March 29, 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 House Democrats’ work to create jobs, address supply chain issues, lower health care costs and continue to Build a Better America For The People.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: Good morning everyone. Let me begin by just acknowledging the sad passing of the Dean of the House of Representatives, Don Young. He loved Alaska, he loved the country, he loved the institution of the House of Representatives. We certainly mourn his passing and he will appropriately have the respectful sendoff from the institution, the House that he loved, the People's House today — as well as the experiencing a send-off — a home-going — throughout the rest of the week. We extend our condolences from the House Democratic Caucus to the Young family, to his constituents and to all those who knew and loved an extraordinary, unique American character and someone who served his constituents with passion and with vigorousness.

We had a very active discussion in the House Democratic Caucus today. It's good to be back together with each other. We were briefed on some of the legislative bills that will be on the floor this week, including the MORE Act, which will be brought by Chairman Jerry Nadler. Americans across the political spectrum, particularly younger Americans, recognize that now is the time for cannabis reform. It would be good for the economy, good for economic activity, good for public safety, good for social, racial and economic justice. Hopefully, we'll continue to see some Republican support for cannabis reform, perhaps in the form of voting "yes" for the MORE Act, and then we'll see what happens in the United States Senate.

We also hope, and we'll get some further clarity from the Speaker, of course, and the Majority Leader, but we hope that at some point the Senate will send us legislation, giving us the ability to set in motion a conference on the America COMPETES Act. We clearly need to address the supply chain issues that are confronting the American people — in the context of this pandemic that we are still working through — and to make sure that America can continue to lead the global economy as we move forward throughout the balance, not just of this decade, but of this century, and we want to bring manufacturing jobs back home, we want to make chips here at home, and the House has a plan to do that. We look forward to working out the details with the United States Senate.

Lastly, Representative Angie Craig — as part of our agenda to continue to lower costs for everyday Americans — is going to bring forward the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which will make sure that no American pays more than $35 a month for life-sustaining and life-saving insulin. We know that more than 100 million Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic. Many rely on insulin, but far too many Americans cannot afford it, paying thousands of dollars a year for a drug that has been around for approximately a century. That makes no sense. We're going to do something about it this week, and hopefully our Republican colleagues will join us. We're committed to continuing to make life better for everyday Americans, to get stuff done for everyday Americans, to help everyday Americans. Hopefully our Republican colleagues will join us.


VICE CHAIR AGUILAR: We're excited about the agenda that the Chairman outlined, especially about that life-saving bill. But last week, we also saw why Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was eminently qualified to sit on the Supreme Court. During these hearings, we also saw the real Republican agenda on full display, no longer pretending to care about the economy or inflation — but talking about continued nonsense — fixated on overturning Roe v. Wade and relitigating a ban on the fight for marriage equality. They even came up with a new list of books to ban. One Republican senator suggested that he would even support reinstating a prohibition on interracial marriage, which, I have to say, would create a lot of paperwork for my wife and I.

Despite all the rhetoric from our House Republican friends down in Florida, this is what the Republican Party is at its core. They want to police what you read, how you live and who you love. The American people have rejected their agenda in the past, and I'm confident that they'll do it again. House Democrats believe that there's much more that unites us than divides us, and the American people can celebrate sour differences as one nation under God. We support the idea that everyone deserves a fair shot in our economy and then we need a fair tax code that rewards hard-working people. Republicans believe in a tax code where billionaires pay less in taxes than a teacher or a firefighter, and we think that that's just wrong. While House Republicans complain about insurrectionists getting banned on social media, House Democrats will continue to focus on the issues that matter most to working families — like a fair tax code, capping the cost of insulin and decriminalizing marijuana.


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