January 03, 2021


WASHINGTON, DC - In case you missed it, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries appeared on Fox News Sunday to outline Nancy Pelosi’s historic fourth nomination as Speaker of the House and the need for $2,000 direct payments to everyday Americans.

BRET BAIER: […] As I mentioned at the top, Speaker Pelosi is running unopposed for that Speakership, but how many votes in the House do you think Nancy Pelosi will lose?

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: Nancy Pelosi will be the next Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and I look forward to placing her name into nomination as part of my responsibilities as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. There is incredible enthusiasm for Speaker Pelosi because she's done the work, and she's been a historic, legendary legislative leader through incredibly turbulent times. We've been through a lot of trials and tribulations as Americans. Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, has helped to guide us through that and we look forward to her continuing in that capacity. 

BRET BAIER: You said Joe Biden is going to be the leader of the party, but how does Nancy Pelosi control the left part of your Caucus, the progressives, and steer legislation through the House with a much more narrow path because of the votes that you have?

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: We are a very big family in terms of the House Democratic Caucus. We're a diverse family. We're an enthusiastic family. We believe in the House that our charge is to reflect the hopes, the dreams, the aspirations, the passions of the American people. That's consistent with the United States Constitution. Speaker Pelosi understands that a big tent approach to getting things done on behalf of the American people is incredibly important. We've taken that approach not just internally, but externally over the last several years. We've worked closely with President Trump on issues like criminal justice reform, with the passage of the historic First Step Act. We worked closely with President Trump with respect to the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, which was a historic trade agreement that protected good-paying American jobs.

We worked closely with President Trump to end the practice of surprise billing on behalf of the American people, and we continue to stand with President Trump, for instance, as he pushes for $2,000 direct stimulus payments. So, we're always going to govern, not in a partisan way, but in a practical way that gets things done on behalf of the American people. That applies to the House Democratic Caucus, that applies to the House, that applies to the Senate, that applies to the presidency, whether it's a Republican or a Democrat. 


BRET BAIER: Speaker Pelosiyou mentioned the stimulus checks and the direct paymentsshe has characterized direct payments to Americans in different ways, beginning with the direct payments from the Trump tax cuts, then the negotiated stimulus deal that she negotiated at first and then this new effort to get more direct payments. Take a listen.

[CLIP] SPEAKER PELOSI: In terms of the bonus that corporate America received versus the crumbs that they are giving to workers to kind of put the schmooze on is so pathetic... I would like them bigger, but they are significant, and they will be going out soon...Who is holding up that distribution to the American people? Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans.

BRET BAIER: Congressman, there's a lot to digest there, the $1,000 direct payment was crumbs, $600 was significant and then the $2,000 was being held up by the Senate, but she negotiated with Secretary Mnuchin and Senator McConnell for that original stimulus deal. So, people looking at that scratch their heads.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: The most important thing that Speaker Pelosi indicated is that Mitch McConnell is holding up direct payment checks that are more robust to the American people.

We agree with President Trump. Republicans in the House of Representatives agree that we should increase those direct payments to $2,000 per American because the American people are hurting in a tremendous way. Now, when it comes to the tax cuts from 2017, we all on the Democratic side had a big problem with that because we went into $2 trillion worth of debt for tax cuts where 83% of the benefits went to the wealthiest 1%, to the wealthy, the well-off and the well-connected. That was not good public policy, in my humble opinion.

I think at the current moment, what we need to do is make sure that we're providing relief to middle-class Americans, to those who aspire to be part of the middle class, to working families, to the poor and the sick and the afflicted, those who have been impacted the most by this pandemic. That's what we're trying to do, and we're asking Mitch McConnell to join the American people, join President Trump, join House Democrats and many House Republicans in getting this done.


Watch the full interview here.