October 25, 2023

Chairman Aguilar: House Republicans have put their names behind an election-denying MAGA extremist

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar delivered remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives nominating Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker. Below is a full transcript of his remarks.

CHAIRMAN AGUILAR: Thank you Mr. Speaker Pro Tempore. I noticed a little bit more of a smile on your face today than we have in the past.


Mr. Speaker, I rise today at the direction of the Democratic Caucus to place into nomination for the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honorable Hakeem Jeffries from New York.


Mr. Speaker, you may agree with this, but we are back here 22 days into this Republican-manufactured chaos, and House Republicans have brought us to the exact same position that we were back them. All of the infighting, all of the disarray – just to end up where we were three weeks ago.

These past few weeks, we have been left wondering if Republicans were truly intent on solving our issues, reopening the House of Representatives and rallying around someone to lead this Chamber? Or, has this been about something else? Has this been about a focus of House Republicans to find the person who can pass their extreme litmus test to oppose marriage equality, enact a nationwide abortion ban without exceptions, gut Social Security and Medicare and support overturning a free and fair election?

It's a fair question. It's a fair question.


Nowhere in that candidate questionnaire is it about growing the middle class, helping our communities, keeping the cost of health care lower and making life for everyday Americans better. The gentlewoman from New York said it right. This has been about one thing: this has been about who can appease Donald Trump.


House Republicans have put their names behind someone who has been called the ‘Most important architect of the electoral college objections.’

[House Republican yells, ‘Damn right.’] 

That's fair. That's fair. We know how you feel. Yeah, you’ve made that clear.

He spearheaded the legal effort, joined by more than 100 of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, in support of a dangerous and baseless lawsuit to overturn the results of the 2020 election. On the eve of January 6, some of my Republican colleagues even called this a failed strategy. Yet, those same individuals plan to stand right next to him today.

Mr. Speaker Pro [Tempore], House Democrats believe that when Members of this body voted to reject the results of the 2020 election, they forfeited their ability to lead this Chamber.


On this side of the aisle, we know what leadership looks like. Hakeem Jeffries has never turned his back on the will of the American people. The son of two social workers, he has always stood by the side of working families. The most pressing needs of everyday Americans are his North Star.

He believes that everyone in America should have the opportunity to get ahead and achieve their version of the American dream. 

He believes that access to affordable health care is a right, not a privilege.

He believes that reproductive freedom must be guaranteed, not stripped away.


He believes that working families, not the wealthy and the well-connected, should be rewarded. 

He believes in growing the middle class so that everyone can succeed. 

He believes that our schools and our communities should be safe and free from gun violence. 

He believes in investing in public schools, not depriving students of fact-based education by banning books.


He believes in taking care of our seniors and our veterans, not slashing their benefits. 

He believes in living up to the promise that America is a beacon of hope and a land of opportunity. 

He believes in defending democracy against all enemies and adversaries, foreign and domestic.


He believes in standing by our allies, Israel and Ukraine.


And he believes in keeping our government running and open.


Let me be clear, let me be clear, this is not just a belief system. Leader Jeffries has the track record to back it up. He is certainly a far contrast from who Republicans have nominated, with or without their votes, to nominate today. 

But if House Republicans choose, they can still join us on a bipartisan path forward. Let's come together to fund our government, support our allies abroad and deliver for working families.

End the chaos, end the dysfunction, end the extremism. Let's open up the People's House. I yield back Mr. Speaker.