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tv   Rep. Elijah Cummings on Party Caucus Meeting  CSPAN  November 14, 2018 5:55pm-6:08pm EST

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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit >> house democrats also met earlier today on capitol hill to discuss their legislative agenda as the majority party. maryland democrat cummings and announced his support for nancy pelosi as speaker of the house. this is 10 minutes.
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mr. cummings: i have been abundantly clear, i support nancy pelosi a million percent. we need somebody who has been battle tested as she has been. i think -- when you think about the victories on the part of the democratic party, a lot of us ran with the number one issue being health care and the affordable care act. ladies and gentlemen, there would be no affordable care act if it were not for nancy pelosi. she knows her caucus. i think we need that kind of leadership right now. we do not need to be divided. that's one of the things that would hurt us. so hopefully the caucus will agree with me. lthough we may not have been elected by all the american people, we have to govern as if we were. we cannot just appeal to a limited number of people who like us.
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we have to go out there and be razor focused on those issues like health care. making sure people get jobs and infrastructure. and we need to be in a position to say to the president, president trump, you said when you were campaigning that you did not like the way our infrastructure was. you talked about other countries having better airports and highways. you said you were going to do omething about it. two years left in your term. so we stand ready and willing to work with you in keeping your commitment to the american eople. so i think that leader pelosi as a person -- is a person who can help us accomplish that.
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we can do more than one thing at a time. i was the first who said when hillary clinton was running against president trump. i said we're in the fight for the soul of our democracy. and never did i realize that those words would ring so true. so we have to do two things in my committee. this is how i see it. on the one hand we have to make sure that we address the things that the american people want us to a address. the things that affect them on a day-to-day basis. on the other hand. we have also have to make sure that we root out waste, fraud, and abuse, and we have to look
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at things that may keep our government from effectively and efficiently doing what government is supposed to do for people. we're going to look at the emoluments clause. we have no choice. we have to look at things like the f.b.i. building. we have to look at some of the things that have been done during this administration. let me make it abundantly clear. i said it and i'll say it again. as a lawyer of many years, as a trial lawyer who have represented people who received subpoenas, i know the power of a subpoena. when a person gets a subpoena, they are like shaking in their boots. usually they run to their lawyer. they have to hire a lawyer. do all those things. why am i saying this? because if it comes to a point where we have to issue subpoenas, there will be standards. first of all we'll try in every
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way we can to get the documents we need to do our oversight. then if they fail to give us the -- by the way, when we have asked for documents in the past from this administration, they have basically sent us nothing. and we have gotten no help from the republicans in trying to get those documents. i want us to make sure that if we issued subpoenas last resort, it's done very transparently and with integrity. and i take it as a very, very serious thing to do. i'm not going to be passing out subpoenas like i said many times. passing out halloween candy on halloween. no. no. it's serious. this affects people's lives. and i'm hoping that the
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republicans would join in with us. even in trump country, even in trump country, if you look at the results of this election, they are saying, while we like trump, we like him. like what he's doing. we want the congress to make him accountable. we want you to make him accountable. that's what they have said to us. they want government to work for them. so we got to do both. we have to address the issues on a day-to-day basis, what they go through every day. and there's another thing that's happening. i want us to return to a culture of normalcy. we have gotten so far afield of the way things are supposed to work in this country, and i think our caucus and i know steny hoyer has talked about this, and nancy pelosi has talked about it, trying to get
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back to normal. having normal hearings where not only members of congress have an opportunity to participate, but are very, very -- the public has an opportunity to participate, too. finally, one of the things that has come up is that we want to do more field hearings. i know my committee will be doing more field hearings going into the districts and the various places in the country so we can hear from americans and hear what their problems are and the things they want us to deal with. so we bring government to our oorstep. again the president has said things like we made it clear and he said that he wanted to -- the only meeting i had with the president was when he told me the drug companies are getting away with murder with regard to jacking up the prices of drugs overnight.
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he said he was going to do something with it. i said, mr. president, i take you at your word. we have two more years. let's do it. we don't have time to mess around with this because people are suffering and dying needlessly. i could go on and on. you get the drift. >> congressman, on the subject of helping the influx of new young talent actually get the leadership experience they need so that there is someone able to take over after two years of transition, how does the caucus actually give these new folks the kind of leadership experience that they need? is two years long enough to train up a new generation of people when the top three positions are locked up? mr. cummings: one of the things you left out of the question which is a very important part of it, and it's a very good question, but there are a lot of
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people who didn't just come in. who are in -- sort of like the area i'm in where you are in the middle. you follow what i'm saying? there are a lot of people that have been here for years that have not gotten leadership opportunities. i have told people that i think we always -- i think we need a mixture of the old and new. i think the younger generation, millennials bring in certain things that they are concerned about. they see the world maybe a little differently. i don't know how long is long enough. one thing i do know is that i think we need to concentrate largely on mentorships. the way i know a lot of people -- i was sitting there in the meeting i was thinking that -- i'm going to say this to our reshmen. understand that you begin to run for re-election today. two years will be gone before you know it. so they have got to -- number
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one, they have to get re-elected because they have to keep in mind that they are coming from districts that a lot -- that are a lot of republican districts. if we don't do our job, that is addressing the issues that the american people sent us to do, they won't be there. number two, again, mentorships. i think we have to work on how do we hold people's hands and help them learn this new system? this is a little different than the state legislature. i served in the legislature for 14 years. it's different. greatly different. they have to do that. i don't know how long it's going to take. but i think leader pelosi by having this communication scheme that -- team that they have done a great job. i'm beginning to see more and more the intertwining between the older folk and younger olk. how long that takes i don't know. i know we're laser focused on
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making sure that these great people that we -- probably one of the best classes i have seen when i read about them, this is a phenomenal plan. they are ready for action and do i not for one moment get them to be discouraged. thank you-all. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> the mid-term election of 2018 changed the balance of pow for the congress with democrats taking control of the house and republicans holding the majority in the senate. members now prepare for the new congress in january. new congress, new leaders, watch he process unfold on c-span.
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senate pruns met earlier to discuss leadership in the new congress. republicans keep the senate, mcconnell stays leader, thune of south dakota becomes whip, barrasso of wyoming is of rence chair, blunt missouri is policy children, anderness of iowa is conference vice chair. met. mocrats also chuck schumer of new york stays as leader, durbin of illinois takes over at whip, murray of washington is the assistant leader, and stabenow of michigan is the policy chair. onight, the annual
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