March 06, 2019


House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) was joined by Representatives Jason Crow (D-CO) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) at House Democratic leadership’s weekly press conference. Following are highlights from their remarks. 

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: “This week, House Democrats will continue to focus on executing our For The People agenda. Over the last two years, we made promises to the American people about what we were going to focus on and we were very clear that each and every day we were going to fight For The People.

“Not for the wealthy, the well-off and the well-connected – that’s what the other side does well. Exhibit A: the GOP tax scam. Our effort, our energy, our focus was going to be to deliver for working families, middle class folks, senior citizens, the poor, the sick, the afflicted, veterans and people all across America. Urban America, suburban America, rural America, exurban America – we’re going to fight For The People.

“And we laid out a clear agenda. Fight to lower health care costs, fight to increase pay through a real infrastructure plan, fight to clean up corruption in order to bring our Democracy to life.

“And why are we focused on H.R. 1? Because there’s a clear connection between a corrupt system in Washington, D.C., where the fix is in for special interests against the public interest. And that’s why it’s important for us to address this corrupt system if we are going to help the middle class and all of those who aspire to be part of it…”

REPRESENTATIVE CROW: “Thank you, Chairman Jeffries. Like my colleague, Abigail Spanberger, this is my first time in elected office but not my first time in service to our country and community. Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a lot of conversations with folks in Colorado and in my district and very early on, something very profound happened…

“I would knock on somebody’s door and introduce myself and the response started to be the same over and over again. People would say ‘you know, you seem like a nice guy, and I like what you have to say, but I don’t think it’s going to matter. Republicans, Democrats, it doesn’t really matter anymore…’

“That’s what people started to tell me. That the system is rigged, that even if you seem like a nice person and you go into it for the right reasons, eventually you get changed. You get pulled into the system. And I thought about that, and it had a big impact on me… because I was unwilling to accept the country that I love so deeply going in that direction and for that corruption to seep into the trust of the people in my community.

“That’s why I was very proud, along with Abigail and many other members of the freshman class, to co-lead a letter last October calling for H.R. 1 to be this comprehensive campaign finance reform bill that we see before us this week…”

REPRESENTATIVE SPANBERGER: “… Congress cannot meaningfully address the nation’s significant challenges without first recognizing and acknowledging the undue influence of special interests in our politics, working to root out corruption at all levels and working to restore the commitment and the belief that the American people have in those whom they elected to serve.

“This week, Congress is focused on ensuring that we are serving the public interest. And while scholars and pundits may debate the precise meaning of the term ‘public interest,’ I can tell you what public interest is not. It is not voting to give pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars in tax breaks while thousands of central Virginians struggle to pay for their overpriced prescription drugs. The public interest is not politicians choosing between which big donor receptions to attend while their neighbors back home are choosing between food and shelter and medicine…

“And the public interest is certainly not trying to rip away health care coverage for millions of Americans, including thousands of central Virginians with pre-existing conditions…

“In November, the people of central Virginia gave me a clear mandate: clean up corruption in Washington, and I’m proud to support H.R. 1 because it delivers on that promise…”