Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi Representing the 12th District of California
Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports to discuss the Congressional response to the killing of George Floyd, including Democrats’ transformational legislation, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, and other news of the day. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Andrea Mitchell. Today’s Supreme Court ruling preserving DACA, for now at least, is a major victory for liberal groups and the lawmakers and, of course, the Dreamers, but the lawmakers who have spent years fighting to protect the rights of nearly 800,000 Dreamers throughout the country. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joins me now from Capitol Hill. Madam Speaker, thank you very much. Let’s start with the Supreme Court. The President has tweeted that he doesn’t think the Supreme Court likes him very much. Well, I guess not, two surprising decisions this week, but, after all of these years, the Dreamers are safe, for now.
Speaker Pelosi. Well, it’s not about whether the Court likes the President. He should know that. It’s whether the Court likes the Constitution of the United States. And with the LGBTQ ruling the other day and now with the DACA, clearly, this is a victory for the American people. And it isn’t about the President. It isn’t personal about the President. It’s constitutional, about our country.
Andrea Mitchell. Do you think that there needs to be legislation to protect Dreamers, no matter who is elected, that there has to be some permanent fix for these people? Because he can change it by Executive Order if he’s re-elected.
Speaker Pelosi. Well, let’s not even entertain that thought. Let’s enjoy the moment.
We passed the DREAM Act in 2010 in the House and had hoped that it could be passed in the Senate, but it was not. We have now passed it again. And that would include many more people, many more Dreamers, beyond the DACA category, as well as Temporary Protective Status and some other categories.
That is in the – sitting in the Senate. We would hope that Senator McConnell would follow the wishes of the American people. Overwhelmingly, three-quarters of voters, three-quarters of voters support the Dreamers. Overwhelmingly, Republicans, Democrats, Independents support the Dreamers. Sixty-two percent of people who support President Trump, support the Dreamers. It’s just the Republicans in the Senate who just have chosen not to see the light, but hopefully, this decision will give them some courage.
Andrea Mitchell. Madam Speaker, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act on the House side is now, you’re saying, going to conference with the Senate. Do you think that there can be a compromise between the Republican Senate position and the position coming out of the House and really get police reform done this summer?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, let’s just say we always hope there can be a compromise. We always strive for bipartisanship. We have a responsibility to find our common ground.
But when we can’t find our [common] ground, we must stand our ground. And we must stand our ground to say no chokeholds, no racial profiling, no to no-knock warrants. That list goes on.
Maybe there can be some compromise in some of the language in other aspects of the bill. I will leave that up to Karen Bass, the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair of the Crime Subcommittee of Judiciary, and to Mr. Nadler, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, to – as to how we go forward.
But the American people have spoken in large numbers in protest against the status quo. I hope that the Senate Republicans are listening.
Andrea Mitchell. Is there any possible compromise on the issue of qualified immunity for police officers?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, that depends. I mean, it’s something that we strongly support, the – a repeal of the qualified immunity. There could be a reform of it. That’s a matter of discussion. But you see a lot of the sports figures have now come out in support of the repeal of the qualified immunity.
We’re very proud of not only Karen Bass, but in the Senate, Senator Harris and Senator Booker wrote – helped write this bill. And we’ll see how they guide us in terms of how we deal with the Senate on all of this, as well as Chuck Schumer, of course, chair – for a long time a member of the Judiciary Committee in the House and in the Senate.
Andrea Mitchell. The President has moved his Tulsa rally from tomorrow to Saturday. It was originally, as you know, on Juneteenth, and he’s now tweeting that he made Juneteenth famous by having originally held – planned that commemoration, his rally, on that day. Do you think Juneteenth should be made a national holiday?
Speaker Pelosi. I – just it’s stunning. The President says, ‘Does the Supreme Court like me?’ ‘I made Juneteenth.’ This is a person who is ethically unfit, intellectually unprepared and personally unqualified to be President of the United States, as he sees everything as about him and not about our country.
Juneteenth is a very important date for many of us, even before what’s-his-name ever heard of it.
What we’re doing here in the Capitol for tomorrow – later today, I have put forth a letter asking the Clerk of the House of Representatives, the Clerk, to remove the paintings of four Confederate soldiers and participants who became Speaker of the House, who were Speaker or became Speaker of the House. We didn’t know that until we were taking an appraisal of the statues, and then we found out from the curator that four of them had been part of the Confederacy.
So, later today, those paintings will come down, and that’s how we will be observing Juneteenth in the Capitol.
Andrea Mitchell. What about the statues? Do you have any way of dealing with that? Or does that have to be done by the states?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, the states – you know, the statues are there, as you indicate, thank you, representative of the states.
We – I put Robert E. Lee in the Crypt when I was Speaker before. And now the public mood and understanding of why this temple of democracy, this Capitol of the United States, should not have figures there who advocated for something completely different is clear.
So, Barbara Lee and Bennie Thompson, the Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, they have legislation to remove the statues of the Confederate participants from the Capitol. I think they’re – now we think we’re up to, like, fourteen or fifteen of them. We’re doing the research.
But imagine they committed treason against the United States of America, and they have statues in the Capitol of the United States. I don’t know what will happen in the Senate.
Andrea Mitchell. Let me ask you about John –
Speaker Pelosi. They’re trying to do something in the Senate in that regard as well.
Andrea Mitchell. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I wanted to ask you about John Bolton’s book.
Speaker Pelosi. Oh, yes.
Andrea Mitchell. Because in his book, there are new revelations, including that the President at that summit, the G20 Summit, asked President Xi of China for help winning him reelection, help in buying soybeans from American farmers to help him win re-election, which would seem to be akin to what he reportedly did with Ukraine. Also, the President not knowing that the United Kingdom is a nuclear power, Bolton saying that Vladimir Putin can play him like a fiddle, the President praising President Xi for concentration camps holding the Muslim Uyghurs. Your reaction to all of this?
Speaker Pelosi. Well, let me just say that, I said already, the President is ethically unfit, intellectually unprepared and personally unqualified to be President of the United States. And I think that what we’re seeing in some of the statements of those who have served the President, to see that point confirmed.
As far as the book is concerned, the – shame on John Bolton for not coming forth during the impeachment. He wants it con – to have a con with the far right by saying, ‘Oh, I’m criticizing the Democrats for not going further in the impeachment.’
But the fact is, he refused to receive a subpoena from the House of Representatives. He said he would only receive it from the Senate. Well, he knew the Senate would never issue one.
So, he chose royalties in his book instead of patriotism to our country, knowing how unfit Donald Trump is to be President of the United States. I don’t know if it would make any difference to the Republican Senators. I don’t know if it would have given them any courage or patriotism to vote differently in terms of impeachment or removal from office.
But I think his words would have rung stronger if he had backed them up in the forum when it mattered, instead of at the cash register for his royalties.
Andrea Mitchell. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, thank you very much.
Speaker Pelosi. And, by the way, on that subject – oh, thank you. My pleasure.
Andrea Mitchell. Yes, ma’am.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you.
Andrea Mitchell. Please. No, please – please – please proceed.
Speaker Pelosi. Well, what I was going to tell you is, when the –
Andrea Mitchell. I didn’t mean to cut you off.
Speaker Pelosi. No. Well, I wanted to point out the President was at the G20, at that meeting with President Xi, and all of that transpired. I did speak to him on the phone. He called me about some other things. I spoke to him twice.
And the first time he called, I said, ‘Mr. President, Mr. President, can you say something at the G20 about what’s happening in Hong Kong?’ At that time, all the young people were in the streets and asking for democratic freedoms. And I said, ‘I’m sure you’re observing what is happening there.’
He said, ‘Yeah, did you see the size of that crowd?’ To which I – and he said, ‘Two million people were in the street.’
And I said, ‘Well, two million people is a lot of people, especially when you realize that that is 25 percent of all of the people who live in Hong Kong.’
But then I said, ‘Could you say something to President Xi about the Uyghurs, because we – we have – tell him we have bipartisan support, House and Senate, Democrats and Republicans in concern about these camps that the Uyghurs are being put into?’
So, when I talked to him again, he said, ‘I spoke to President Xi. I mentioned it to him. And he said they like being in those camps.’
Well, yesterday, the President signed our Uyghur bill, sponsored by Senator Rubio in the Senate, again, bipartisan support, House and Senate. Yesterday, he signed the bill.
So, interesting times.
Andrea Mitchell. Interesting, indeed. Thank you very much for that –
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you.
Andrea Mitchell. – that personal anecdote. We really appreciate it, Madam Speaker.
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you.
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