CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: “WE’RE PREPARED TO DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO GET THE AMERICAN JOBS PLAN OVER THE FINISH LINE”
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Vice Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) held a leadership press conference where they highlighted the continued, lifesaving impacts of the American Rescue Plan, as well as House Democrats’ commitment to working with President Biden to pass the American Jobs and Families Plans.
CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: We had our first House Democratic Caucus in-person meeting since the onset of the pandemic. We are certainly thankful that things are moving in the right direction, thanks to tremendous leadership from President Biden, Vice President Harris, the Biden administration, working in close partnership with Democrats in the House and in the Senate.
We passed the American Rescue Plan. That was step one. A $1.9 trillion plan designed to both crush the virus and provide direct relief and assistance to everyday Americans who are struggling. We provided that relief in a variety of ways: $1400 direct payment survival checks, enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, assistance to those who are struggling and paying the rent or paying the mortgage, assistance to individuals who are dealing with food insecurity. We know that in good times there are more than 50 million Americans dealing with food insecurity, and that was prior to the pandemic and of course, the groundbreaking enhanced child tax credit that will begin to take effect and hit the bank accounts of everyday Americans starting next month.
We talked about the importance of the things that we have already done in our Caucus meeting with the Counselor to the President, Steve Ricchetti, as well as Shalanda Young, who is the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget. It was a very good conversation.
We also talked about how we are going to move forward with respect to the American Jobs Plan. The White House made it clear to us that we should be prepared to proceed on two tracks. One, to continue of course with the bipartisan negotiations that are underway to see if we can find common ground with the Senate.
President Biden made very clear when he was speaking to the American people prior to the November elections, that he was going to be the President for those who voted for him and those who voted against him. He was going to be the President for everyone, and in leading these negotiations with the Senate Republicans, he is committed to seeing that all the way through. But we do need partners. The American Jobs Plan is overwhelmingly popular with the American people. The American Families Plan is popular with the American people. The Senate is either going to choose, on the Republican side, to work together with us to get things done to supercharge our economy, or they will choose the way of Mitch McConnell, which has consistently been obstruction today, obstruction tomorrow, obstruction forever. If they choose the obstruction pathway, then we're prepared to do what is necessary to get the American Jobs Plan over the finish line.
VICE CHAIR AGUILAR: I want to commend the Chairman and the House Democratic Caucus staff for organizing this event and over 90 virtual events that we have done since the start of the pandemic. As the Chairman also heard from our colleagues, we spent three weeks back home in our districts and each and every time we meet with our constituents, we're talking about the importance of where we are, the importance of lower hospitalization rates, lower infection rates and the role that the American Rescue Plan is playing in all of our communities. It is so helpful and so beneficial to their daily lives as they talk with us back home. That's what we heard from our colleagues as well.
But our work is not done. As the Chairman mentioned, the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, the presentation that we heard from the White House today and a commitment to those goals, a commitment to those policies is so important in how we advance the economic agenda that moves this country forward.
Video of the full press conference and Q&A can be viewed here.
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