cannot take a test because I cannot afford what comes next.’  ‘I cannot take the test because, if I’m positive, I will not be able to go to work.’

The testing is dispositive in so many ways of getting a handle on how big this challenge is and how necessary it is for us to know who and then, as Mr. Clyburn has talked about and probably will again, testing, contact tracing, isolation and treatment.  He will tell us more about that.

But what is also important there is, as he has suggested, we have mobile units going out so we are reaching a whole other market of people who might not be aware of how they should be tested.  That’s one. 

And two, as I said, if we do get a cure or a vaccine, we have to be prepared to manufacture it.  The Defense Production Act should be geared to this, should be geared to this.  As I’ve said to you before, even if we had a vaccine tomorrow, we do not have the syringes and vials and everything else that goes with vaccinating people.  Let's get that done.  As we wait for a vaccine, let's make sure we are ready when it comes.  And, again, we can stockpile it until it is ready.

And third, we need to have in place an ethical, whether it is a task force, whatever it is, of scientists and others, an ethical approach to how a vaccine or therapy will be distributed so that everybody in America would know that, when that happens, I will have access to it, my family would have access to it.

Again, as we discussed, should we open up, should we not open up, there is a path.  But let's take it and let's not say, ‘If only we had started sooner.’ Let's start now.   

I am sure you have questions about what we do and what is happening in meatpacking plants, so I will proceed and talk about the fact that – I am again, yesterday, very proud to have announced with Mr. Clyburn, the Members of our [Select] Committee on the Coronavirus [Crisis], that would be the distinguished Chair of the Committee, Mr. Clyburn; Maxine Waters, Chair of the Financial [Services] Committee; Chair of Small Business, Nydia Velázquez; Chair of the Oversight Committee, Carolyn Maloney; Congressman Bill Foster; Congressman Jamie Raskin; and Congressman Andy Kim.  I am proud of that and I want to put their names out there.

But, today, we are here to talk about the issue of fairness, again, and how our sense of community and humanity in America is served by what policies we present, what legislation that it is included in and what action we take to make that possible.  

I want to commend Mr. Clyburn for being in the lead for such a long time on the expansion of broadband in America.  I'm going to have him speak more specifically to it, but just to commend him for the champion that he has been, the understanding that he has about it. 

I also want to commend Chairman Frank Pallone, the Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee.  He couldn’t be with us this morning, but he has been working on this issue, made a proposal for the infrastructure bill based on the task force that Mr. Clyburn has chaired. 

And I also want to acknowledge the leadership role of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo for a specific piece that is in the proposal.  But we do believe that the Energy and – and Mr. Clyburn will discuss that.  But, I want to thank Mr. Pallone, as Chair of the full committee of jurisdiction, for not only what they’re doing on this, but what he is doing on the testing issue and tracing and the rest, what they are doing on PPE and the rest, and what they will do on oversight of the committee of jurisdiction, that has so much jurisdiction. 

On that committee – see, I’m an appropriator and we call it the almighty, powerful Appropriations Committee.  In their committee, they say, ‘If the sun shines on anything, it’s a matter of the Energy and Commerce Committee.’  So they have a broad jurisdiction, and I thank the Chairman for his leadership in so many ways.

So, anyways, and with that, I want to present Mr. Clyburn to talk about this important initiative that we cannot fight this virus – so we are talking about distance learning.  We are talking about telemedicine.  We are talking about people buying things in a way they had not before, and yet – and yet, it is not available to everyone.

So, this is about fairness and equity in every way: access to care, access to credit, access to whatever opportunities come along in terms of testing, therapies or a vaccine. 

What Mr. Clyburn will talk about is to make so much of all of that possible.  And, with that, I am pleased to yield to the distinguished Chair of the Committee and Democratic Whip of the House, Mr. Clyburn.

 

***

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Mr. Whip, Mr. Chairman.  In so many ways such an inspiration to all of us to place this in its historic perspective and what it means and, therefore, for the future.

You are right, there are urban deserts for this.  The distinguished Leader in the Senate referenced this, as far as New York is concerned.  And I see in California, even if we give every child in California, and there is an inclination, we have many businesses and philanthropists who want to do so, even if we gave them all a laptop, they are still not into the system that Mr. Clyburn has taken the lead on making sure.  And then, in some communities, to make it affordable, they can, it’s what I referenced earlier, they can establish their own system.  So, this has a lot of entrepreneurship connected with it.

And it really is directly related to the coronavirus.  So, we would hope that while we have a big bill that Mr. Pallone has helped shape into the – our infrastructure proposal, based on the, as I said, the task force that Mr. Clyburn chairs – the task force on infrastructure and broadband that Mr. Clyburn chairs – that might be able to get a piece of this, as it is so necessary to telemedicine, distance learning.  So many other ways it is important for people to be connected.

With that, I would be pleased to take any questions you may have.  Yes, ma’am.

Q:  Speaker Pelosi, on these sexual assault allegations –

Speaker Pelosi.  If I may, I will answer your question at end, but we are here to say something very important for how we fight the coronavirus and an entrepreneurial way of addressing that.  I would hope you would have some interest in that.  Any questions on the subject that brings us together?

Yes, sir.

Q:  As you know, layoffs are starting to be warned about by states, even as some states are re-opening.  How critical do you think it is to get state and local funding within the next two weeks, and do you think that is possible?

Speaker Pelosi.  Yes, well, I cannot answer to timing because we are at the mercy of the virus in terms of when the Capitol Physician and Sergeant-at-Arms say that we can come together in our large number.  The – this is important and I thank you for your question.

These are our heroes: our health care providers, our first responders, our transit workers, our teachers.  Our teachers, the custodians of our children for a large part of the day.  So many people working in terms of making sure we have food on the table, whether it is in shops or delivery or whatever.  So, so much of how we function and meeting the needs of the people depends on state and local government having the resources.

Some of these people, these heroes, are risking their lives to save other people's lives and now they are at the – they risk losing their jobs because what the states and localities have had to spend just makes it unsustainable not to have layoffs.  Mr. Schumer, the other day, was talking about hundreds of people being laid off by hospitals in his area, some of them public hospitals, dependent on the public resources to keep open.

So, this is something that is of the highest priority.  It honors our heroes.  And, as I’ve said, we are unworthy to thank them and honor them unless we are willing to support them in a substantial way.  And that way is to say this is strictly about the coronavirus.  It is about what your outlays are for the virus and what your revenue loss is on that.  

Because, again, of Mr. Clyburn's leadership over the years, he has been a proponent for making sure that localities, in addition to the state, get the resources.  Did you want to speak to that Mr. Clyburn?

Whip Clyburn.  I’ll be very brief.  Thank you very much.

You know, when we look at states, I am from a state that in large measure was talked about by the Governor of New York the other day.  We are sort of a donee state.  I am from a state that did not expand Medicaid and, therefore, so much of the burden of trying to meet the challenge of this pandemic goes straight to small communities, local governments.

Irrespective of what may be happening at the state level, if you are the mayor of a little town of 8,000 or 9,000 people, I think you ought to be eligible to get direct aid from the Congress.  And so, I have been advocating for a long time and will be advocating very strongly that, whatever we do for state and local governments, do not leave the locals out and make sure that the small communities get their fair share.

Speaker Pelosi.  So, we may have three tranches.  It’s state, it’s county – because many counties deliver health services and the rest – and then the municipalities that Mr. Clyburn mentioned.  In addition to that – in addition, we want to do FMAP, we want to expand Medicaid and other things that help the states over and above this. 

Now, how much?  The states are putting together a number.  You have heard a figure of $500 billion.  Municipalities and counties have a similar figure, but again, we want to relate it to outlays and lost revenue.  We are not going to be able to cover all of it, but to the extent that we can keep the states and localities sustainable, that is our goal.  And by the way, that money is not just for one year.  That could be for as much as three years, maybe even four in certain cases.  So, it’s over time. 

Q:  Do you anticipate that would be the largest part of this next major piece of legislation – the state and local aspect of it?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, the state and local – I talked about almost $1 trillion right there.  I would hope so.  But we do have other issues that we want to deal with and hopefully get something for broadband – there are other concerns, but not in any way as major an expenditure or investment for our heroes – for our heroes.  They are risking their lives to save lives, and now, they're going to lose their jobs.  It is just stunning, and we have to address it. 

And when others say, ‘Let them go bankrupt,’ and this or that.  That’s silly.  That is not a reason.  It is an excuse.  Because if you don’t believe in governance then you don’t recognize that.  The Leader over there said, ‘We are not bailing out past bad mistakes.’  Well, the mistakes he mentioned were caused by a Republican governor in Illinois, but that is neither here nor there.  This isn’t about any other budget issues for states.  It is about the coronavirus outlays, revenue lost.

Yes, ma’am. 

Q:  Madam Speaker, thank you.  I’m Claudia Uceda with Univision Network.  I have two questions.  First, what are you going to do with immigrants who are paying taxes through these ITIN numbers?  They are undocumented and have no jobs?  They are in a very difficult situation.  Are they going to be in the next package or are they ever going to be considered?  That’s first.  Second – I have a second question.  U.S. citizens are not getting their paychecks – their stimulus paychecks, because they are married to immigrants without social security numbers.  What are you going to do to help them?  They are U.S. citizens and are in a difficult situation.    

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, I appreciate your questions – actually more than two in there.  The other part of it that you did not mention but alluded to is that there are American citizen children born in America in a mixed family.  Maybe one parent is not, shall we say, up-to-date on documentation.  I think that has to be addressed.  In addition to that, we have been working to get the tax identification number as a basis for how people would get direct payments.  All of it though speaks to the fact that we are well-served if we recognize that everybody in our country is part of our community and helping to grow the economy.  Most of what we are doing is to meet the needs of people, but it is all stimulus.  So, we shouldn’t cut the stimulus off that. 

In addition to that, I am pleased today that the Chairman of the Fed is saying he is going to include more terms of non-profits and some of their outreach, which is something we’ve been asking for.  We want to expand outreach opportunities for non-profits, many of whom are there to meet the need of some of the folks who might not be directly receiving help in that regard. 

Q:  Madam Speaker, have you considered in the next packages – is it part of negotiations?  Are you talking –

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, what we said was we want to address the mixed family issue.  And actually, we are supposed to have a call on that.  I think it’s going to be tomorrow. 

Whip Clyburn.  Tomorrow. 

Speaker Pelosi.  Tomorrow, we are going to have a call specifically on that subject with Chuck Schumer and the Chair of the Hispanic Caucus.  So, we will let you know when that is on the mixed family issue. 

I myself cannot understand why the tax number is not the basis for how some of this money is distributed, so we will be making that case as well. 

Thank you. 

Q:  Speaker Pelosi, there is concern that PPP funding is going to run out again even though you already renewed it last week.  Are there negotiations going on to re-up past more of that funding to pass that ahead of the potential next package?  Is there some concern that maybe some businesses will have to start opening now a little bit sooner than would be recommended, because there won’t be PPP for some of them?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, let me just say, our distinguished Chair of the Small Business Committee, Nydia Velázquez, is a champion on small businesses.  We all rally for PPP because we view small businesses as – you know – the entrepreneurial spirit of America, the optimism of it all – a dream, an idea that people work so hard, sometimes – sometimes refinancing their homes to do this.  So, there is a lot riding on this and a lot of recourse to individuals beyond the professional piece but the personal piece. 

So, we are all for that, and we just did do an intervention.  But we must do a CARES bill now.  We cannot put that off.  In fact, we never anticipated this intervention bill – the interim bill that we passed with substantial support for small businesses.  In fact, we practically doubled it, if you include what we did for hospitals in that.  So, we share that concern.  No, there is no plan – our next plan will be CARES 2.

Q:  But you’ve said earlier you guys are beholden to the virus in terms of when you’ll be able to get this next CARES bill done –

Speaker Pelosi.  No, no.  Well, that – I'm not talking about a long time.  He said a week or two.  We are not coming back this week.  Our plan is to come back the following week.  But we’re not having – the next bill will be CARES 2.  If we can be here for CARES – you know, you’re saying in other words come back for PPP but don’t come back for CARES 2.  No.  The next bill will be CARES 2 and how we address it.

Now, there are many people who are saying, ‘With all the money that we are spending on Unemployment Insurance and all the money that we are spending on PPP and all that is needed to assist the states and the rest, why don't we consider some guarantee of paycheck initiatives strictly for the coronavirus at this time?’  And that is a big, tall order that I have tasked committees to take a look at because this could be endless. 

There are 30 million small businesses in the United States.  Over two million have received assistance.  That’s good.  Maybe by three million in another week or so, but that is 10 percent.  How much money is there for unemployment and the rest?  Whatever it is, as the Chairman of that Fed said to me, ‘You have got to think big.  You have got to think big.’  I said the same thing to him.  You have got to think big.  In order to think big, you have to think small about these small businesses and non-profits, and that is the announcement we made today and I was very pleased with that.  But no.  The next bill will be CARES 2.

Yes, sir.  

Q:  Thank you.  As you think big and you’re talking about infrastructure, you’ve seen that President Trump is supportive of it.  He tweeted right after the interim bill was passed that he wants infrastructure.   But you’ve also seen that Leader McConnell does not want any infrastructure in this next bill.  So, when you're talking about broadband, is that the only infrastructure provision you want in here or do you want something much, much broader than that in CARES 2 specifically?

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, it, – when we talked about this before, but then urgency of getting money into people's pockets was so pervasive that it became the priority.  We talked about three things.  We talked about community health centers.  Again, Mr. Clyburn has been the champion of that.  We talked about broadband.  We talked about water.  Sanitation is key to this.  Wash your hands for 20 seconds.  Wash off everything.  So, the water issue for us – now, it’s a tall order for our big bill. 

However, perhaps we should have something in here.  We talked about – Mr. Pallone has been talking about provisions that would say jurisdictions cannot shut off your water if you can’t pay your water bill.  So, there is a recognition of the need for people to have water, but if there’s that recognition, we may have to do something.  I do not know if that will be in this bill.  Time is important.  We should be able to do some piece of it.  The bill that Mr. Clyburn’s initiative is a $75 billion bill over five years – over five years.  So, maybe pieces of this for the next year or two could be included.  But right now, again, putting money in people's pockets, testing, testing, testing are the priorities right now. 

Q:  Just to follow up, you just mentioned something about timing.  You are not going to come back next week.  Is that because CARES 2 is not going to be ready?  Or is that because –

Speaker Pelosi.  No, that was not the point at all.  That was not the point at all.  You missed the announcement I guess.  It was because of the House Physician said – for 430 people to come back with what is happening in the District of Columbia kind of changed the timing of when we come back.  But people will be back next week.  Mr. Clyburn, you want to speak to that?  I will yield to you in a moment.

Perhaps the Small Business Committee will be meeting next week.  Small groups can come back.  Maybe they had a full committee meeting or maybe they had a virtual or maybe they had a hybrid.  But work will be done.  We’ve had already about 60 meetings in this period of time, some of it oversight, some of it legislation and the rest from our committees virtually or otherwise.  This week alone – yesterday – two days ago, the Veterans Affairs Committee had a successful meeting.  I think today or tomorrow is Homeland Security.  The chairmen – the chairs of the committees are making their decisions about how they go forward. 

Again, this whole issue of the meatpacking, that is raising a lot of concerns about Members as to – people saying – I will yield to you on this, Mr. Chairman.  If you do not go to work, even though you have a concern, then you could lose your Unemployment Insurance.  That is just not what the intent of the four bipartisan bills– non-partisan bills that we passed.  The fact is that there are criteria that were agreed to in the Families First legislation that said, if you have a child who is not in school because schools have closed, you can take family medical leave.  If you have a sick parent whose senior center, whatever, or health care provider, the list goes on.  It is not as complete as I would like, and we’d like to add more to that list.  But nonetheless, there are criteria which give people the opportunity to have family and medical leave as well. 

So, we have to look at this in its totality.  This is about Families First.  So, I am sure that Members will be wanting to come together on some aspects of that in terms of Unemployment Insurance availability.  Mr. Clyburn has another take on that that I want him to share with you. 

Whip Clyburn.  Well, let me – thank you for that question.  Next week, hopefully, the full committee will be able to gather here in Washington in some capacity in some manner.  I will be on the telephone with them tomorrow as a committee because a couple things have already gotten our attention that we think may need immediate attention from us. 

One involves Unemployment Insurance.  It came to our attention yesterday that some states are applying policies to Unemployment Insurance that has relegated some people down to $95 a week.  That was not our intention, as you know.  We intended for the $600 coming from us to be on top of whatever the state would be.  So, that may be something we need to look at.  

I saw an account of this one of the television shows this morning that indicates this may be a widespread application of a policy that goes afoul of what we intended.  This Committee will probably be working in addition to the testing, contact tracing, isolation and the treatment.  That will be our primary focus, but we may have some interventions taking place because of some of these policies. 

Remember, to me, we have to look at essential workers beyond health care.  Essential workers are those hourly employees, sometimes twice-a-week employees working only weekends in grocery stores and drugstores.  These are the people that find themselves losing out with Unemployment Insurance. 

So, I had a long talk last night with the Chair of our Homeland Security Committee, Congressman Thompson for Mississippi.  It looks as if Mississippi is one of the states that is doing that.  So, we may have to do something rather quickly as a Committee.  We will be on the phone tomorrow and my plan is for us to be up here next week. 

Q:  Have you heard from Leader McCarthy about appointment of any Republicans on that Committee?

Speaker Pelosi.   No.  But I do not know why they would be opposed to looking into waste, fraud and abuse, price gouging, profiteering and the rest, and the implementation of the intention of Congress in the interest of the American people, America's families and America’s workers.  We hope that they will participate.

Let me just say one more thing on that score and that is, when – we share this question – when will we be able to open up things?  When will they be open?  Everything, whether it is testing, whether it is economic sustainability, whether it is the states, it is all related to that and therefore all related to the Committee. 

Yes, sir.

Q:  Two quick questions.  One’s somewhat in the weeds.  The tribes – there’s a feud ongoing about the distribution of the $8 billion in the CARES Act between the lower 48 tribes and the Native-owned, the for-profit Alaskan Native Corporations.  That’s currently tied up right now and I was wondering, do you see that as something you guys may wade into with CARES 2, sort of clarifying the eligibility issues involved there? 

Speaker Pelosi.  As you know, the judge ruled this week that the ANC is not – should not be receiving this.  The Secretary of the Treasury was supposed to, when the case was resolved, to release the funds.  They could have done it before, but they said, ‘We want to wait for the trial to be over.’  The court was very emphatic in its decision about this, and I completely – I mean it’s just ridiculous that they would be getting in line to get funds from this. 

Because here's the thing, it is important to note this, the money – I thought I had something on it in here, but I don’t – the money that is being distributed is supposed to be, and this is the standard, necessary for the sustainability of the business or the entity, the nonprofit, whatever it is.  Necessary for the sustainability.  There are 26,000 entities that received loans of over $2 million or more.  Many of them may be very justified but we have to take a look.  Because there are so many others who want $50,000 or $100,000 who are not being attended to. 

So in this particular case, the $8 billion for the tribes – and by the not anywhere nearly enough, I wanted more and I want more in the next bill for the tribes because this is about states, counties, municipalities and tribal governments – and this money is supposed to be distributed there.  So, I call upon the Secretary of the Treasury to disperse that funding now because the court has ruled in favor of the tribes. 

Again, to go back to the purpose that the funds that you apply for are necessary for the sustainability of your business.   Not ‘you’re on the stock exchange and I’m a small business, so I can apply for it’ – no, that is not what this is about.  And you have to be answerable for that, so I appreciate the ruling of the court.  The judge was very emphatic – he was very emphatic about don’t even, you know, no, they should not be getting this.  So, I would hope that immediately the Secretary would now release the funds.  It was supposed to be as of yesterday I think, but let's hope that it will be today. 

So necessary, so needed.  And the tribes have – you know, we talk about the outlay of funds for the coronavirus, but also the opportunity cost, the revenue loss that they have because of this.  So very important.  Again, a down payment.  We need to do more for our tribes. 

Q:  Do you think if disbursement doesn’t happen, is something that you see –

Speaker Pelosi.  No, it will happen.  I feel pretty good that it will happen.  Nonetheless, public sentiment is everything.  All of a sudden, we are not going to give money to the tribes?  Really? 

The Secretary has been pretty – I have not had this conversation with him, but my most recent conversation with him – was that last night or the night before?  I forget.  My most recent conversation with him was about how we can have many more small businesses that Nydia and Maxine and the Leader insisted will be in this new bill.  And I am waiting to see what those businesses are.  That money that we put aside for that is already spent, so we want to see on whom actually even more there.  So we will see what they are.  He has said he was going to look into the 26,000 to make sure those millions of dollars went for where it was necessary for sustainability. 

Q: If I could follow up on –

Speaker Pelosi.  A third?  Is that allowed?  I don’t know.  I’ll be right there.  Go ahead.

[Laughter]

Q: You mentioned the Physician's recommendation was decisive and critical in your decision to not come back for a roll call vote.  But that also would seem to imply that Leader McConnell –

Speaker Pelosi.  The Senate.

Q:  Is making a much different decision than what you made based on the same degree of information.  And I guess my question to you is do you believe that by calling people back – is he putting his own Members' health and safety at risk? 

Speaker Pelosi.  So that is a completely separate question. 

[Laughter]

Anyway, here’s the thing.  We are 430 people now.  We’ve lost – Mr. Meadows is gone, you know – we’re 430 Members.  The decision was made on the strength of our numbers of people coming together.  We, I thought, did beautifully at the direction of the Sergeant-at-Arms and Capitol Physician when we had to have a voice vote, spreading out into the Gallery and the rest.  And then, I wish that tableau had been seen because that was historic and it got the job done for the American people. 

Secondly, the next time, we did it was because there were those on the other side who were demanding a recorded vote.  And they had planned for that that worked beautifully.  It took time, but nonetheless with the social distancing and the rest of timing as people came in.  So, we could have done that again.  The situation in the District of Columbia has changed a bit since then and I think that may have had some impact on what the – you would have to talk to the Capitol Physician, but the on balance, even from one day to the next, he said, I think we should – it is better to wait. 

Now, what they advised the Senate, I don’t know, but they are 100.  We are four times that.  They have some of their own Members saying they should not come back, but I can’t speak for the Senate.  I just know what our responsibility is in the House. 

But, in the meantime, by the time we do come back, we will be able to vote on proxy – remote voting by proxy, we will be able to have in place – because we have to have a vote to make these changes.  We will have a vote for what Mr. Clyburn referenced.  They are having meetings in advance that would be validated by what Mr. McCarthy, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. McGovern and Mr. Cole and Chairwoman Lofgren and [Ranking Member] Davis are working on in order to recommend a rule that enables remote committee work. 

But the committees are smaller, so some can come back.  And we have an auditorium to spread a larger committee in or we have other rooms that are bigger than the normal, shall we say, Small Business room, where they would meet.  So it is all practical, but it is all getting the job done. 

I will say everybody is working hard in that regard.  I do think one of the things we share, Mr. McCarthy said this to the Los Angeles Times, ‘I gave her my commitment that we weren’t there yet, but that we were looking at it and maybe we could be, but that everybody wants to open up the Congress.’  That they – the  Republicans want to open the Congress. 

And we do, too, but we want to do it in a way that, if people have to stay home because of this, whether it is about themselves or a family member, or the transportation, which is more difficult now, that the remote voting will enable them to do that.  We just have to get enough people here to do the remote voting.  And I feel quite confident. 

Mr. Whip, do you agree? 

Whip Clyburn.  I agree.  I think that we can effectively do a lot of committee work here and do that in preparation of coming back at some point in the not-too-distant future and have remote – whatever we call it – proxy voting in order to have these things become effective on behalf of the American people. 

I do see some possible legislation coming out of these hearings, especially, we need to clarify something as regards to people not getting what we intended them to get from the Congress. 

Thank you, Mr. Whip.

Yes, Ma’am.

Q: As far as Biden is of concern, how do Democrats square with the idea that they are essentially – they’re standing by Biden but they’re using a comparatively different standard than with Kavanaugh when they demanded an investigation on Justice Kavanaugh when a very similar allegation came out toward him –

Speaker Pelosi.  Well, let me just say I respect your question and I do not need a lecture or speech.  Here’s the thing: I have complete respect for the whole Me Too Movement.  I have four daughters, one son, and there is a lot of excitement around the idea that women will be heard and be listened to.  There is also due process.  And the fact that Joe Biden is Joe Biden – there have been statements from his campaign, or not his campaign but his former employees who ran his offices and the rest, that there was never any record of this.  There was never any record and that nobody ever came forward, or that nobody ever came forward to say something about it apart from the principle involved.

I am so proud – the happiest day for me this week was to support Joe Biden for President of the United States.  He is a person of great integrity, of great concern for the American people.  He authored the Violence Against Women Act when he was the Chair of the Judiciary Committee in the 90’s.  He has been an advocate for funding it, all along, since then.  And I believe that he will be a great President of United States.  He is the personification of hope and optimism and authenticity for our country, a person of great values.

So, I want to remove all doubt in anyone's mind.  I have a great comfort level with the situation as I see it, with all the respect in the world for any woman who comes forward and with all the highest regard for Joe Biden.  And that is what I have to say about that.

Thank you.