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Kevin McCarthy
  House Minority Leader Mc Carthy Holds Press Briefing  CSPAN  January 21, 2021 12:57pm-1:12pm EST

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the press saying, oh, they're bickering. no, we're not. we're not bickering. we have a very major difference of opinion as to what -- how we honor the constitution. we hope that we can find common ground on it because it's very important. again, i'll further close -- wasn't it beautiful when president biden quoted what lincoln -- president lincoln said when he signed the emancipation proclamation on new year's day, 1865? it was within his soul, it was within his being. and biden, of course, said what he's setting out to do is in his soul and in his very being. thank you all very much. what a difference a day makes. thank you.
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mr. mccarthy: i guess it's still good morning. this week the united states completed the process of transitioning to a new president. i want to again congratulate president biden and vice president harris. i want to also thank president trump and vice president pence for their service to our country. also acknowledge the many achievements that their administration was able to achieve. in just four years, we were able to build the greatest american economy we have seen in a generation. strengthen our military, pass historic peace deals, secured our southern border, and
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ratified the united states-mexico-canada trade agreement. while there was change of the political party in the white house, the problems we need to address still impact america, our republican, democrat, and independents alike need to work together. president biden takes over at a time when america needs to get back to work, get their kids back to school, and get every american vaccinated who wants one. this is an immediate national priority. so we must ask, if the plans for the biden administration are helping the american people who need it most. are we helping businesses reopen and getting america back to work? are we helping students get back into the classroom? after many and millions of these kids have been learning from behind computers for almost nearly a year. are we helping individuals, especially our most at-risk population gain access to a vaccine? that is why i was disappointed to see within hours of assuming
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office the new administration was more interested in helping illegal immigrants than helping our own citizens. more interested in virtue signals to the climate activists and supporting the union workers who were building the keystone pipeline and more interested in appeasing the w.h.o. than getting to the bottom of how china released this virus to the world in the first place. . just this week a panel established by the w.h.o. itself said the organization fade at quickly at the start of the pandemic. instead of demanding leadership change and reform, unfortunately it's the wrong signal that the bime -- biden administration is rewarding failure. these are the wrong priorities at the wrong time. mernts need our help -- americans need our help at home and that's where our focus must remain. that means congress needs to step up as well. but instead i just heard the majority party is now telling us to go home.
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one day into a new administration. one day. they are the majority in the house, and they just became the majority in the senate. and they were just sworn in in the white house, they tell us to go home. already canceling scheduled workweek next week. i can promise you this. when republicans are in the majority, we will not take the first week off. we'll keep the commitment to america that we promised, and that's exactly what we'll do. republicans are here ready to work. ready to make sure that we get business back open again. we get kids back in school, and we get a vaccine to every person who wants one across america. to me that is a unity agenda. to me that's the priority that americans want to see coming out of washington. you can't achieve that if you tell people to go home and not work. you can't achieve that if your focus is more on the paris
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accord, ending the keystone pipeline, those are not the achievements that i think america wants to see out of washington and unity. with that i'll take questions. reporter: your conference right now seems to be in a complete split because you had the freedom caucus members already sirk circulating the petition to call on your conference chairwoman to resign from her post, and the democrats who are calling on for a censure of at least two members right now. will your conference come together to stand behind those two members who are being called on to be censured? and where are you right now as far as the leadership is concerned since there is a split as far as you guys are concerned on impeachment. is there going to be any unity whatsoever going forward into this congress? mr. mccarthy: it's different within our party than others. people have difference of opinion. we will have a conference next week. we won't air it to the public.
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but we'll answer the questions everybody has. this is the same leadership team with the ranking members and others that came five seats away from winning the majority when everybody in america thought we were going to lose 20 seats. yes, we allow differences of opinion inside our conference of the they are welcomed. but i think there is questions that need to be sensed. style in which things were delivered. at the end of the day we will unify because our policies are right which will unify us. do we have growing pains? yes. but we will do it in a private manner of a conference that we hold every time. and we'll have it next week. yes, sir. reporter: will liz cheney remain conference chair or not? mr. mccarthy: yes. change questions. reporter: after the rioters came into the capitol on january 6, you voted to overturn the results in pennsylvania and arizona. you also signed on to that texas lawsuit invalidating the election. you waited until a couple weeks ago to declare joe biden won the
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election. given the violence we saw do you regret the role you played? mr. mccarthy: i denounce any violence. denounced it that day. denounce it in the summer. denounced what happened last night in portland and seattle as well. i'm very consistent. when i vote -- what i voted on wasn't to overturn an election. it wouldn't. it would not overturn. i signed on to an amicus was a constitutional questions about did a legislature have the right or did the -- legislature move to make any changes. this is the same thing that happened in the last three presidential leakses. it's the same thing that nancy pelosi said on the floor when she said this is democracy. we should debate it. it's different than when jim clyburn voted to overturn ohio, because that would change the outcome of the presidential election. let's be very clear on what we did. if it was based on policy and principle. i would stay the course. i always denies nounsed whatever individuals did here, in the summer, and last night.
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that's un-american. it's undemocratic. and anybody involved in that should be prosecuted. i have been very, very clear about that from day one. thank you. reporter: why didn't you say early that the election was free and fair? mr. mccarthy: go right ahead. reporter: are you concerned about fundraising this quarter now that will dozens of corporations are not going to support people who objected to the electoral college results? mr. mccarthy: not at all. reporter: follow up on that. do you think that members of congress who have any role in what happened on january 6 should be prosecuted? mr. mccarthy: any member participated in breaking the law, yes. i think anybody should be held to account. i do not know of any member who has done that. this is why i called for last week after this happened a bipartisan commission. we should get to the bottom of this. there are so many questions that need to be answered. there are so many questions that i had personally as a leader.
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i read into the paper that the f.b.i. prior to any rally had information that something was going to happen here. and conveyed that to the capitol police. i want to know why was the republican leader not notified of that? why was i not notified to make sure we protect. even though we had -- i had house administration attend a meeting where they said they had correct preparation, where they knew the national guard and others, the national guard called soon enough? was it brought forward soon enough? were there reasons why the national guard maybe wasn't having armed? was there a reason something happened from the summer of why they would not be brought up sooner? i have questions about this building what i was told what was protected. what doors could not be opened. or entered. or penetrated. that didn't go through. there is a lot of planning through. the only way you are going to be able to answer these questions are a bipartisan commission. so let's get and have all the facts before we accuse anybody of anything. but let's all base it upon the
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facts and knowledge that we need to know. reporter: follow up on that. leader mcconnell has said that -- prorme president trump administrationp and other important people provoked those at the capitol. do you believe that president trump -- mr. mccarthy: i don't believe he provoked it if you listen to what he says at the rally. reporter: what role should former president trump have in the republican party going forward? mr. mccarthy: look, going forward every former president still has a role within their party for the time basis. this president brought a lot of great success with him. he brought people to the party haven't been involved before and he should continue to engage in that way. but the one thing that i got to ask a question earlier about, what should the republican focus or who should be the leader within the party? the one thing we learned in the last four years of president trump brought forward he listened to voices that no one else was hearing. on either party. those are the voices we should continue to hear. you know what they are saying
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right now? they are watching an administration that says 11 million illegal immigrants are now going to become citizens. you almost have 11 million americans who are out of work right now. who is listening to their voice? or to the millions of parents out there that want to have her children go become to school to have an education? who is championing for them? when we sign back up to the w.h.o., without getting any accountability or any answers to why did they lie to the world? or the union worker who is building the keystone pipeline, idea we are going to lower energy costs, make us stronger around the world, less dependent on the middle east. that america became energy independent just about a year ago. and why are we moving backwards? why are we making the costs higher? those are the people who both parties should be listening to. those are the things that should be working. when they hear the majority
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leader and speaker of the house to say take the next week off, they are probably very concerned about both parties. when they hear that the first actions that we take aren't about getting the economy moving again, they are wondering who is listening in washington. i'm going to promise you this. we are listening and we'll take action. yes, sir. reporter: with the democrats holding the balance of power, what does the future of the hyde amendment which prevents taxpayer funded abortion? mr. mccarthy: hyde amendment should not just be a republican an issue. it's an american issue. regardless where you fall on this position, should taxpayers' money be spent for this? because you know what? the hyde amendment has been agreed to for decades. not just by republicans but republicans and democrats. i think the individual that's sitting in the white house today had voted for it many times. it would be interesting if people would change their opinion now. that would seem pretty political to me. instead of being a basis of what
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your principles stand for. thank you very much. i hope you have a great week. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the u.s. house meets at 2 eastern today on letting retired general lloyd awe continue be president bidens' deans fence secretary. the law requires military to wait seven years after active duty before the job. a waiver was given for james mattis to be president trump's secretary. congress needs to pass a waiver for retired general austin. watch today's house debate and vote here on c-span beginning at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> you're watching c-span, your unfiltered view of government. c-span was created by america's
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cable television companies in 1979. today, we are brought to you by these television companies who provide c. span to exuers -- to viewers as a public service. >> next, two georgetown university law professors discuss policing and racial bias following the january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol. both present research and data and talk about some of the lessons learned from the attack. >> i want to welcome everyone to our conversation on lessons on policing from the capitol siege. i'm vida johnson and i teach at georgetown in the two criminal defense clinics we are lucky to have. prior to coming to georgetown, i was a public defender here in washington, d.c. and i write generally about criminal procedure. within the last two years i started to