January 04, 2023

Chairman Aguilar: House Democrats are Unified

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar and Vice Chair Ted Lieu held a leadership press conference where they highlighted the unity within the Democratic Caucus and the chaos, confusion and crisis on the other side of the aisle. They reiterated the Caucus' commitment to work with reasonable Republicans to lower costs for everyday Americans, create better paying jobs and build safer communities. 

CHAIRMAN AGUILAR: Good morning, everyone. I’m joined here with Caucus Vice Chair Ted Lieu. Both of us look forward to hosting these moving forward. We had a productive Caucus meeting today in a new room, but the same energy and excitement amongst our colleagues – welcoming the new Members, of course, to Congress.

Democrats are unified. House Democrats are unified. You saw that yesterday. We’re unified behind lowering costs, creating good-paying jobs, and building safer communities. The contrast between House Democrats and the chaos and confusion taking place on the other side of the aisle cannot be more clear. For the first time in 100 years, there was not an agreement for Speaker of the House on the first ballot. Multiple ballots and almost 24 hours later, there is still no clear sign of a Speaker. Let’s hope that this isn’t a rerun of 1855-56 when it took 133 ballots.

What we saw was the true character of the modern-day Republican party: obsessed with power and their own personal advancement at the expense of working families and the needs of everyday Americans. That makes it harder for us to find common ground, but that’s what we seek to accomplish. We want to work with reasonable Republicans and continue our record of bipartisan legislative achievements in this Congress, but we need willing partners in order to do that work. And right now, those willing partners are in short supply.

I now have the privilege of introducing for the first time in this role, Caucus Vice Chair, my colleague and friend from California, and classmate from the class of 2014, Representative Ted Lieu.[…]

VICE CHAIR LIEU: Thank you, Chairman Aguilar. And I first want to say that the Chairman gave a terrific nominating speech for Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker. I know that Chairman Aguilar had to give that speech three times and we only nominated one person because Democrats are unified.

And if you saw what Democrats did when we were in control of the House: we passed the American Rescue Plan to get our economy back on track, we passed the Infrastructure Law to rebuild America, and we passed the Inflation Reduction Act to reduce our deficit and tackle climate change. And in contrast when Republicans are in control, you get chaos, confusion, and crisis.

Now yesterday, many Americans saw this confusion and crisis, and look for one day I think it was unfortunate. We can deal with that. But now, it gets serious because we effectively don’t have a House of Representatives. This can’t keep on going. You can’t have one branch of Federal government simply not function. So, I hope that Republicans are able to nominate and unify behind one person – whoever that may be because we need Republicans to govern if they can. If they cannot, then they should let Democrats govern.

Video of the full press conference and Q&A can be viewed here.