May 17, 2022


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 that from confronting domestic terrorism to addressing the baby formula shortage, House Democrats are doing the work and delivering For The People while House Republicans are promoting white supremacist conspiracy theories. They were joined by Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY). 

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: Vice Chair Aguilar and myself are I joined today by two extraordinary leaders within the Caucus, our Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark and our DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney. We're thankful for their work and for their leadership during such an extraordinary time for the Congress and, most importantly, for the country.
House Democrats are continuing to work to make life better for everyday Americans. House Republicans are fanning the flames of hatred and embracing a racist conspiracy theory put forth by white supremacists on so-called replacement. And we're still waiting for a single House Republican leader to denounce replacement theory, the theory that led to the massacre in Buffalo, New York. And hopefully, we'll see some decency from them.
Today and throughout the week, House Democrats are continuing to address some of the challenges that the American people confront and we'll be moving legislation this week to address the shortage in baby formula that exists in large measure because of some supply chain challenges that need to be confronted and we will do so this week decisively. We also are continuing to address the inflationary pressures that the American people are experiencing, again, connected to the initial shutdown of the economy, supply chain challenges that we are experiencing and the need for us to respond decisively, which we will do this week. Republicans continue to complain about challenges, House Democrats work to address those challenges decisively to make life better for everyday Americans. We will continue to do so.
We also, of course, have to act decisively to address the poison of white supremacy and domestic terrorism in America. It's a poison, it's a cancer, it's destroying our society. It shouldn't be a partisan issue. It's not a Democratic issue or Republican issue, dealing with the crisis of violent white supremacy. It is an American issue. And I'm hopeful that Elise Stefanik and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will see the error of their ways today and change course immediately because, if they don't, blood will continue to be shed.
VICE CHAIR AGUILAR: House Democrats met this morning and I was pleased to join the three colleagues behind me. We're unified in our grief this week as we mourn the lives lost and the lives lost in Buffalo, New York. We now know that the shooter was motivated by the disgusting and debunked conspiracy theory known as "the great replacement." The Republican Conference Chair is running ads pushing this theory. One of them read, "Their plan is to grant amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants to overthrow our current electorate and create a permanent liberal majority in Washington." Not only is this kind of rhetoric false, but it's beneath the dignity of our offices and it will result in getting people killed.
But this broken ideology is animating today's Republican Party. What once would have been disqualifying is now a mainstream point of view. In fact, it's a prerequisite, in many ways, to hold Republican leadership. After a pandemic that laid bare the stark inequities of this country and after four years of a president embodying our worst instincts and degrading our institutions, our country, in many ways, is a tinderbox and House Republicans are holding the match. House Democrats, as I said, are united in our grief and we're resolute in our commitment to make this country stronger and more inclusive, where we all have a chance to succeed in the American dream, a nation where we respect the rule of law, where we recognize that diversity is our strength and where truth matters.
ASSISTANT SPEAKER CLARK: I thought a lot about what I was going to say to you about where we are as a Caucus, as a country, and there are so many competing feelings: rage, despair, terror. As we watched the horrifying events play out in Buffalo this weekend, just one of the mass shootings that we've had in the last few days, but this one distinguished because it was hate driven. It was driven by a young man who was radicalized online by replacement theory. The idea that white Americans are being replaced. It is anti-Semitic, it is racist, and it is very destructive. And it is a pillar of the current GOP. They won't call it out. They won't apologize. They won't back off. Their agenda right now is fueled by these very forces of white supremacy, of white nationalism, and they are not changing course. I agree with the Chairman. I hope that they will. But the agenda they're putting forward is very clear. 
And let's look at the other crisis that we are having in this country that is so interrelated. At this time, where American families are struggling with high costs, are struggling to see their place in our economy, the answer from the GOP is a ban on abortions. Not only overturning Roe, but looking and encouraging states, and if they were to win the majority, a federal ban on all abortions. [...]
So, while Democrats will continue to pursue economic equality for everyone in this country, what we are seeing from the GOP is that, just as the Vice Chair put it, it has become a prerequisite that you follow the tenets of white supremacy.
REP. MALONEY: Well, I really want to thank the Assistant Speaker for those really powerful words. It's hard to improve on that or my other colleagues. I agree with everything they've said. Let me just therefore summarize it for you. What you're seeing is a real choice forming. The priority of Republicans is to ban abortion in all 50 states. Democrats are going to protect Roe v Wade. The priority of Republicans is to exploit racial tension, to use replacement theory, to win power. The priority of Republicans is to slow down aid to Ukrainians fighting the Russians. So many Republicans in the House and in the Senate have been standing in the way while Democrats will stand firmly with the Ukrainians. These are their priorities because the Republican priority is to win power and the Democratic priority is to give you a better country. And that's the difference.
Video of the full press conference and Q&A can be viewed here.