WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries spoke on the House Floor prior to the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement and highlighted how House Democrats have acted decisively to save the economy from a disastrous default, while extreme MAGA Republicans have thrust the country into an unnecessary hostage-taking situation.
JEFFRIES: I thank the distinguished gentleman from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for yielding. And I thank Mr. Neal for his tremendous steadfast leadership in this moment of crisis that was manufactured by extreme MAGA Republicans on the other side of the aisle. Thank the distinguished members of the Ways and Means Committee. I thank House Democrats for your steady hand, for your unity of purpose, for your efforts to make sure that we push back the extreme MAGA Republican efforts to jam right-wing cuts down the throats of the American people that would have undermined the health, the safety and the economic well-being of everyday Americans.
From the very beginning, House Democrats were clear that we would not allow extreme MAGA Republicans to default on our debt, crash the economy or trigger a job-killing recession. Under the leadership of President Joe Biden, Democrats kept our promise and we will continue to do what is necessary to put People Over Politics. The question that remains right now is what will the House Republican majority do? It appears that you may have lost control of the Floor of the House of Representatives. Earlier today, 29 House Republicans voted to default on our nation’s debt and against an agreement that you negotiated. It’s an extraordinary act that indicates just the nature of the extremism that is out of control on the other side of the aisle.Extreme MAGA Republicans attempted to take control of the House Floor. Democrats took it back for the American people. And we will continue to do what is necessary, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, to build an economy that works for everyday Americans and push back against the extremism on the other side of the aisle.
Under the Trump administration, Democrats helped the former president avoid a default, raised the debt ceiling three times without gamesmanship, partisanship or brinksmanship because Democrats put People Over Politics, even though we strongly disagreed with your reckless policies, as Chairman Neal eloquently outlined. 2017, you passed the GOP tax scam, where 83% of the benefits went to the wealthiest 1% here in America and caused our nation to go $2 trillion in debt to subsidize the lifestyles of the wealthy, the well-off and the well-connected, did nothing to lift up the economy for everyday Americans. And that’s been the case with your so-called tax cuts under Ronald Reagan. And that was the case under George W. Bush. Failed policy, trickle down economics, that has come to mean only one thing for everyday Americans: You may get a trickle, but you’re guaranteed to stay down. The policies have failed.
And yet, despite that failure, despite the fact that you went $2 trillion into debt to pass your GOP tax scam, House Democrats were there to make sure that America did not default. We were there then, and we are there today to put People Over Politics. And so, I’m thankful for my colleagues, for their work, for their commitment, for their patriotism, for their dedication, for their willingness to find the common ground necessary, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, who did an extraordinary job under very difficult circumstances, to protect values of importance to the American people. Notwithstanding your threats to crash the economy, trigger a recession, default on our debt. Because President Biden understood, despite the hostage-taking situation that you unnecessarily thrust the country into, that we had an obligation, a responsibility, to avoid a catastrophic default. That’s exactly what President Biden and Democrats have been able to do. We also made clear that America would not find ourselves back in this hostage-taking situation. You passed the Default on America Act about a month ago, that had extreme right-wing cuts.
Mr. Speaker, as I’ve indicated on this floor, House Democrats will continue to put People Over Politics and push back against the extremism on the other side of the aisle. And I’m thankful for the leadership of President Joe Biden in avoiding a catastrophic default. I’m thankful for the leadership of President Joe Biden in finding our way to an agreement that will avoid a hostage-taking situation for the balance of the 118th Congress. And I’m thankful for the leadership of President Joe Biden and House Democrats who protected Social Security, protected Medicare, protected Medicaid, protected veterans’ benefits, protected education, protected public safety and protected the American people from the draconian 22% across-the-board cuts that House Republicans were trying to visit on everyday Americans. And as a result of that effort, that leadership of President Joe Biden, we’re going to be able to get through this hostage-taking situation and ensure that we can continue to build an economy that works for everyday Americans. I thank House Democrats for their leadership, I thank House Democrats for their work and we will continue to show up and stand up and speak up without fear for everyday Americans and to ensure that we can continue America’s long, necessary and majestic march toward a more perfect union. I yield back.
Full speech can be watched here.