September 19, 2023

Chairman Aguilar: The MAGA Madness in the House Continues

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, Vice Chair Ted Lieu and DCCC Chair Suzan DelBene held a press conference on House Republicans’ leading the country towards a government shutdown to hurt President Biden politically and help re-elect Donald Trump.

CHAIRMAN AGUILAR: Good morning, pleased to be joined by Vice Chair Ted Lieu and DCCC Chair Suzan DelBene. We’re grateful for her leadership and to welcome her back here.

Here we are again. The MAGA madness in the House continues. House Democrats, we want to be clear – we’re opposed to Republican extreme funding plans that were proposed this weekend that may even be opened up this morning, which reads like it was written late night on a cocktail napkin. Not even the Speaker's own caucus is on board with his plan. More reckless cuts and more MAGA MadLibs, and zero chance of becoming law. They are spending an enormous amount of time trying to count to 218 for something that won't become law. House Republicans are leading the country towards a government shutdown because their only priority is to hurt President Biden politically and to help reelect Donald Trump. It is who they are. 

Over the weekend we heard directly from the leader of the Republican Party, who confirmed what House Democrats had been saying all of last week: the MAGA impeachment is being done at the insistence of Donald Trump. It is a revenge tour of his prior impeachments. This is a desperate attempt to hurt President Biden politically. Even other Republicans will admit that there is no evidence. What the country saw from the former President in a rambling and incoherent interview is someone who is morally and mentally unfit to serve. And yet several House so-called moderates last week hitched their wagon to Donald Trump, as they do every week to go along with this baseless impeachment. 

The contrast could not be more clear. House Democrats are fighting for everyday Americans, and House Republicans are fighting for Donald Trump. 

VICE CHAIR LIEU: Thank you. I agree with everything Chairman Aguilar said. In less than two weeks of government will shut down and that's because House Republicans are going back on a deal that both the Senate and the House voted on earlier this year. That deal was negotiated by Speaker McCarthy and President Biden, voted on on a bipartisan basis in both the House and the Senate, and now radical Republicans want to go back on that deal. 

And here’s what's going to happen in a government shutdown. Some of the things that are going to happen include billions of dollars of small business loans not being able to be funded and distributed. Last time there was a government shutdown, workers who are paid by the federal government, such as air traffic controllers, eventually stopped showing up to work because they're not going to get paid, and we're going to have our national parks shuttered. So, these are going to cost the American people. 

The Republicans are going to inflict unnecessary pain and harm, and they can't even explain why they're trying to have a government shutdown. But it's very simple. They just want to go back on a deal that was already voted on and negotiated. 

DCCC CHAIR DELBENE: Thank you, Chair and Vice Chair. Good morning, everyone. It is great to be here with you today. We just finished our Caucus meeting with our Democratic colleagues down the street. And I'll start by saying there was a lot of energy in the room around taking back the majority next year. 

We’re united, unlike Republicans. We’re united around governing, around addressing the issues that families are facing right now. We've accomplished a lot of important work when Democrats were in the majority, and we know that families are still struggling, and there's more to do, and that should be the focus. 

There couldn't be a clearer contrast between Democrats and Republicans than the one our colleagues in the majority are making for us right now. House Democrats’ top priority is rebuilding a strong middle class in an economy that works for everyone. Meanwhile, House Republicans are hell-bent on forcing their extreme right-wing ideology on the American people. And we should all be clear, the cuts and policies they're pushing do nothing to help families who are struggling right now or move our economy forward. And they're willing to force a MAGA shutdown if they don't get their way. No one in the Republican caucus is willing or able to stop this from happening. The truth is the extremists are the ones who are really running the show for House Republicans. And you have 18 members, Republican members, and districts that President Biden won, who fall in line every time and continue to enable the extremism. They call themselves moderate. Sometimes, you call them moderates. But I can tell you there aren't any moderates left in the Republican Party. They're just vulnerable Republicans who give in to the extremists. And we're going to continue to hold them accountable. 

If Republicans shut down the government, we are going to make sure that the American people know why federal efforts to combat drug trafficking aren't funded or why federal firefighters have to work without pay or why homebuyers won't be able to get their mortgages approved. There's a huge list of things that are impacted when the government shuts down and shuts down for no reason. 

The truth is that House Republicans are not serious about improving the lives of hardworking Americans. The Democrats are focused on the kitchen table issues that families are facing every day across the country, from lowering costs to creating good-paying jobs here in the US to make our communities safer. So that's why the contrast is so important, something that we're going to be focused on highlighting from now until next November. 

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