CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: “DEMOCRATS ARE GETTING BIG THINGS DONE. EXTREME MAGA REPUBLICANS ARE TOTALLY OUT OF CONTROL.”
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) held a leadership press conference where they highlighted House Democrats’ continued fight for lower costs, better paying jobs and safer communities. They were joined by Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA).
CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: Morning. Great to see everyone. Great to be here with two tremendous leaders within the House Democratic Caucus, our Assistant Speaker, Katherine Clark and our great Vice Chair, Pete Aguilar. We had a wonderful Caucus meeting earlier today. We are so thankful for the presence of two new Members, Pat Ryan and Mary Peltola, who are going to represent their districts incredibly well. Fight for Alaska, fight for the people of the Hudson Valley and continue to work with us to get things done for the American people.
There's a big difference at this moment in time between Democrats and extreme MAGA Republicans. Democrats are getting big things done. Extreme MAGA Republicans are totally out of control. We continue to deliver for the American people. We got the American Rescue Plan done, saved the economy, prevented us from falling into a recession, if not worse. Put shots in arms, money in pockets, kids back in school, passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, creating millions of good paying jobs. Fix our crumbling bridges, roads, tunnels, airports, our sewage and water systems, mass transportation systems, ensure clean water in every community and high-speed internet access.
And of course, we passed gun safety legislation for the first time in 30 years that will save lives. Stood up for our veterans who served and sacrificed for this country with the passage of The PACT Act. Then we passed legislation, the CHIPS and Science Act, to bring domestic manufacturing jobs back home to middle America and throughout this country for the first time in decades, as opposed to jobs going in the other direction. And of course, finished it off with passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the most dramatic effort to confront the climate crisis in the history of the world to put our planet on a sustainable trajectory, lower energy costs, strengthen the Affordable Care Act, lower health care costs and drive down the high price of lifesaving prescription drugs for millions of Americans.
Democrats deliver For The People. Extreme MAGA Republicans are trying to take away your freedom. Freedom to make your own reproductive health care decisions. Take away Social Security and Medicare. They want to end it in five years. And apparently, many of them want to take away our democracy – they don't believe in it anymore. Democrats put People Over Politics. Lower costs, better paying jobs, safer communities. Extreme MAGA Republicans are totally out of control. That's the contrast.
VICE CHAIR AGUILAR: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and as the Chairman mentioned, we were pleased to welcome two new Members, Mary Peltola and Pat Ryan to the Democratic Caucus. They received committee assignments as well in Caucus, I look forward to their contributions. I joined my colleagues at the White House yesterday to celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act. As the Chairman said, the largest investment in climate that we have ever made.
I was privileged, as a lot of my colleagues were this last August, to welcome members of the President's cabinet to my district, and I get to share with them firsthand the impacts of the legislation, the importance of the investments and the part of Southern California where I represent, where you also have significant supply chain issues. We talked about the goods movement, we talked about the need for infrastructure, but we also talked about climate. For the first time in nearly 25 years, the tip of a hurricane got closer to Southern California than it's ever been. Those real time investments that we are going to need and that we require are significant, and to be able to play a role with this Caucus in putting that piece of legislation on the President's desk to deliver, is something that we're all proud of.
Faced with opposition among the special interests that blocked it for decades, we are a party that believes in science, and we're a party that believes in making those investments for the benefit of the next generation. Lowering costs, reducing health care expenses, that's what the Democratic Caucus stands for. Ensuring that seniors have capped out-of-pocket costs, that insulin is no more than $35 for individuals on Medicare and hopefully for every American in the future. That's where we're standing, that's what we stand for. That's what we fight for each and every day.
Also joining my colleagues as we kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, mindful that especially when we talk about climate, communities of color are often disproportionately impacted, making sure, as the Biden administration knows to ensure that we deliver benefits to those communities, investments in those communities is something that we are all behind and continue to see as a priority. House Democrats are stepping up to solve these issues while extreme MAGA Republicans, as the Chairman said, continue to throw out conspiracy theories and seek to block all of these pieces of legislation.
ASSISTANT SPEAKER CLARK: Thank you so much and good morning. I am thrilled to be here. I thank the Chairman and Vice Chair for inviting me back. And I want to echo their welcome to our new members, Congresswoman Mary Peltola and Congressman Pat Ryan. Mary is now the senior in the Alaska delegation and we're very, very proud. And they are representative of how we are feeling. Democrats are stronger and more united in our fight for freedom. That's reproductive freedom, freedom to vote, freedom to marry who you love and freedom to live without debt and with dignity.
Meanwhile, MAGA Republicans have doubled down on their scorched-earth campaign against women and families. They said they'd do it and this week they followed through. Lindsey Graham introduced a nationwide abortion ban. The American people do not want politicians in their bedrooms and their doctors’ offices. They do not want Lindsey Graham to make health care decisions for them. They want to make their own decisions. They want Washington to focus on lowering costs and creating great jobs and defending their rights, not taking them away. Democrats are listening to the American people and fulfilling our promise to protect democracy and deliver for every single American, no matter their zip code or income.
In August, I heard from a constituent named Barry. His wife has cancer and their prescriptions were costing them $3,000 a month out-of-pocket. $3,000 a month. The IRA that we celebrated at the White House just yesterday will mean those costs are capped at $2,000 a year. I heard from a single mother in my district who was facing eviction. But thanks to President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan, her debt will be canceled. She will be able to keep her apartment, make rent and perhaps visit her family at the holidays for the first time in years. I also spoke to a father whose lifeline during the pandemic was the Child Tax Credit. He's a single dad. It allowed him to buy diapers and the necessities that his young daughter needed.
And I have heard from countless women across my district and across this country who want to live in an America where their children have as many rights and options as they grew up with. And they are terrified that they are losing that. They are also fighting back. These stories are what motivate us. They are the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and of the work we do. From abortion rights, to prescription drug costs, to the dramatic reduction in gas prices, to green jobs, new roads and bridges and delivering results that make a real difference in American lives. This is, and always will be, our agenda. People Over Politics.
Video of the full press conference and Q&A can be viewed here.