February 03, 2021


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) held a leadership press conference to highlight the overwhelming bipartisan support among Americans for President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and COVID-19 relief.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: A sad and solemn day in many respects, as we said our final goodbyes to Officer Sicknick, who gave his life defending us during that violent mob attack and insurrection on the Capitol on January 6. Our love and our prayers and our support continue to go out to his family, to his parents and to his partner, and of course, to all of the Capitol Police officers who mourn the falling and passing of their brother and also who fought valiantly to defend the Capitol on that fateful day.

Earlier today, the Caucus convened and we heard from the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden. It was the first time as President that he has addressed the House Democratic Caucus. We were thankful for his presence. He emphasized the need to move forward with the American Rescue Plan because of the extraordinary level of pain and suffering and death being experienced by the American people. Joe Biden made clear that it's important for us to provide the resources necessary so that every single American would be vaccinated, to provide assistance to the American people who are suffering from the economic pain connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that we keep the promise to increase direct payment survival checks to $2,000 per person for every day Americans, as well as to address the other needs of the American people in areas like unemployment, food insecurity and those who find themselves on the brink of homelessness.

Today, we will vote on the budget resolution that will permit us to begin the process of moving forward expeditiously in order to address the framework of the American Rescue Plan that President Biden has set forth. We look forward to doing that and hope that some of our Republican colleagues will join us because the COVID-19 pandemic is not a Democratic crisis or a Republican crisis, it's an American crisis. As Joe Biden has indicated, as Speaker Pelosi has indicated, we look forward to addressing it together to crush this virus together, to provide relief to the American people together and ultimately to supercharge our economy and to Build Back Better and do that together, not as Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans.


VICE CHAIR AGUILAR: As the Chairman mentioned, it is a solemn day here under the dome as we pay tribute to Officer Sicknick, who gave his life trying to defend our Capitol and our democracy. The Chairman had an opportunity to pay respects with legislative leaders just a short time ago. I had an opportunity last night to pay my respects, and our condolences continue to go out to his family and the U.S. Capitol Police.

Today marks two weeks that President Biden has been in office, and we are already seeing the positive changes that will help millions of Americans. From his quick action on COVID, to his efforts to support American manufacturing, address the climate crisis and help fix our broken immigration system, the President is delivering for the American people. I was glad to see the President put an emphasis on family reunification yesterday, and I look forward to working with the administration to ensure the families who were cruelly torn apart by Donald Trump are united. Our top priority continues to be passing the President's American Rescue Plan and to build back our communities and jumpstart our economy. This should have bipartisan support, as the Chairman said, but congressional Democrats won't be impeded by Republican obstruction. We have to get this done and we will.


CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: It's important to note that a significant number of Trump Republicans amongst the American electorate back the American Rescue Plan. And, of course, we have entities like the Chamber of Commerce as well as the Business Roundtable, which back the American Rescue Plan. Republican mayors and county executives and governors have also expressed support for President Biden's American rescue plan. So it is bipartisan among the American people. The question that remains is, will it be bipartisan here in the House and the Senate? That's for the Republicans to decide. Are they going to continue the obstruction that took place for eight years when Barack Obama was president, or are they willing to actually extend the hand of friendship on behalf of the American people with Joe Biden being a willing partner to work with us as congressional Democrats to get this done?


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