September 30, 2020


WASHINGTON – This week, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA) held a House Democratic Leadership press conference, where they outlined the new Democratic relief effort to aid Americans suffering from the pandemic.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: [...] We just concluded a 90-minute Caucus call where we discussed our continuing efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic and to meet the moment that we are in right now, despite the fact that the president doesn't seem to be interested in acknowledging that we continue to have a real problem in America.

With respect to COVID-19 and the continuing pain and suffering and death that we have experienced, House Democrats remain focused on finding common ground and reaching an agreement that meets the needs of the American people.

It's extraordinary that House Democrats acted on May 15, passed the Heroes Act, and we have seen nothing but crickets day after day, week after week, month after month in terms of a meaningful counter-proposal to deal with the public health crisis and the economic crisis. That said, we remain committed to reaching an agreement and are prepared to address the pandemic in a comprehensive fashion, but do so in a way that results in getting things done for the American people, hopefully by the conclusion of this week. Speaker Pelosi continues to talk to Secretary Mnuchin as part of this effort to arrive at an agreement, and it's my expectation that she will have another discussion with the secretary today and will be prepared to move forward thereafter.

Last night, we witnessed a debacle as it relates to our democracy. Donald Trump continues to take a blow torch to our democracy. Our democracy is on life support. Only we the people, at this point, can turn it around.


VICE CHAIR CLARK: [...] What we saw last night is underscoring what we already knew: the president is going to continue to stand back as the American people suffer, as he stands by white supremacists and those who threaten our very democracy. But here in the Democratic House Caucus, we are renewing our commitment to the American people.

The bill released earlier this week is a $2.2 trillion investment in our nation's health, safety and future. And contrary to what the president would have you believe at his tightly packed, indoor, unsafe rallies — this pandemic is not over. We make up only 4% of the world's population, but 25% of all COVID-19 cases. So we've updated our bill. It is comprehensive, it is science-based and it is a solution to help Americans reopen and recover. We are supporting testing, tracing and treatment, investing directly in our state and local government and in our schools, funding food and housing assistance, providing additional direct payments to Americans, supporting restaurants and small businesses, protecting our frontline workers and making a critical $57 billion investment in childcare. Because we know that without childcare, there is no rebuilding our economy. This is an unprecedented investment to match the historic challenge.

If we do not provide solutions, this tragedy will continue along the path that it has. And what has changed since the original Heroes Act is that the devastating number of preventable deaths will only continue to grow. What else has changed? We are now aware to the extent that this administration has hid, lied and deceived American families about this pandemic in order to maintain its power. We see the deceit of this administration and we are going to answer it by providing the American people with real relief that they need.


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