April 30, 2024

Chairman Aguilar: We cannot go back to partisan gridlock

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar and Vice Chair Ted Lieu held a press conference to highlight the national security funding that Democrats delivered as well as the need to continue working in a bipartisan way to solve the most pressing needs of the American people.

CHAIRMAN AGUILAR: Good morning. In today's Caucus meeting, we honored the life of our friend and colleague Donald Payne Jr. He was a warm and passionate person, deeply missed by all of us, and many of us will be heading to his homegoing ceremony in Newark, New Jersey later this week.

House Democrats are proud that we finally broke the Republican logjam to deliver critical resources to our allies in Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians in Gaza. The national security supplemental does not make it over the finish line without the steadfast leadership of Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. 

Our Caucus is eager to continue efforts that will strengthen our national security and raise the quality of life for everyday Americans. We need, at this moment, to come together to address issues like the affordability crisis that countless Americans face when it comes to housing and child care. We should also extend the Affordable Connectivity Program and tackle the situation at our southern border in a manner consistent with our values. 

Democrats are ready to reach across the aisle to solve these important challenges ahead, and we cannot go back to partisan gridlock that defined the last seven months. We want to build on the progress that we've made together to ensure that the People's House continues to function.

Vice Chair, Ted Lieu.

VICE CHAIR LIEU: Thank you, Chairman Aguilar. 

My prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of Congressman Donald Payne Jr. He was a wonderful Member of Congress, and may he rest in peace. I also want to say my thoughts are with the eight law enforcement officers who were shot in North Carolina, four of whom have already passed away. I commend these law enforcement officers for their bravery and courage. And my thoughts are with them and their families. 

Like Chairman Aguilar said, we want to talk about the supplemental. The importance of passing the supplemental is that it's the best way to achieve peace in Ukraine. Having served on active duty in the United States military, and then in the reserves, it's very clear to me that the only way to get Putin to the negotiating table is to stop them on the battlefield. He will not negotiate if he believes he can continue advancing in Ukraine. His goal is to take over Ukraine, and he's not going to try to negotiate anything until he is stopped. And what this supplemental package will do, is help the Ukrainian military and give them the resources to stop Putin on the battlefield and then that's how we get to a lasting peace in Ukraine. 

And with that, I yield back.

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