January 31, 2023

Chairman Aguilar: McCarthy needs to say exactly what his values are and release his budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar and Vice Chair Ted Lieu held a leadership press conference commemorating the 83rd anniversary of the first Social Security check being issued amid House Republican calls for cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

CHAIRMAN PETE AGUILAR: Good morning, everyone. Joined with Vice Chair Ted Lieu today and wanted to start by mentioning today is the 83rd anniversary of the first Social Security check being issued. On January 31st, 1940, Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, was issued a $22.54 check.  

For eight decades America has kept its promise to seniors who earn every dollar that they receive. And other than 2006, when George W. Bush threatened to privatize Social Security, Democrats have stood to protect Social Security each and every time, ensuring that this vital program is available to older Americans. 

 Seven in ten Americans share this concern and are looking to House Democrats to protect Social Security and to uphold its promise. House Democrats have already reduced the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. 

And now, Speaker McCarthy needs to say exactly what his values are and release his budget. As Leader Jeffries mentioned last week, we are ‘team normal.’ They are ‘team extreme,’ that seeks to threaten and cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and we want to uphold these important programs for the next 83 years. 


VICE CHAIR TED LIEU: Thank you, Chairman Aguilar, and I want to follow up on what the Chairman said about Social Security. We do ask Republicans to show us their plan. The reason that they're unwilling to is because it's going to show massive cuts to Social Security. At the same time, we also know that Republican ideas are extreme and dangerous. How do we know that? They said it out loud. 

So, I'm going to read to you what the House Budget Chair, Representative Arrington, said yesterday in response to a question on CNBC that said the following, "the question I'd like to ask you is whether you think this debt ceiling is going to be used as a bargaining chip in a way that could turn dangerous." Representative Arrington's response was, "I believe it will, and I believe it has to." 

So, Republicans are playing a very dangerous game where they want to crash the U.S. economy in order to extract massive cuts to Social Security. We're not gonna let them do that. We ask them to please stop playing games and to work with us, so we do not crash the U.S. economy. 

With that, we look forward to answering any questions you might have.

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