Pelosi Remarks at Press Conference on President Biden’s Child Tax Credit
Los Angeles – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Chairwoman Maxine Waters at Ethel Bradley Early Education Center for a press conference to discuss the importance of President Biden’s Child Tax Credit. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you so much. Maxine talked about the kinds of meetings I attend, none more valuable than hearing directly from the people we're here to help, what it means to them. Because that helps us take the message back that it has reached, and we're working very hard to make sure it reaches everyone who is eligible, but also that we need to make it permanent. And that's the challenge right now in terms of the cost. But we think the cost is worth it, because of what it means in your lives.
As they said earlier, the Gonzalez and Hinshaw families are our VIPs today. Their words were the most important that any of us could hear because they talked about the impact of public policy and what it means to families and what it means to children.
Maxine here, our Chair, talked about Rosa DeLauro, the Chair of Appropriations, for 20 years she's been fighting for this, but Joe Biden in the White House really made it happen. That's why we call it the Biden Tax Credit, but I call it the Biden Tax Cut because that's really what it amounts to.
And it also is called – we call it ‘Social Security for children.’ This is so important for the children. Maxine knows – we go back way back before either of us was in Congress. I had no intention of running for Congress, but my motivation was that one in five children in America lives in poverty. Maxine was in the state legislature, and she did great work there. And she later came to Congress, but I left home for the children.
And this is part of what we're – for the children is lowering costs for families, bigger paychecks for families and cleaner government for our country so that policy for the children can proceed.
I thank Maxine for her kind words. I accept them on behalf of all of the House Democrats who make any of the things that we have done possible. And just to say there isn't any of that, that Maxine hasn't played a key role in.
And it's about, whether it’s housing – it’s the Gospel of Matthew: ‘When I was hungry, you fed me. When I was homeless, you sheltered me.’ When I this, that or the other thing. ‘When I was in prison, you visited.’ Everything — Maxine has been on the forefront.
Now, as the first woman and the first African American, so the first African American woman to chair the Financial Services Committee, she carries enormous weight.
So when she sings my praises, she just means: ‘Nancy makes sure that she pays attention to the Chairs, who have so much to do.’
As we gather here for the Child Tax Credit, in two days the next checks will come. The next checks will come in two days. Sadie, isn’t that good?
We also want to say that this is part of the Rescue package. And the Rescue package has in it funds to keep people from being evicted and from eviction, and Maxine Waters wrote that language last year in the year-end bill and then the further language in what we call the Rescue package. In the Rescue package was the Child Tax Credit.
But as we go forward for the children will have, you all will know, we’ll have universal pre-K. We will have a big, transformative investment in child care. We will have family and medical leave — twelve weeks paid, paid. And we will have a big commitment to home health care for children, for people with disabilities, for elders, so that parents can work. As we said in the other room, children learning, parents earning. That's a good formula for our families.
But, again, these ideas about moratorium on eviction, how to help renters, how to help mom and pop tenants – landlords and the rest, all came out of Maxine Waters’ Committee. But she also was – her reach was very pervasive in all the bills to make sure that communities of color, previously underrepresented, communities previously under-addressed in terms of whether it's COVID or whatever, were written into the law, so that we have the outreach to get the job done.
It's a pretty exciting time. It's an exciting time. We have a President in the White House who has the courage, the confidence that this is the right thing for the American people. Strengthening America, we build our infrastructure, that's a wonderful thing. But we must build the human infrastructure. It's about the strength of our families.
So, I'm excited to meet the Gonzalez family, and we'll take your message back, and if you have some more things – perhaps Nathan has something he wants to say?
Speaker Pelosi. No? You sure. Oh you do have something to say?
Benjamin, Benjamin, actually goes here, and here. Here we are in the Ethel Bradley Early Education Center. What work could be more important than early education? And we're here in a place that is part of the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center.
So, this value system has been there — and that's when I say, listening to them is the most important thing, because we take back ideas about how to shape policy. Well, Maxine's been doing that for a number of years now. And it translates into public policy, springing from meeting the needs, understanding the needs, meeting the needs, public policy For The People, and it really is the most important thing.
The strength of our democracy — as Maxine mentioned some of the voting rights issues, the strength of our democracy is a strong working class, middle class and those who aspire to the middle class, to keep our democracy strong. It’s under attack in many ways, and we are there to protect it. I always say the middle class has a union label on it, because that’s how we got a middle class in the first place.
But these are some of the debates we're having in Washington, about getting back to the children, first and foremost. When people ask me, ‘What are the three most important issues facing the Congress?’ I've always said the same thing: our children, our children, our children. Their health, their education, the economic security of their families, including pension security for their grandparents and the rest, a clean safe environment in which they can thrive and a world at peace in which they can reach their fulfillment.
So, I thank Maxine for her leadership in so many ways over such a long period of time. I want to join her in thanking the LA Unified School District, the representatives, the superintendents that are here, the members of the Board, thank you all so much.
And unless the children have any comments or questions or whatever else.
Speaker Pelosi. What’s that?
Students. Thank you, Nancy and Maxine.
Speaker Pelosi. She said, ‘Thank you, Nancy and Maxine.’ How about that?
I’ll take that back. Thank you.
Chairwoman Waters. You want to say something?
Speaker Pelosi. Jordan looks like he has something on his mind.
Student. I do.
Chairwoman Waters. Okay, you say whatever you want to say.
Speaker Pelosi. They are the future, and that is our purpose.
Chairwoman Waters. You can say it. Say it to Nancy. Tell her.
Student. Thank you. Thank you so I can eat now.
Speaker Pelosi. Alright well, it is, it is an exciting time. When we go back, we will be, again — right now we're trying to make sure that everybody who can applies for the eviction moratorium resources, as states make that available. And, of course, the Child Tax Credit, which makes all the difference and even more difference for children under six. So, it's very thoughtful in how it’s prepared.
And to see that – make, make sure you understand that this is a stimulus to the economy. You're going to spend money, right? You're going to buy things for school and get ready for school and the rest. Injecting demand into the economy, creating good-paying jobs as we meet the needs of the children.
Maxine, thank you again for your boundless leadership. We can be here past midnight counting all the differences Maxine has made in every way, always values-based, always visionary for the future, always knowledgeable about the issue, always strategic in how she goes forward, and able to draw so much support. That’s why she’s such a great leader, Madam Chair.
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Q: I appreciate all of the, just, power that I feel as a woman of color, and you know, just a woman in politics in covering this. It's just amazing to be in your presence. I want to really talk about the excitement behind the resources that are being provided behind the Child Tax Credit. When you're feeding the future president, the future doctor, the future senator, you know, what excites you about the community results in the longevity of these resources you’ve provided, generation to generation?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I appreciate your framing [the] question that way. This is about the future and our responsibility. When kids come to Washington and they visit the Capitol and this or that, I always say to them, ‘You see the respect we pay for Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln and many of the – our Founders and leaders over time. They would not want us to spend our time on them. They would want us to spend our time working for you, for the future.’
The history we respect, but the future is our responsibility.
So, the idea that we can alleviate some of the pressure that families feel is really our responsibility. And we’re doing it in many ways the Child Tax Credit, very important and a massive available to availability of it.
Many families are participating, many families, but it's also part of what we want to do transformationally: Child Tax Credit, child care, family, medical leave, universal pre-K, as I said earlier, and the rest for the children. And it is, it's so exciting to see the children, our purpose. And sometimes, like the other day when I was in San Francisco doing the moratorium, the kids were there, and they said, ‘Well, we can't start until the kids stop jumping around and dancing.’ And I said no, ‘That is the perfect backdrop for this.’
The sound of the future. That’s why we’re here. They're the voices that need to be heard.
But you said it so beautifully, because you do not know. They could be a teacher, could be a doctor, be anything, but we want kids to reach their fulfillment. And this is one way that we can do it.
By the way, when we talk about these issues, this is an investment. It is not a cost. It will bring money back to the economy, as I mentioned earlier, but nothing, nothing brings more money back to the Treasury than the investments in education, early childhood, early childhood, K through 12, higher-ed, post-grad, lifetime learning for our families, our workers. So, any investments in education for the children are not a cost. They are an investment, and they reduce the national debt, not increase it.
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Q: Hi there ladies – [inaudible]. Thank you both for being here. We really, really do support the work that you do. We thank you, as these families do. How can we support you in getting this permanent? What kind of battle are we looking at ahead of us with that? I know she said, Madam Speaker, that you are great at convincing. I know you got it. But what can we do here — these families that are so appreciative and those in the community? What can we do to help you make this more permanent for these families that really need it?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I appreciate your question, as I alluded to earlier, but I'll make it more clear. The effectiveness is the most persuasive argument. I, in my own district in San Francisco, have thousands of people who do not take advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit. They just don't know. And so what we want people to do is to know. Communications have enabled us to reach people in real time in different ways, but not everybody is attuned to the technology and the rest of that.
So, what we're doing here today is very important. Communities, groups, community groups that are culturally, linguistically appropriate, as well as giving people trust in them, need to help us reach as many people as possible so that they take advantage of the Biden Tax Cuts.
And that’s the best argument, that the opportunity was there, that people took advantage of it, that it's making a difference in their lives, as, as was said earlier by Ana Maria and Raven the difference it makes in their lives.
We do have a debate about the costs. And again, we believe that our budget should be a statement of our national values. What's important to us as a nation should be how we prioritize our investments and their effectiveness. Effectiveness is eloquent when it comes to trying to persuade to policymakers.
To the extent that you can make sure that you take advantage of this, as Raven’s family has and Ana Maria’s family has — I thank you for your generosity of spirit, time and privacy to share your story. Because that’s the most important thing, showing that it works. That's how we can make it stronger and longer.
Chairwoman Waters. So, Nancy Pelosi, just in terms of the community, Adai Lamar is from KJLH, the Stevie Wonder station. And we have – who recently changed stations, having been at KJLH Dominque DiPrima, who is with now KBLA. So I have to give them both time. And so there's Dominique.
Q: Okay, good afternoon. It's so wonderful to see you here in the heart of South LA, not on the perimeter, but all the way in the heart. It really means a lot. And of course, Congresswoman we always see you in the heart. And the question is, you know, in the environment that we're in right now with the polarization and such, as we see the possibility of – not putting a jinx on it – but we'll see the possibility of not retaining control of both Houses. How do we protect the gains that we've been able to make, such as the Biden Child Tax Credit that, which are so important to our community in this in environment?
Speaker Pelosi. What I mean, just taking from the end of your question, our Members are saying, ‘While we may not be enough money to do everything under the cap that they've given us’ — their argument is — ‘this tax credit is never going to be taken away.’ It won’t, as long as it has the constituency of the families, and again, a broad base of families, not just – it goes up to many families in our country. They think that that is the best argument, that if it is not permanent at this moment, that it will not be taken away. Like you just couldn't take Social Security away, even though they tried to privatize it. You can't take it away.
I will never entertain any thoughts of not maintaining the majority. That you always have to run in a way that makes sure you don't assume anything or take anything for granted. But I do think that when people understand what is at stake, we will prevail.
But more – just Maxine's point earlier, right now there is an attempt on the part of some to undermine the integrity of our elections, the initiatives for the suppression of the vote, even since what they did in 2020 are undemocratic, unpatriotic and undermine the sanctity of the vote.
So, that's why we also, we are hopefully, not this week, but next week, we're going to be able to – maybe it's two weeks, we have to see how the current process – will pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. That's H.R. 4. But we also have to pass H.R. 1, which is the bill that John Lewis wrote was the first 300 pages of — to do.
It’s really another dangerous thing — if I, this, may just add this one thing — they tried to suppress the vote. And now they're making it harder for people to vote, even on top of their past oppression. But they've added an interesting agreement. It's called nullification, on how they will nullify the election. We just can't let that happen. So, we won't, but it is – that's why we have to do it by law. And we have that as our challenge as we go back to vote on these other major pieces of legislation.
But again, if people know, President Lincoln said, ‘Public sentiment is everything. With it, with it you can accomplish almost anything. Without it practically nothing.’ But for people to public sentiment to weigh in, people have to know. So, that's why we're so happy to see all of you, to take advantage of [the] Child Tax Credit. If there's one thing we want people to know, it’s that children are of the highest priority to us. That's why this President places that investment at the top of the list, the Biden Child Tax [Cut].
Chairwoman Waters. Can we get some of my local friends?
Q: It’s Kenny, Inglewood Today, alright. Thank you, Congresswoman and Speaker Pelosi. It's an honor to see both of you. And welcome here to South-Central Los Angeles. Now with money, a government subsidy comes with some good, and it comes with some bad. And my question is, what layers of protection do you have in place that will prevent fraud with this tax credit? And to make sure that the families that actually need and qualify for this will receive it? It’s a two part question, but everywhere across the board there's so much fraud that sometimes the people who actually need the money don’t get it. What layers of protection in place?
Chairwoman Waters. Well, first of all, let me just say that those families who have received checks right away are in the system. They're in the IRS system. They have filed, and we know everything that needs to be known about their income level and whether or not they qualify.
This is a program that understands that not only are we dealing with those families who have very little, we're dealing with the middle class also. And when we do that and we look at the tax returns, we know what the qualifications are: single, individual, head of household, up to $112,000 for up to a single adult – two people in a household up to $150,000.
And so that's already sent out, and they can't get any more. They can't be denied. They qualify. They're in the system. They filed their tax return and such. And so we're comfortable with that.
And so we even, though as you allude to there are some programs where you have more attempts to beat the system and to create fraud, this one is harder to do. Because, like I said, those who are in the system already, we have the basic information. Those who are not in the system, they qualify through following the instructions here about where to call and how to get started. They may not have filed or there may have been a divorce, there may be any kinds of things that have happened that would cause them to have to perhaps make a telephone call into the IRS system that's overseeing this.
Well, one of the reasons this program is so important is – don't forget, some laws were instituted that cut back on welfare that basically relieves people of welfare for five years or so. We have families out here with no income, living with family members, living with friends, living in apartments that have been divided up into five different families when it only has two bedrooms. And so we hope that these people will go and follow these instructions and file so they can get into the system.
Speaker Pelosi. Okay. If you filed tax returns [in] the last two years, no action is needed. And then we have the following instructions if you did not. But let me say, we don't want any waste, fraud or abuse in anything that we do. And we subject what we do to pretty harsh scrutiny. And that's why we have nearly a billion – excuse me – a trillion dollars in money to spend in our bills for people who have avoided paying their taxes. I'm not talking about manipulating the system. I'm talking about breaking the law. So, I don't want it to be a system where, in some places, the IRS up until now has spent more time going after low income housing tax credits or low income tax credit violations rather than billionaires who have avoided, illegally, paying taxes. So, in every aspect of our system, we want the integrity to be respected. But we don't want people to be afraid to sign up for fear that they may be focused on unnecessarily.
Q: Can I ask a follow up on the bill itself? As a –
Q: Excuse me.
Q: Oh, sorry.
Staff. Alright, we're going to go to Sue Favor with The Wave.
Chairwoman Waters. We can’t hear you.
Q: Sorry. It's an honor to be in your presence. Thank you very much for coming.
Speaker Pelosi. I heard that.
Q: I guess – how long has it been something like this has been has been given or implied by the Presidential Administration?
Speaker Pelosi. I’m sorry. That was hard to hear.
Q: How long has it been since — it's such a similar tax credit has been given to children by the United States government?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, we had a tax credit — was when George Bush was President, but a one-time kind of thing. When we were doing – I wanted – in the stimulus package, I wanted infrastructure and the rest. They said no, said they’d just do tax code. This was when he was still President, so about 2007. And it was just an interim. But that was – rose as sort of, you know, ‘This is a moment that we can at least do this.’ But it wasn't an ongoing program.
Q: So, this is pretty revolutionary.
Speaker Pelosi. This is transformative. This is like Social Security. An absolute necessity, of course, respected now as an absolute. This is just transformative. So, nothing – I shouldn’t say nothing like this. We have used it because we were always trying to get it in some place. But this is – you have it next week – month. You have it next month. You have the month after. It's quite a remarkable thing.
Q: And then just one more thing, Madam Speaker. Just to clarify your next steps on getting this to be a more permanent thing again.
Speaker Pelosi. Well, we are writing now the next bill, which is the human infrastructure bill. It would take a lot of money to make it permanent. But as I say, we consider it permanent. Now how do we, every step of the way, ensure that? The most eloquent statement is that it is effective, that people are taking advantage of it and that they are sharing with us the difference it makes in their lives.
Staff. Thank you. Next, Mr. Don Davis with RWeekly.
Q: Hey, yeah, real quick. So, it sounds like, you know, in the future when you're doing economic stimulus, if you can market it around the fact that it will directly impact children, it'll be hard for people to say no. Am I on the right track with that?
Speaker Pelosi. This is so widely popular in the public. I'm not speaking for the Republicans in Congress, because not one of them voted for this. Not to get political here. Not one of them voted for this. But the – for what we're doing now, what we're doing now is in the Rescue package. What we want to do into the future is in the next package. So, again, in the Rescue package, we didn't get one vote on the other side. So, our message is to the American people. And their support for this is, what is important. I would hope that it could change the minds of some of the other folks on the other side of the aisle, if they hear from their own constituents how important this is. But they probably go home and take credit for it, when they won't even vote for it.
Staff. All right. Next, we would like to go to Spanish language media. So, Univision, Telemundo. Any questions from you all about the Child Tax Credit?
Q: What would you say to families who are scared or thinking they will have to pay this back within the next year?
Speaker Pelosi. Sorry, I just couldn't –
Q: What would you say to the families who are scared or who think that they have to pay this money back within the next year?
Chairwoman Waters. Do they have to pay the money back within the next year? I don’t think they’re getting taxed for this addition. This is a credit already.
Speaker Pelosi. This is a tax credit.
Chairwoman Waters. It's just an advance on what they would be filing. This is a tax credit, which means that in law already, we have tax credits. It is not as much, and that means they don't have to pay. And so this will not be doubly taxed. They're already eligible for a tax credit. It's just increased.
Speaker Pelosi. But let me also just say it reminds me that sometimes the tax credit comes when you pay your taxes, et cetera, or at tax time.
Chairwoman Waters. That’s right.
Speaker Pelosi. We made the case to the Treasury Department that we'd like to have it monthly. People can opt to just get it at the end. But we wanted it monthly for families because that's what their needs are – monthly.
Speaker Pelosi. If I just may add to that an observation, and that is one of the things we used to talk to President Obama about – and President Biden now – is when we talk about the basic fundamentals of housing, food security, job security, all of that, there's another element that people have to understand. And that is mentoring. When people don't have to hold down two jobs to barely be able to put food on the table – and sometimes not even that – they don't have time to mentor their children. And their neighbors are doing the same thing. So, they're not able to mentor. So, this mentoring factor, as you said, the enrichment that the children are now getting partially because of this check is very important. But to the extent that parents can have more time with their children for the mentoring, it's so very, very important.
Staff. Okay, thank you. All right, we're going to take just two more questions. Alex, we’ll start with you.
Q: All right, just to follow up on this on the bill itself, helping kids is the cause of your life.
Speaker Pelosi. That’s right.
Q: This is the biggest anti-child poverty bill in the history of the country. For you personally, as a mom, as a grandmother, as the first female Speaker, what does it mean to you to meet with people like this and to see the difference that it's made?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I appreciate your question as a mother of five, a grandmother of nine, my first statement is, aren't these children well-behaved?
Speaker Pelosi. They’re getting into it. I mean, who knows what might be next for them?
But the – not just because of my motivation, being a mother of five, and then hearing way back when, when my children were babies, that one in five children in America went to sleep hungry at night. One in five children in America lives in poverty – in America, the greatest country that ever existed. How could we tolerate such a thing? But it exists, and it still exists. And it's been exacerbated by COVID. So, we saw this as an opportunity, an opportunity to just transform people's thinking about how we go.
So, that's why, when we have our, shall we say, exuberances about one bill or another, I say to them, ‘This is one of the biggest things you’ll ever be a part of.’ For what it means to America, to our families, I felt very proud of the work for the Affordable Care Act. Tens of millions more people getting health care. That was a pillar – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act. What we are doing now for the children, for the families is a pillar of economic health and just certainty in terms of their security, education and the rest.
So, what we'll do – to your prior question, the bill that was passed by the Senate is appropriate. It addresses many of the needs. It is an infrastructure – a physical infrastructure bill. It is not a human infrastructure bill. And if we’re going to Build Back Better, which is the mantra of Joe Biden, we have to do so by involving many more people. It can't be a perpetuation of what went before. Unless we – and it will be, unless we get the second bill.
And the second bill – again, it frees up women and – moms and dads to be in the workplace with all the things I mentioned: child care, family and medical leave, health care, home health care workers, universal pre-K. The list goes on. If we do that, it's a liberation. It’s a liberation, so that people can participate.
We also have equity in what we want to do, which the build of the past does not have. Equity in terms of transportation and other projects that are – that have destroyed neighborhoods, and that we want to undo but not in a way that gentrifies neighborhoods and puts people out. So, everybody's been thinking very carefully, because they bring to it a history of knowledge of what works, what doesn't, what was well intentioned. But it's not so great, actually.
So, this – I mean, to me, this says to people of color, previously underrepresented people in these trades and in these jobs and all the rest – not just jobs, but equity, businesses participating. And Maxine has been a complete champion on that to make sure businesses in the minority community – women, veterans and all that – can participate, because the Queen of giving them access to capital. But with this bill, also access to a trained workforce looking different from the workforce from before.
So, this is very big. So, we have our, shall we say, ‘I like this. I don't like’ – whenever it is, at the end of the day, it will be one of the biggest initiatives that any of us has ever participated in. And we’re grateful to Joe Biden for his fidelity. Just so you know, he said – and I've heard him say it in the room with the Republicans – ‘I want to find our common ground on infrastructure. Where can we agree? But I will not limit my vision to that, because we have to Build Back Better.’
Now, some of us say, ‘Build Back Better with women.’
Speaker Pelosi. Maxine?
Chairwoman Waters. No, no, no, I’m fine. Let's hear from a couple of more.
Speaker Pelosi. We don’t have a bill yet. But when we bring it to the floor, we will have a bill.
Staff. This is KBC public station
Q: Yes, off topic. The Census came out this morning, and the numbers for California may lose a congressional seat. Any thoughts on that, Madam Speaker?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, I haven't seen all the numbers yet. I know that that was what was anticipated. But whatever our numbers are, our power will be great in the Congress of United States. But it is a recognition, this is the first time since – when was the first time? 1897, 1890 – no, excuse me – 1798, or something, was the first Census. This is the first time since then, that the white population is declining. It was always on the upswing. So, that speaks to the beautiful diversity of America. It speaks to how that population will – the demographics will weigh in politically. But, again, I haven't seen the numbers and when I do – I just don't like to work off of samplings. I want to see the numbers.
But, since you mentioned off topic, let me just say about California: I want everybody to get out the vote. I have my own operation working to get out the vote, making calls and that to defeat the recall of our Governor. Everything we've talked about here, whether it's free meals for all kids in public school, whether it's expanding health care to the beautiful diversity of our state, whether it's housing, a longer moratorium than any other place in the country. The list goes on. People are feeling the pain of COVID. Many of his initiatives have alleviated that.
And, we want – but I'm a grassroots organizer, so my whole thing is your campaign has to turn – own the ground and turn out the people. And that’s what we have our operations doing to turn out the vote so that we can put down – again, our system allows it. We respect it. But we do not like it and we will defeat it, the recall.
Maxine, any closing remarks?
Chairwoman Waters. Okay, we have maybe two more and then we’ll be finished.
Speaker Pelosi. Oh, okay.
Staff. KNBC? Is KNBC present? Questions? With that, we’ll go to –
Q: If I could just follow up on that, Madam Speaker. What you said about the Democratic agenda, what is at stake for Democrats with this recall, when you – if Governor Gavin Newsom is defeated, especially since Governor Andrew Cuomo, in New York, has just left office. When you talk about 2022 and ’24 – with the Democratic agenda, and child care and tax credit, pre-K, et cetera – what's at stake for the party overall?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, what's at stake for the people of California is really the question. As I have said, the Governor has acted in a very important way, and we take some credit for the resources that he’s been able to –
But he has implemented, he has implemented them. Some places have not implemented. He has implemented. And, again, he has seen the pain. He has – he knows what he wants to do. He has a plan to get it done, and he has put it out there.
What is the purpose of the recall except skullduggery? But, again, the system allows for it, so we have to defeat it. But it would be, really, a very sad situation if we have those people – voted for the Child Tax Credit. Not one of them voted to extend the moratorium or the funding for it –
Chairwoman Waters. That’s right.
Speaker Pelosi. In this tranche, the current tranche that we have now. So, it's a – in terms of, what is the purpose of governance? If you don't believe in governance, as they don't, and you don't believe in science as they don't, you're going down a very bad path for the children and other living things.
And, in terms of what was coming out, you mentioned the Census numbers, but we also had reports from the United Nations as to the urgency, the red zone we are in in preserving the planet. And that's so essential to our children. It’s a health issue, the air they breathe, the water they drink, the jobs their families can have, the – just the moral responsibility we have to them to preserve the planet. Gavin Newsom is a champion on that. The other side doesn't even believe in it, that it's happening.
So, it has every aspect, from the free lunch program in schools to preserving the planet, it has to be defeated. And, again, with a recognition of the pain that people are feeling, concern they have about their own families and their future and how we fight COVID. And, again, on the ground, own the ground, get out the vote. September 14th is the deadline.
Chairwoman Waters. This is your last one.
Q: Madam Speaker? Speaker, I recently noted your nine trips to Afghanistan. And as we can continue to see provincial capitals falling to the Taliban in Afghanistan, U.S. intelligence said that Kabul could fall within 90 days. I just wanted to know what your thoughts on that word and what it means for Afghan defense forces and especially, or particularly, women in Afghanistan that had made so many gains in recent years, if the country returns to Taliban rule?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, the women and girls in Afghanistan were something that did bring us together: Democrats and Republican women, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, Democrats in the House and Senate, largely the women, but some of the men, about the women and girls in Afghanistan. I’ve probably been to Afghanistan at least nine times. So, I saw the girls in school in the hinterlands or the professionals in the capital. But it was – we've really, they've really made major advances, because the U.S. was there.
The tragedy of Afghanistan is it was 20 years. The problem with it is, is that when we went in in 2001, when we went in, we did not defeat the Taliban. We routed the Taliban. They headed for the hills and beyond, just waiting to come back, 20 years. We just had President of Afghanistan in the Capitol about three weeks ago, when he was in the U.S., and he thanked us for the public – the service of the families who lost loved ones or had loved ones have other problems that were not completely visible, and we made a big contribution. But our purpose was to make sure it was not a safe haven for global terrorism to hurt the United States. There are so many other places that fall into that category now that it's heartbreaking, but we have to watch and see about that. I know when we came, they were going to be deploying some troops to Afghanistan to be helpful, so that the Afghan forces themselves can better – can be better able to protect the country. But it's a norm, and we were there almost 20 years. It's about 20 years.
Do you know, when we went into Afghanistan, how many troops we had on the ground? About 200; it was not a serious effort. And the mistake was: ‘Let's go to Iraq.’ And we went to Iraq, we ignored Afghanistan. And here we are.
In any event, the women and girls are – remain a very high priority, what that means for that country. I’ve been to their schools in the countryside, where they’ve recited poems and – just to see the glory of the girls – the education of girls.
So, I'll close by saying that if I ruled the world –
People ask me that all the time. They say, ‘If you ruled the world…’ or they say, ‘If you had a magic wand, what would you do?’ And it is about education, education of women and girls throughout the world, education of our children. And that's what's happening here. So when I came, I said to you, ‘You're doing the most important work of all: education of our children.’ Thank you so much.
Chairwoman Waters. Thank you all so very much. First, again, I'd like to thank all of the staff, the Principal and all the staff here at the Ethel Bradley Child Care Education Center. I'd like to thank the Principal of the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center. I'd like to thank the parents who came today and share their stories with us. I'd like to thank the children. And then I would like to thank all of LAUSD: employees, our elected officials, our Board Chair. I'd like to thank you all so very much.
Thank you, parents, for showing up today. Someone asked, ‘How can you be helpful?’ There are a few ways you can be helpful. First of all, we'd like you to tell the story and carry the message from here today. But I'd love some public service time. See if you can get some public service time addressing this issue for our children.
Thank you all so very much. Give yourselves a big round of applause.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, kids. Weren’t they great?