October 03, 2020


NEW YORK - In case you missed it, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries appeared on MSNBC’S All In with Chris Hayes to outline House Democrats’ updated COVID-19 relief effort to aid Americans suffering from the public health and economic crises.

CHRIS HAYES: Congressman, first, I just want to gauge your reaction and the reaction of your colleagues to this news and how it's being processed on Capitol Hill and among Democratic leadership.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: Well, our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the president, the first lady and in fact, every single American who has been infected by the coronavirus and is struggling to battle this deadly disease. It underscores the point that COVID-19 can touch anyone, whether you're Black or white or Latino or Asian or Native American. It doesn't matter whether you're a Democrat or Republican. It doesn't matter whether you are an everyday American or the president of the United States. It doesn't matter, which is why we need to continue to do everything humanly possible to crush this virus.


Transparency is going to be important as it relates to the president's health and well-being and his condition moving forward. It's in the best interests of the presidency, of our republic, of the American people that the White House provide us with a level of information that they are not accustomed to providing and that it be accurate. Now is not the time to play political games or to try to project some level of manliness that has gotten us into the situation that we are in right now. The Trump administration is a toxic combination of arrogance and ignorance, and hopefully they can see past that dynamic in this moment of crisis right now.


CHRIS HAYES: What is the proper policy response to the fact that there is a lot of pain and a lot of economic misery out there and today's jobs numbers, which highlight that?

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: This is a K-shaped recovery—to the extent that there is a recovery—in that the rich have gotten richer over the last several months and everyday Americans, middle class Americans, those who aspire to be part of the middle class, the poor, the sick and the afflicted, continue to suffer. That is why House Democrats acted just yesterday with passage of a $2.2 trillion Heroes package designed to provide our state and local governments with the assistance necessary to continue to provide public services to the American people. We authorize another round of direct stimulus payments, set aside tens of billions of dollars for assistance to tenants who are struggling, increase food assistance, have $75 billion for testing, tracing and treatment to deal with the public health aspects of this pandemic. And Chris, it's just shocking that our Republican colleagues continue to act like it's business as usual and nothing is wrong. We are urging them to come to the negotiating table in a serious way so we can enact a meaningful and transformative response that is justified by the circumstances that we are in right now.

CHRIS HAYES: I want you to respond to an argument I've heard from some Republican staffers on the Hill and others that at this point that Democrats don't actually want a deal. They want to look like they want a deal, but don't actually want one. And that when the White House or Secretary Mnuchin comes up from the number they had before, that Speaker Pelosi or House leadership is finding ways to scotch that. What do you say to people saying that?


CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: We passed the Heroes Act initially on May 15. That's over a 130 or so days ago, and that was a $3.4 trillion intervention that we believed was merited under the circumstances because we knew that the virus and the economic conditions weren't getting better; they were only getting worse. We've come down from that offer in good faith, as the Speaker has indicated, and she continues to express a desire to find common ground. It's shocking that in the midst of a recession, where in some parts of the country there are depression like conditions and all the pain and suffering and death being experienced by the American people, they continue to find different ways to disagree with our willingness to meet them halfway. At some point, they should just take yes for an answer, do something meaningful for the American people and we can all find ourselves in a better circumstance.


Watch the full interview here.