December 08, 2021


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 efforts to create jobs and lower costs for everyday Americans, in contrast with the out-of-control House Republican Conference’s commitment to chaos, confusion and conspiracy theories.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: We had another important Caucus discussion earlier today where we were briefed by Representative Adam Schiff on legislation that we expect to vote on in the next day or two that relates to the effort to defend our democracy. And of course, we continue to try to work to deliver real results for the American people, solve the challenges that are in front of us as we continue to do.

Making sure that we avoid a default on our debt, protect the full faith and credit of the United States of America, show that we've got a robust defense infrastructure in place to protect the safety and well-being of the American people and continue to support President Biden's efforts to crush the virus to make sure that we're providing real relief to the American people who have been struggling through this pandemic and also to deliver millions of good-paying jobs to everyday Americans, cut taxes as we did with the Child Tax Credit and we'll continue to do through the Build Back Better Act and, perhaps most importantly at this moment, to lower costs for everyday Americans.

The Build Back Better Act will lower child care costs, it will lower health care costs, it will lower the cost of housing, it will lower higher education costs and it's going to lower the high cost of lifesaving prescription drugs including, but not limited to, insulin. Democrats deliver For The People, making life better for working families, middle-class folks, senior citizens, low-income families, young people, veterans, the poor, the sick, the afflicted, the least, the lost and the left behind. Democrats deliver for everyday Americans.

And it would be a nice thing if we actually had partners in government willing to work with us on the challenges facing the American people. But we do not. It's not hyperbole, not rhetoric, it's not spin, it's what the other side is telling us. They are telling us who they are. Marjorie Taylor Greene, very clear for all of the world to hear. She said, “We all need to hear this,” so we're helping her out. “We conservatives in the House GOP aren't the fringe.” We're not the fringe. Well, that's interesting. “We actually represent the base of Republican voters approximately 70%. And when the party,” — presumably Kevin McCarthy and company — “learn to represent conservative America and we will never lose again.” They are the base.

Now, if we thought that Marjorie Taylor Greene was an outlier, this week we heard from Matt Gaetz. Very clear what the American people can expect if things go the way that Matt Gaetz apparently believes they're going to go. He says, “We are going to take power after the next election and when we do, it's not going to be the days of Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy,” two people that I can agree to disagree with on a variety of issues but have a lot of respect for in the contest of ideas. And certainly, my friend Trey Gowdy is no shrinking violet. I served with him on the Judiciary Committee, a worthy opponent, the two of them. And he says, “It's going to be the days of Jim Jordan, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Dr. Gosar and myself.” What a group. What a group. The base of the Republican Party. Conspiracy theorists, QAnon supporters and wannabe authoritarian sympathizers intent on destroying our democracy in their words, not ours.

And so we're going to continue to keep the focus on delivering for the American people. But this is frightening stuff. With an omicron variant that we're trying to crush, inflationary issues that we're trying to deal with connected to the pandemic and supply chain dynamics and of course, the defense of our democracy, and this is what we're hearing from the leaders of the House Republican Conference.


VICE CHAIR AGUILAR: I know this is shocking stuff and to see what our colleagues here are saying is deeply troubling. But as the Chairman mentioned, we're focused on the agenda at hand. Last week, we passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through February. This week we passed the National Defense Authorization Act to protect the men and women in uniform, to make sure that they have the resources to continue to do the job. We passed legislation to protect Medicare and worked with the Senate to come up with a deal to prevent what would be a catastrophic debt default.

For four years, the former president's reckless policies added nearly $8 trillion to the national debt, with nothing to show for it. The U.S. has never defaulted on our debt, and we won't start now.

As always, House Democrats are focused on working For The People, while our colleagues on the other side threaten violence and spew racist rhetoric at our Members. And as we've said before, these halls don't always feel safe for Members. As this year comes to an end, it's important to reflect that the GOP Leader needs to step up and hold his Members accountable and ensure that we can all do the work that we need to do. While agreeing to disagree occasionally, it's important that we have the space to make those decisions and that Members feel comfortable doing the job that we need to do.


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