Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
To vote on the floor of the House for the ratification, extending the date for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. It's an historic day. It's a happy day. I commend our chairman, Jerry Nadler, chair of the Judiciary Committee, for bringing legislation to the floor. Jackie Spear, the author of The Resolution, who has been a relentless champion for women's rights in the Congress and in the country. Carolyn Maloney, who has for a very long time been advocating for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
And now extending the date enables us to enable us to do that. We're very proud of the state of Virginia who just came through on a for women, for families, and that in the chair, Congresswoman Waxman from Virginia is presiding. Has she fought for yeara in the Virginia legislature? Didn't have until they got the majority. And then and she's here now. So to preside over it. It's pretty exciting. It's pretty exciting when you think of of what it means.
And I can't understand how people can vote against their own interest as a woman about their wives, their daughters, their sisters, their mothers are not equal and they should be equal under the law, whether it's relates to wage discrimination, whether it relates to sexual harassment, whether it is pregnancy discrimination, as mother five and for from our daughters. I'm very excited about what this means for families and what it may mean for women to be better representative. All the seats of decision and power in our country.
So, again, there's no reason for this. Some people are putting forth excuses, but we expect to have a bipartisan vote in the Senate. I hope we will have a bipartisan vote in the House and hopefully it will be brought up in the Senate. So, again, as our theory has been, when women succeed, America succeeds. That's what we believe and that's what we're acting upon today. Again, you know, this week was marked by the introduction of the president's budget.
You've heard me say again and again, a budget should be a statement of our national values. A federal budget should be a reflection of what is important to us as a nation. This budget is not without a is without any commitment to values. In fact, it did. It is in complete reversal of the of the promises the president made in the campaign and a contradiction of what he said in the State of the Union address. As you know, he talked about being there for Medicare and Social Security while he cut Medicare by half a trillion dollars in his budget, cut tens of billions of dollars from disability benefits from Social Security and the issue of Medicaid.
Nine hundred billion dollars, almost a trillion dollars from Medicaid. That's 60 percent of Hong Kong. Health care is paid for by Medicaid. This is a middle class benefit. Yes. So Medicaid goes to the poor. Poor children especially. But most a majority of the funds paying for long term care for America's seniors and others comes from Medicaid. Nine hundred billion dollars just to name something. It's it's an appalling budget, a time of imagine. Imagine when the whole world is fighting the Corona virus.
The president cuts out 1.2 billion dollars from the Center for Disease Control, whose job it is to fight the Corona virus and others like it and farmers. The president talks about farmers. Farmers have record numbers of bankruptcy now. And in the budget, the president slashes the farmers cent safety net by 60 billion dollars while stealing two hundred billion dollars from SNAP. SNAP is directly related to our farmers. When I go into the Midwest, I meet farmers who tell me they are on food stamps because of their economic situation.
But Senator Dole and Senator McGovern established the SNAP program to help address food insecurity, but also to benefit farmers who provide that food. There are cuts the week that we talk about rebuilding America. And the president in his budget cut 13 percent of the Department of Transportation and also has massive cuts in the Army Corps of Engineers, which is very essential to infrastructure building and then for clean air and clean water. It's 25 percent from the EPA. This budget is disgraceful in many ways, just as simply as the air our children breathe, the water they drink.
Just slash it. Not important to us and all the while reinforcing what he's going to do on taxes to continue his tax scam. Adding more money, more debt, more national debt for our children to pay so we can give tax cuts to the high end so we can say, see, see, the market's up. Well, you slash taxes and do one thing and another. Now we want our economy to succeed and we're happy when the indicators are positive.
But let's not build that on the backs of our children and their future. Dozens of groups and the AARP too young. And both. I don't have a yet. But why have come out against the bill? And the AARP, representing 17 million seniors wrote this. We are deeply concerned about the proposed funding reductions to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, nutrition assistance, caregiver support, housing assistance and other assistance for early for older Americans. AARP calls on Congress to protect these critical programs that millions of Americans rely on for their health and financial security.
That's their statement. I'll add to that that many of these people are veterans. Over a million veterans benefit from Medicaid and snap the SNAP program. Food insecurity, sadly, is prevalent in our veterans community. We also saw the president this week demonstrate once again that he does have has no respect for the rule of law. His assault on the rule of law by engaging in political interference in the Senate, sentencing of his associate, Roger Stone, indicated that obstruction in the investigation trump Russia ties and witness tampering.
That's what Trump. That's what Stone was indicted for. This is an abuse of power that the president is again trying to manipulate federal law enforcement to serve his political interests. And the president is what he is.
He thinks he's above the law. He has no respect for the rule. But where are the Republicans to speak out on this blatant violation? The rule of law, e.g., bar, has deeply damaged the rule of law by withdrawing the DOJ sentencing recommendation and the act of interference and Trump's retribution against lead attorney in the stone case. Imagine that four of the prosecutors separated themselves from the case when the president did that. Just days after firing Lt. Col. Benjamin for speaking truth to power.
This all must be investigated. The American people must have confidence in our nation's system of impartial justice and withdrawal. The four career prosecutors the case. But an act of courage on their part must be commended. But the actions of the Justice Department, Justice Department has this should have this are of something so apolitical, so above the political fray that people have confidence in the rule of law in our country. The attorney general has stooped to such levels. He's lied to Congress for which he will be in contempt.
He has engaged in these activities. What a sad disappointment to our country. The American people deserve better. We are leaving now for a district where the period when listening to the concerns of our constituents with their help, we formulated our for the people agenda. What is important to them? Their kitchen table concerns lower the cost of health care by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, retaining protecting the preexisting condition benefit. President said he's all for it. He's a defender and yet he's in court to overturn it.
Building the infrastructure, building bigger paycheck, lower health care costs, bigger paychecks by building infrastructure of America. Hopefully we can find common ground on both of those scores with the White House. Lower health care costs, bigger paychecks, cleaner government. I don't think we'll find too much common ground on that score. But anyway, this is a day to celebrate, a day that the Equal Rights Amendment extension is passed on the floor of the House, and we're very eager to send it over to the Senate, where I understand it has bipartisan support.
Let's only hope that the Grim Reaper will allow a voice of American women and those who support American women to be heard on the Senate floor. Questions.
So you just said that the president abused his power again. Yeah. By injecting himself into this analysis with Roger Stone. What recourse does Congress have? Would you concede that the president is untouchable at this point? It's just up to the voters this fall. Or is it something that Congress is going to do about it?
Well, they should be investigated. They're the leader in the Senate has called for inspector general. Look into this. Our committee, the Judiciary Committee, as you know, has invited and he has accepted the attorney general come before the Judiciary Committee, and that will be the end of March. I wish it were sooner. But if you did accept the invitation so we don't have to go another step there. But this cannot this is not what America is about.
It is so wrong. And again, I keep public sentiment. Isn't making a judgment about this. But I would hope that Republicans who respect the rule of law and I assume most of them do, except for the aberration in the White House. And his henchmen, that that they would speak out on this, too, because it cannot stand. Ma'am. A couple days ago, you told me that Bloomberg presents a racist. Why? Because I think every candidate in the race has had a positive influence on the race.
Bring their ideas. They bring their why? Why they're running what they know about as their as their priority issues. There should tragic thinking about how they want to accomplish those goals and give people confidence that they can as an as much a bi partisan way as possible and how they connect with the American people. Each of them in their own way. So I would say that I could list you 25, but I won't because the field has been winnowing.
But every one of them who has put his or her name forward has been a positive force in the campaign.
He has the best chance of beating them.
I'm not talking politics here. Let me just say this. Thank you for the opportunity. I can hear you all say overall in a panic. The established Democrats. I think there's some establishment that I don't know about around here. Who are we talking about here? Because we respect the process. The people will winnow the field. Our members will make their endorsements as they see fit on their own and their own communications with their constituents and with the candidates as they choose.
So we are calm, cool and collected. This is not me. Just because some people may be speaking out about not liking one kind or another, that's the Democratic way. That's politics. It's a messy business. I would remind you of how it was when the Republicans had their primary in the last election four years ago. How messy that was. But this is where cool will collect it. We have faith in the American people and we'll be guided by their judgment as we go forward.
But maybe it sells papers or gets viewers, but it isn't the fact.
It did. Yes, it did. Why should the House not move forward on impeachment proceedings? We. Our priority was to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. The president gave us no choice in his actions in violating the separation of power that is contained in the Constitution and that is our goal. So again, there's so much of malfeasance on the part of people in the executive branch right now. But the fact is our responsibility is to honor under oath of office to protect and defend.
But we can point out the disrespect that the attorney general has for the rule of the law for lying to Congress. And that is really very bad. And that was it's not a good thing. It is lying to the American people. It is lying to the American people under oath. But our priorities are. To do our job for the American people to lower health care costs by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, we passed that bill. We hope that we work to the administration to put it together.
We hope they don't abandon it as they seem to have, I guess, at the behest of pharma. We've worked. We said that we wanted to build the infrastructure of America and create paychecks, the president said. Throughout the campaign that he was going to build infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure, came to prescription drugs. We're going to negotiate like crazy, like crazy, like crazy. It appears that the phrasing might mean not at all. And again, cleaner government, which we want to do with the lowering the impact of big dark money in politics, ending under John Lewis's bill, which is part of H.R.
1 to end a voter suppression and again passed the Voting Rights Act, which was part of that. But we've taken out of that. So that's what we're doing. And and our responsibility to protect and defend. That's what we did. And I'm very proud of our managers. Are they presented the facts? I'm proud of the courage of our members. They reviewed the facts. They studied the constitution. They made their own decision. And I'm proud of the Senate that they had a unanimous vote in favor of the truth.
And just so respectful of the decision that Senator Romney made. But that doesn't mean that we're going to spend all of our time going after every lie that the administration henchmen make to come and sit United States his chair. So the market today is going to vote on this. Yes. Powers have passed a measure that was a little different here in the House. Yes, a month ago, though. From your perspective, why does this argument, some basic questions about you say this to do in the Middle East?
What we're trying to do?
Well, look, power to declare war is in the Constitution, a power of the Congress of the United States. The president has considerable power as well. The War Powers Act addresses a calibration of the balance between the two. And this is a very long discussion and something I've been involved in for less almost 20 years. At first as ranking on intelligence and now in my position here. So I think that there were going to have a bipartisan vote in the Senate.
I know that. I think that the legislation is good. It's a little different from ours. But we will take it up when we return in the next work period.
This is something that Congress does not.
There are plenty of waivers for the president in terms of our national security and the like. I mean, I got to go to four because we had the. All right. We can have a whole discussion on this. The War Powers Act is something that we respect. And we would hope that the president of the United States would respect it, too. And times of our attack, any and all powers are vested in the president of the United States.
If you read the War Powers Act, it triggers I don't like that word any and all powers on the part of the commander in chief. What we're saying is. In terms of other decisions that the president makes that Congress has a role to play in that according to the Constitution of the United States. So I'm glad that it will have bipartisan support for recognizing Congress's role in all of this. And again, our first responsibility is to protect and defend.
And we're going to do that. But we want to do it in a way that does not eliminate the power of declaring war from the Congress of the United States. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to go to the floor. I will always vote. Rarely do I vote unless to break a tie. We haven't had any. But nonetheless, that would be what I would do. But today, for my children, my daughters, my granddaughter, actually, from my son and my grandson for women across America.
I welcome the opportunity, cast a vote that will end discrimination on the basis of sex in our Constitution.