The Democratic Caucus - U.S. House of the Representatives

07/16/2019 | Press release | Archived content


July 16, 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, where they were joined by Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) and Rep. David Trone (D-MD) and outlined House Democrats' Raise the Wage Act, which will put money back into the pockets of nearly 34 million hardworking Americans.

CHAIRMAN JEFFRIES: […] One thing has been clear during two and a half years of Donald Trump's presidency. There are very sharp differences between what we as House Democrats and the Democratic Party are about and what Donald Trump and Trumpism are about. Democrats want to move the country forward. Donald Trump wants to turn back the clock. Democrats want to bring America together. Donald Trump is tearing us apart. Democrats are fighting For The People. Donald Trump is fighting for the privileged few.


We had a conversation with the American people over the last year or so leading up to November of 2018. We made clear that we would fight to increase pay for everyday Americans. That is exactly what we are going to do this week. Because we believe that in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, no American should be left behind. We need to lift everyone up, not simply the privileged few - those who benefited from the GOP tax scam where 83 percent of the benefits went to the wealthiest one percent in America. That was a moral outrage. And this week, we continue on a course correction and we look forward to a strong and a robust vote on our minimum wage, our living wage, legislation.

VICE CHAIR CLARK: […] I just want to underscore this week the importance of this vote on raising the minimum wage. This is really at the core of our For the People Agenda, creating jobs and increasing wages. […] I would like to just highlight the fact that for working women in this country, this is a particularly important vote and increase. It is going to give an estimated 23 million working women a raise. This is going to help narrow the wage gap that disproportionately affects women of color. And we are thrilled to be able to vote on this today and make sure that everyone who is working is able to support their families. And what we found in this economy is that working hard is not enough. And this is really going to go a long way to make sure that every American has a fair shot at success.

REP. HILL: […] Before I was in Congress, I spent my career working to address the issue of homelessness. And tonight in Los Angeles County, where I represent, more than 50,000 people are going to be sleeping on the streets. Any single night in Los Angeles County 50,000 people, hundreds of thousands of people across the country. And those of us who work in homelessness know that this is a compound of a broken system. It's not a single issue, but it's devastating to me to know that so many of these people are not simply addicted to drugs or struggling with mental health - they are working. They are working full-time jobs. They have kids. They have families. They are sleeping in their cars and they simply can't make ends meet, despite the fact that they are working full time. So, in a country with this much wealth, we can no longer excuse the fact that there are people working full time, working hard who are unable to live and keep a roof over their head and feed their families. The data is clear. Minimum wage increases are good for workers. They're good for communities. They're good for women and they're also good for our economy.

REP. TRONE:Good morning everybody. I'm David Trone from Maryland's 6th district. […] I'm a proud original co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act. For over a decade, our workers haven't gotten one dollar. We need to step forward here. I've got a unique perspective on this. I'm a business entrepreneur, business founder. I started a small company almost 30 years ago. Today, the company has over 7,000 team members in 25 states across the country. So I understand business extremely well. […] The folks who work in that business, they're the ones that make the difference. So, as you evaluate what's the right thing to do for your business, your small business, your medium business, itis treat and focus on your team members. That's what's going to take care of the customer. And when we take care of the customer, the business wins, the workers win, everybody wins together. This is a win-win legislation. […] We've got to realize that great wages, health care for everybody, FMLA, partner benefits, all those things that my company has done, those are the things that really make America who we are and celebrate our diversity and help us move forward together.

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