March 12, 2019


House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA) held the House Democratic leadership’s weekly press conference. Following are highlights from their remarks. 

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: “This week is really a week in contrast, where we’re going to be able to lay out for the American people what we’re about and what House Republicans are all about. 

“We want to bring the country together. The other side continues to try to tear us apart. We want to move the country forward. There are folks on the other side who want to turn back the clock. We’re fighting For The People. They’re fighting for the privileged few. We wake up each and every day. We fight for working families, middle-class folks and senior citizens. As their budget shows, they fight for the wealthy, the well-off and the well-connected. We believe in the public interest. They’re all about the special interest. This week, House Democrats will introduce the Dream Act supported by a considerable number of Americans on both sides of the ideological divide to make sure that we give these young people the opportunity to continue to make America the best that it can be. We will also introduce the Equality Act to make sure that no American regardless of sexual orientation is discriminated against. That’s a value that is consistent with the United States Constitution. We believe in liberty and justice for all. We believe in equal protection under the law. We passed H.R.1 because we believe in government of the people, by the people and For The People. The House Democratic majority continues to fight for everyday Americans. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. 

This week, President Donald Trump and the Republicans have shown us once more what they are all about. They introduced his budget that would cut approximately $2 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid. It would cut over $200 billion from programs designed to make sure that young people can pursue their dreams of a college education. The president’s budget cuts funding for the Department of Transportation, despite the fact that our bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, mass transportation system are crumbling and falling apart. The president’s budget cuts billions of dollars from the Department of Housing and Urban Development despite the fact that middle-class Americans and folks who aspire to be part of the middle class all across the country are struggling to find affordable housing, to pursue their dream of home ownership, which is quintessential to what being an American is all about.

“So over the last few weeks, we’ve shown the American people what we stand for, and this week, the Republicans once again have shown the American people what they stand for. A budget that extends the GOP tax scam where 83 percent of the benefits went to the wealthiest one percent, simply to subsidize the lifestyles of the rich and shameless. That’s what they’re all about. And we will continue to move our For The People agenda on behalf of everyday Americans, consistent with what we promised the American people we would do in the House majority.

“Let me now yield to our distinguished Vice Chair from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Katherine Clark.”

VICE CHAIR KATHERINE CLARK: “Thank you Hakeem and good morning everyone. We have a budget that came out this week from the Trump Administration. And budgets are far more than line items funded at different levels. They are a set of values. And they are a blueprint for the American Dream. And this administration has shown us once again where those values lie. It is with billionaires over working-families. It is with corporations over children. And despite this president’s assurances to the American people that he would not cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, he has proposed over $2 trillion in cuts to those very programs. And then he looks at our children, proposes cuts to Head Start, to the SNAP program that feeds hungry children and families. He proposes dramatic cuts to TANF that is support to our lowest income families. He has said that he is going to cut student aid and help our students make their way forward and build prosperity. 

“All of the values are here for us to see[…] It is showing that this administration is disconnected from what American families face. What they talk about. The economic realities when they sit around their kitchen tables.”