House GOP leaders hold a press conferenceFeb 27, 2020
full of issues that we want to address first about the coronavirus we are learning more every day about the threat this virus poses it is very important that everyone understands that we are united this is not a partisan issue we believe that
houserepublicans certainly have the duty to make sure the nation is prepared, our nation has more resources than any nation in the world to be able to address any threat posed by the coronavirus, but it will require bipartisan action, this is not a time for partisan pathogens. disrespect party lines and it's very important that we all come together and work together to make sure we're prepared i think we have a duty to do that's a patriotic duty we have the best infrastructure in the nation we have in the world we have the best ability to innovate the best ability to develop whatever response is needed but it has to happen on a bipartisan basis and I think it's absolutely clear as House Republicans that we're going to be prepared to endorse and support whatever resources are needed to work closely together with the president to work across the aisle with our fellow Democrats and we would urge our fellow Democrats to do the same as we are all focused on the coronavirus and the threat it poses obviously we're also watching what's happening in the race presidential and we just had a debate last night and, in particular r, as we see Senator Sanders continue to lead on the Democratic side, we feel it is very important to remind people at all times of what Senator Sanders stands for, how radical his views are, how much he embraces socialism, and what the real consequences are. facts and reality of socialism socialism extinguishes freedom there is simply no question that the stories you are hearing from senator sanders about socialism somehow empowering the people are absolutely wrong, absolutely false. e history absolutely demonstrates the devastation of socialism throughout the world. very happy to have congressman Mario diaz-balart with us today who is going to talk a little about the reality of what life was like in cuba still is today and the reality compared to what senator sanders has been saying about socialism so with that I'll turn things over to the congressman, good afternoon, as the list says, if anyone wants to know about the devastation of socialism and the tyranny that is often accompanied by socialism, I invite you to come and talk to some of my constituents, including the thousands in thousands of ways from former political prisoners and relatives of current political prisoners who languish in Cuba's jails just because they have had the courage to do so. either speak for freedom or speak against the regime now you know this is not new what senator sanders said the other day has been like the calling card of the progressive movement in the united states for a long, long time but i remind you the Center and the progressive movement that the Castro regime is a threat not only certainly to the national security of the United States but also to all democracies in this hemisphere this regime has been on a list of state sponsors of terrorism for many years for their support of other terrorist states and organized terrorist groups we can mention a few of them but we wouldn't have enough time to do so let me remind this senator or something else in 2013 the Cuban regime was caught smuggling weapons into North Korea.
In the greatest violation of international sanctions against that country, it has been propping up the Malouda regime in Venezuela with thousands of intelligence operatives, and again in opposing the desire for freedom and democracy of the Venezuelan people, the Cuban regime has been harboring fugitives from US justice. including fbi most wanted terrorist john chessmen chess emond and again terrorist bomb maker william morales who never seems to come to our friends who apologized for the castros for the castro atrocities that is why by the way i filed a resolution that condemns the blatantly false, irresponsible, ignorant, highly ignorant and hurtful comments of the Socialist Democratic presidential candidate, Mr.
Sanders, this resolution also rejects the false claims that Cuba's health, its educational system and the rate of literacy has improved as a result of the Castro dictatorship, of that dictatorship tough killer, claims that, by the way, have been debunked time and time again, and yet they continue to use and repeat them, and Senator Sanders isn't the first to do so, so let's give you some facts based on the Department of Defense report. Cuba's infant mortality rate was thirty-two out of a thousand live births one of the best in the Western Hemisphere in the 1950s Free Castro Cuba's life expectancy was also one of the highest and Latin America in the 1950s 1950 oh yes this is before the Castro dictatorship Cuba's literacy rate was one of the highest in the western hemisphere in the 1950's I repeat yes hard to believe before the so called literacy programs of the Castro dictatorship again some realities in Cuba more than a million people in a country of only nine million not mine nine million have risked everything to escape from that dictatorship because things are so good there, much By the way, they have perished in improvised rafts and since they put themselves, their families and their children at risk just to try to achieve freedom in the United States because because things were so good on the islands why would they do this if things were going well why would they do this if Castro wasn't so bad and had done so many good things so let me give you a contrast during the pre-Castro cube I'm not afraid that there are more Americans who went to live in Cuba than Cubans who left they left Cuba to come to the United States that is the reality, not the myth that some of these would like what some like Senator Sanders would like in order to recreate it, I must reiterate the demand that I and many of my colleagues , including, for example, Amnesty International and Secretary Pompeo, among others, we have done because I want to take this opportunity with all of you here for the immediate release of José Daniel. well say it nany Fla you've been languishing in a Cuban prison now and being tortured since October 1, 2019 and again as far as we can tell not only languishing in the presidency but also being tortured in prison it's a Renowned independent journalist, like all of you, a journalist and leader of the human rights organization, in fact, he along with all the political prisoners in Cuba have to be released, but it seems that the apologists for Castroism, those of now and of recent years, will want to talk about maybe some things that Castro has done by the way things that give him credit for which he has done that he did not do well never never talking about the real situation that the Cuban people are suffering from the threat to our national security and the damage that this regime is doing in the world and in this hemisphere, therefore, in contrast to blatantly false, irresponsible, ignorant and hurtful comments about the Castro regime and from he center and the usual apologists of that regime this resolution stands in solidarity with the people of Cuba in their fight against that regime while demanding human rights democracy and freedom the reality is that this regime is and always has been a threat to the national security of the USA and a threat to welfare. being of the Cuban people who have never changed this resolution will highlight that reality not those false claims by apologists for the Castro regime and others who believe that somehow torturing and murdering and enslaving people is okay if you have given them about three free stuff not the only thing the castro regime has done is take away the future freedom the well being of the cuban people well Mario's voice is so passionate powerful to serve as a stark reminder to the people of how devastating the castro regime is and socialist regimes in general for the people of those communities in those countries. the human rights of the very people who live under those regimes and anyone wondering if that really happens just go talk to Mario diaz-balart there are so many other people who fled that country because they saw the devastating consequences of what socialism has given them it makes humanity the rights of the people and so while the leading candidate for president of the United gentlemen on the Democratic side is embracing some of the policies of the Castro regime that the same week is criticizing an organization like AIPAC fighting for freedom, fighting to not only maintain this great bond between the United States and Israel and supporting our dear friend Israel as a Jewish state, but literally taking sides in this fight to determine whether or not there will not be a two state solution if there will be a Palestinian state to attack an organization like AIPAC just boggles the mind that that is something that I want to embrace and strongly support the things that AIPAC stands for when they come to Washington so often to ex
pressthat support, that unifying bond, that bipartisan bond between America. and Israel that is shared here in Congress and what they stand for so it's unfortunate when you see what's happening on the Democrat side that socialism has taken over their party as they try to rig the rules against the left plus candidate For president, I'd be interested to see how many of our colleagues in the House would be willing to support or Sanders if I were their nominee, but let's have that debate, let's get that debate out there so people know. what is at stake when we try to stand up for those free market principles that provide real opportunities for families the principles we have fought for working with President Trump that have put more money in the pockets of working families and given them more control over their lives allowing the middle class to rebuild in this country at a time when we saw them fleeing to other countries we are finally building bringing that back we are finally seeing those forgotten men and women get a chance and the opportunity to pursue the American Dream again in this country, and on the other hand, all they're talking about is getting more government control and undermining some of those very things that have given people more freedom and opportunities in America. while embracing the ideologies that have been so failed and devastating to people in other countries, so I hope that the people are American is watching this debate play out because it's going through November, but we're already seeing just the stark contrast between us, as Republicans, we want to do to promote freedom and only with the leading Democratic presidential candidates wanted that very same thing taken away from them. freedom, while the associates partnered with people who are directly responsible for the deaths and denial of freedom to so many millions. of people in the midst of all this we are working with the administration to combat the coronavirus leader McCarthy and I were at a bipartisan briefing at the White House just a week and a half ago where top Trump administration health officials were talking about the things that they are doing to keep the corona virus in the United States while acknowledging how dangerous it is and also as we try to get more information out of China so we can find out how deep and bad this disease is spreading in their country and unfortunately they have not shared the information they need to share with us and the rest of the world so that we can make sure that we are taking all necessary steps to keep our country safe and help find a vaccine to help prevent the spread of this dangerous disease, so I look forward to hearing the president's comments tonight and I look forward to seeing Ask Congress to work together in a bipartisan way to make sure we provide all the necessary tools to fight the corona virus this is not a partisan issue anyone playing partisan games with this especially while the president is in a foreign country should being ashamed of yourself that's not how we do business that's not how we solve problems we work together like we did when we were in the majority with President Obama to make sure if it was Ebola or some other disease that we were working with the President to fight and not to try to find a way to divide the country but to find a way to work together and finally there is a discussion today and over the next few days and weeks to determine what is the next step to make sure that the FISA courts work properly for keep America safe?
The FISA Court has been an important tool in the national security of the United States, but we saw that the FISA Court was clearly abused in the 2016 election, there were some people in our intelligence agencies that abuse the FISA Court to carry out their own schedulepolicy that should never happen in the united states of america the people who did it should be held accountable the horowitz report identified some of those problems i hope the durham report actually names names so the attorney general can
holdaccountable those people who abused their rights positions of authority to try to change the outcome of a presidential election and as they are moving this through it should not be done in a partisan way which unfortunately Chairman Adler is carrying out when members of our side, from ranking member collins in jordan down they have proposed good reforms reforms that should be bipartisan that not only makes sure it doesn't happen again but sets up real criminal penalties for someone to break the law and be held fully accountable.
That is something that needs to happen and I hope it will happen through this process, unfortunately it is not happening in President Adler. committee yet, but I think he as well as others will recognize that this is something we need to come together and work towards no president or candidate for president should have federal agencies working against them in an election our elections should be free and fair and decided by the American people, not by bureaucrats in Washington abusing their power to try to determine the outcome of an election or foreign countries and we are clearly working to make sure foreign interference is not allowed either.
I'm glad, President Trump. he is taking it much more seriously in 2020 than the previous president did in 2016 when the russians tried to interfere in our election process with our leader er Kevin McCarthy Thank you Liz thank you Mario First I want to start by echoing a colleague of mine Tom Cole this tomorrow. For years Congress has been pairing up to bolster our infectious disease preparedness in the last five years for those of us in the majority we have increased NIH funding by nearly 40% averaging nearly two billion dollars a year year preparing for what we see today with a virus we created the Rapid Response Fund for Infectious Diseases there is also an idea by Tom Cole that took us two years but we were able to build it we want to be prepared having learned from ebola and others when it comes to the future ahead where we're headed i want to thank the president and credit him in his administration leaning in from day one by taking preemptive and decisive action including travel restrictions and aggressive quarantines this is something some people would criticize early on when you look back in hindsight It was the right decision at the right time, we want to continue to maintain hewing america safe from the coronavirus today the appropriation
houses have met to discuss proper funding this is not a time to play politics we want to make sure we have all the funds we need we want to make sure the money is wow and we also want to make sure there's accountability for that.
I have a lot of confidence in Kay Granger and her
leadership and working through this and we want to make sure it gets there as quickly as possible. even though Chuck Schumer wants to play politics this time with other
pressreleases, now is not the time to do it, now is the time to put the American public first. I want to thank Mario for his comments and for coming today and for his decision that he will be on the floor. No one knows first-hand more than Mario and his family what socialism will do from his district, only the thousands of individuals from imprisoned oneself to those who have five family members today of those who risked their lives for the idea of coming to the United States for the idea of freedom have the main candidate for the Democrat Bernie Sanders credit Fidel Castro was terrifying today those in the house they will have a chance to vote when it comes to a PQ of where they really want to be if they stand with Bernie where they stand up for freedom for those who think maybe Bernie Sanders just got it wrong when he said the truth is the truth ok just that this time he went a step further. praised the Communist Party of China and claims to lift people out of poverty this is the same government that if you disagree they put you in jail this is the same government that if you want to buy a plane ticket or a train ticket you have to check first your social score what's more interesting when you listen to that debate last night it wasn't just bernie who had different ideas another leading candidate on the democrat side is one who has set the record for the most money spent on television and has yet to have a vote for no one who ran for president but i think he thinks he can buy the presidency because when you heard him last night apparently he bought this house he wanted praise because he says 21 of the people who gave nancy pelosi the presidency bought those seats.
It would be interesting to know if any of those 21 have endorsed him to see how far his money went. I don't think Americans want a president to buy. the seat and i don't think america wants anybody to buy a house maybe that's why this house hasn't done so well maybe that's why they spent most of their time doing research is that what bloomberg bought is a question interesting, but that's just those 21 he bought I guess I could answer that question. I wonder how many of those 21 voted for impeachment? I don't know the question of how much he spent.
One hundred and ten million. He bragged. He said that he bought those and worked with Nancy. Pelosi to be the speaker for her with that open to questions, yes sir, she has spoken at length at this press
conference. Other press
conferences on the Sanders record. Well, why do you think this works in that sense, attacking Senator Sanders and the things he pretends to be for and why do you think that would be successful, unlike what happened in 2016, the press never heard President Trump say that I do praise the president for the socialist form of government, but there were some pretty dicey things about his record and that worked well for the republicans in 2016.
I never heard president trump say he wanted america to become a socialist country. I've never heard President Trump praise Fidel Castro or a regime people would risk their lives to escape from. I've never heard President Trump go on a honeymoon to the Soviet Union so I'm not sure it will work out well, but if the Democratic Party thinks thinks he's going to be the frontrunner and I think we can get the American public to make that decision at the end of the day I think President Trump will be re-elected and by a higher margin why? not because of Bernie Sanders, not because of Bernie Sanders' socialist beliefs, but because of President Trump's record of the strongest economy he's had in over 50 years, lifting up all Americans, rebuilding a military, rebuilding the VA, giving giving people the right to try when they have a terminal illness that makes government more efficient and accountable and prepares us even when China brings a coronavirus to try to protect Americans.
I think there are many reasons why President Trump will be re-elected and I think when you sit down to Bloomberg may want to try to buy another term for President Pelosi but I don't think the American public believes in that as well, yes sir, well, a supplement was presented and the way that m Most of the supplemental works we put them together. The Allocations Committee sat down with the NIH CDC to see what we need right now. We want to make sure of a test kit. The resources there to supply and our need for where to go. he's walking all the way talking to the pundits like Steve mentioned we've been in the White House numerous times it wasn't even bipartisan it's bicameral in those meetings this is not a time to play politics the way you saw it if you I would take everything that we said during the ebola crisis when we had a different administration that could work together to keep America safe I think it will be critical for us well that's why the appropriations committee met we want to make sure that that there's enough money we could always go back I think two billion is a little low I think we're probably looking at four billion in this process after talking to the Democratic members of the House about appropriations that That's what they were looking for after talking with Tom Cole.
Tom Cole and Roy Blunt have been the leaders in rebuilding the CDC and NIH. Rapid Response Fund for Infectious Diseases something that other people didn't think of, but as we think about this coming day, are we ready and having fun and amassing an average of over two billion dollars a year and amassing for that? from the democrats signed it into law eliminating future cures when we see the world continue to change we are going to need new cures we are going to need a vaccine we have all the science behind what we need to get that vaccine we have several pharmaceutical companies in china today giving you the best way to address how we speed up this process China's lack of accountability hurts the whole world and I think the United States has been in the lead in this charge and w We want to make sure that we can continue to do that because this is something that wasn't created here , but you can still come here.
Yes, I think the secretary, a tsar, has been acting that way and only the experience of him on others. I want to make sure that everyone is working together right now where we are I think it works well what happens in these situations a lot has to happen at the state level so governors need to be involved at a higher level they need to be involved with us so that the federal government the government has complied with the resources, but many of those actions will be provided in the state. I am from california. I have a great concern.
The amount of homelessness that we have in California worries me very much on many different levels but with the fear of coronavirus comes and you know the Coronas virus started back east but where you travel to California a lot if it was to get into the population homeless, how do you quarantine within a homeless population and with the health care itself, what is Governor Gavin Newsom doing right now? What if this came to a university when you have a campus when you stay in the dorms and others? These are the preparations that I think we need to work on as well, but that's why you have to get the governor involved in the secretary having been in the healthcare industry having worked as the Secretary of Health and Human Services also understands the government , so it's not just about dropping someone, they need to have an understanding of the government and also the medical community as well and chance is really in the right person at the right time this is a serious situation and that's why this administration has taken it that way when the president went out that weekend and stopped all flights coming in he also led the world where others would follow to try to contain it just for china the challenge here is the lack of accountability coming from China our scientists from the beginning h have been communicating but they haven't been as open now we find out it started in november maybe if we had They have said that we could have been on to something much better than doing something much better about it now if they had talked to our scientists and earlier maybe we could have dealt with it even on a different level but it is a movement in the contagious medium that can move at a fast speed, the mortality level is lower or higher than a flu but from a pandemic situation if it once enters you, how do you control it not to grow?
That is the preparation we have been doing now. That is the preparation that this president had done before trying to contain it for China. Unfortunately Iran has been open and how much, how big is it. inside Iran, Italy has been open with its debates. I think this is a moment in time where the world is working together. increase th Funding from forward-thinking NIH and CDC to this day, we've got some tremendous experts there and I really hope the other countries release what's stopping them from allowing our experts to help. I think the world would be safer sooner. yes no he is not yes unfortunately yes i think i say that one more time yes i think i think everyone almost everyone in the world would believe that also from a bleeding breath is a heart that beats is along the breeze and for me in any definition that it would be murder thank you very much
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