July 10, 2019


WASHINGTON - House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Caucus Vice Chair Katherine Clark (D-MA) held the House Democratic leadership’s weekly press conference where they outlined House Democrats’ NDAA and the urgent need to solve the humanitarian crisis on our border.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: […] We had a robust discussion in the Caucus this morning largely centered around the importance of moving forward with the National Defense Authorization Act and a presentation from Chairman Adam Smith, as well as other members from the Armed Services Committee, all of whom spoke out strongly in favor of the robust nature of the NDAA bill that will be on the floor this week.

We also had a very impassioned discussion about moving forward as it relates to the humanitarian crisis that exists on the border. That discussion was led by Chairman Joaquin Castro with participation from Veronica Escobar who's been a tremendous leader in the effort to turn the situation around in El Paso and throughout the U.S.-Mexican border. 


We are very confident that there will be strong support from all corners of the House Democratic Caucus with respect to the National Defense Authorization Act. The chairman of the Rules Committee and the chairman of the Armed Services Committee have worked closely with the Membership to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to have their perspective and their voice and their ideas heard on the floor of the House of Representatives. It’s a very open and inclusive process, and we believe that at the end of it, the NDAA will pass with Democratic votes. It will be unfortunate if Republicans decide to vote against the defense of this country because they are too busy playing politics.


House Democrats believe that we do have a broken immigration system. We need to fix it in a bipartisan way and we should proceed with comprehensive immigration reform starting with the Senate moving the House Dream and Promise Act that we sent over to Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard. The Trump administration has demonstrated itself on the issue of immigration to be incompetent, ineffective and increasingly inhumane. That is the problem.


It’s an interesting thing that many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle still refuse to denounce or call for the resignation of the disgraced Secretary of Labor, but perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised because this is the same party that gleefully backed an accused pedophile for a seat in the United States Senate in Alabama. Why? Because at the end of the day, many of them don’t seem to care about decency. They only seem to care about the accumulation or maintenance of political power. That’s a shame.


VICE CHAIR CLARK: It is my understanding that Secretary Acosta is calling for a press conference for later today. There are two words we need to hear from him: I resign.When he was the U.S. Attorney, he had a 53-page indictment with witnesses and victims, over 30 minor children. And what he chose to do was not prosecute. And what he then chose to do was to keep that information from the victims. Let them think that a federal investigation was still going forward. He needs to answer for that. […] Secretary Acosta has repeated what this administration always does. They choose the powerful and the wealthy over the vulnerable and children. And we see it repeated over and over.


CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: The House Democratic Caucus is a diverse family. We are a passionate family. We are a large family. We will remain united in the face of a common enemy named Donald J. Trump. 

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