July 19, 2019



SETH MEYERS: You grew up here? 

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: Grew up in Brooklyn. 

MEYERS: You represent Brooklyn and part of Queens. Brooklyn I imagine has changed a fair amount since you grew up there?

JEFFRIES: Absolutely. Brooklyn is a great place. We gave the world Jackie Robinson, Shirley Chisholm, Coney Island, Junior's Cheesecake and The Notorious B.I.G.  


Yeah that's a pretty good combination.

MEYERS: You still feel like home when you get back here?

JEFFRIES: It does. It's changing a lot and one of the challenges that we all are working through is making sure that we can maintain the diversity that has made Brooklyn such a special place. We want to continue to be a collection of neighborhoods where working families, middle class folks, senior citizens, young people who are starting out, artists, can continue to call Brooklyn home. So we have a real affordable housing crisis that we have to address.

MEYERS: You obviously mentioned right there the value of diversity. Well you talked last night about Donald Trump and his comments about Ilhan Omar, your colleague. What's your response to when you saw that and also your response to what seems to be a more muted reaction to it from your Republican colleagues?

JEFFRIES: Well those are very dangerous and divisive remarks that were made, and words have consequences particularly when delivered by the so-called leader of the free world. And there are people who can inspire and incite to do violent things. So I think my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle would do well in calling up their president and saying "Cut it out. You're going to get someone hurt." We feel like we're going to continue to denounce the outrageous behavior when it occurs, but we need partners on the other side of the aisle, and we need people to start saying "you know what, there are certain things where this is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It's an American issue and let's put America -- let's put country ahead of party.”


MEYERS: Is the idea that the Bob Mueller hearing will present the information in a way that people might actually consume it? I mean, he did lay out a 450 page thing that - I don't feel like he's going to say anything more. Is this a case where a guy wrote a book and you're like "can you just tell me the good parts?"


JEFFRIES: We do need the Cliff Notes version to be communicated to the American people and the report understandably is written in legalese. We need real talk and we're going to try to bring that out on behalf of the American people, but let me assure you, we're going to continue to hold this administration accountable, and we're going to deal with this president one way or the other. Winter is coming for Donald J. Trump.  


MEYERS: […] You passed a minimum wage bill today. 15 dollars. That's wonderful. That's a great accomplishment. Obviously, you now have a situation where it goes to the Senate and it will not pass. Does it sometimes feel as though with a majority in the House, a minority in the Senate, that you are on a hamster wheel where you accomplish things and then Mitch McConnell basically says no?

JEFFRIES: Mitch McConnell is totally out of control. We definitely need to create the contrast before the American people. I know it is frustrating for many folks that the House continues to move important pieces of legislation. […] We're working on protecting people with pre-existing conditions and an infrastructure plan and things again bottled up in Mitch McConnell's legislative graveyard. So the Senate needs to either change its ways or we need to change the people who are in the United States Senate.