June 11, 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. During the event, Chairman Jeffries announced the relaunch of the Task Force on Aging and Families, which will tackle the infrastructure and human capital our nation needs to support our seniors and will be co-chaired by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Conor Lamb (D-PA).

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: […] Earlier today at the Caucus meeting, we had a very active discussion on a wide variety of issues, but we were particularly pleased that Dr. Henry Louis Gates, the prominent Harvard historian, was with us to share clips from his new film on Reconstruction and remind us of our long journey that we've been on in this country to make sure that we can bring the values of liberty and justice for all and equal protection under the law to life. In introducing Dr. Gates, I reminded everyone in the room that four hundred years ago this month, June of 1619, the first slave ship left the west coast of Africa and arrived two months later in Virginia. Thus began a long journey of the African-American presence here in the United States of America. Dr. Gates has catalogued it almost unlike no one else.


And there's an opportunity for us to reflect on why we do what we do as Democrats, fighting For The People particularly as it relates to H.R. 1 and our democracy reform legislation and the effort to make sure that every single American regardless of race, regardless of gender, regardless of ZIP code, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, regardless of religion, has an opportunity to participate in our democracy.


Also at the meeting, Jan Schakowsky, Doris Matsui and Conor Lamb announced the relaunch of our Task Force on Aging that will focus on the well-being of older Americans, consistent with our For The People agenda where we promise to make sure that we reach out to every single community to get things done on their behalf. In the case of older Americans, our promise is to make sure that we will protect Social Security and protect Medicare and protect their well-being as some on the other side of the aisle endeavor to slash and burn the social safety net in a manner that is highly irresponsible. 

We also announced, and Speaker Pelosi has emphasized, our weekend of action on health care in the United States of America. We expect that there will be over a hundred different member-led events that will take place on Friday, Saturday or Sunday of this weekend to emphasize what Democrats have been doing on the question of lowering health care costs, protecting people with pre-existing conditions and driving down the high cost of lifesaving prescription drugs and what we intend to continue to do. 

We will not be swayed by the fact that the Grim Reaper continues to obstruct progress in the United States of America and that the Senate has turned into a legislative graveyard.


VICE CHAIR CLARK: […] This week we'll begin voting on our first five spending bills. As we know, the budget is a blueprint for our values. And House Democrats have constructed through these appropriation bills pathways for success and opportunity for all Americans. There is no greater point of contrast to our vision for America than the Trump budget proposal, which took a wrecking ball to programs and services that millions of hardworking families rely on. Trump stripped resources from students, schools and teachers. House Democrats through these bills are making historic investments in early childhood initiatives and after school programs, expanding student assistance to attend college, and putting resources into apprenticeships, workforce training and other pathways to good paying jobs.

Republicans are once again trying to turn the clock back on women's health and reproductive freedoms. House Democrats in these bills blocked the Trump administration's dangerous Title X domestic gag rule, put reproductive rights back into the International Health Report. […] These bills are building a foundation of a strong inclusive America that is For The People.

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