DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján joined Democratic leaders in the House and Senate in Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District to announce the Democratic Party’s plan for “A Better Deal” for America. The new Democratic agenda is focused on better jobs and better wages for American workers so they can achieve a better future and the American Dream.
“We’re here in Berryville to earn back that trust, and talk about our plans to grow our economy to deliver better jobs and wages for all Americans, and to invest in the skills and tools that Americans need to build a better future,” Chairman Luján told the crowd.
Drawing on his family’s working class roots, Chairman Luján made the case for a new Democratic agenda that puts working families first and fights for those Americans who don’t feel like there is more opportunity for them in our country.
Below are DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján’s remarks as prepared for delivery in Berryville, Virginia:
Good afternoon! It’s great to stand here with such a diverse group of friends from both sides of the Capitol. Special thanks to Senator Warner for hosting us here in his home state of Virginia.
Like so many others across the country, my family’s story is rooted in hard work, public service and each generation doing better than the last. On my dad’s side, grandpa was a union laborer on the Manhattan Project. My mom’s dad was a carpenter and a soldier. All while my grandmothers raised the family. My mom worked in the local school district, while dad was a union ironworker before entering public service.
Growing up on our small farm, we didn’t have much money, but my family’s journey taught me something important—in America, hard work and a good job are all you should need to experience the American dream.
But for that to happen, we must ask if our economy can still deliver on that original American promise.
There’s good reason that we meet here today rather than in Washington D.C. Berryville sits right in the middle of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District.
And while it’s early, there’s no doubt that this district, and so many others, are up for grabs in the 2018 midterms.
But this won’t be easy and Democrats can’t take anything for granted. In fact, we have a lot of work to do.
Our nation’s greatest strength is our people: honest, hardworking people from all walks of life. We must respect the dignity of every person – no matter who you are, where you come from, or who you’ve voted for.
Too many Americans have lost faith in our political system and the economy.
And today we’re here in Berryville to begin to restore that faith, and talk about our plan to grow our economy to deliver better jobs and wages for all Americans, and to invest in the skills and tools to build a better future.
This means having an honest discussion of the challenges families still face across the country.
Compared to a few years ago, over half of Democrat and swing voters do not feel that there’s more opportunity for them. Nearly half of these voters say that a sudden $500 expense would be a serious blow to their family’s budget. Three out of every four voters say their incomes are not keeping up with the cost of living.
Well, that’s not right, and the American people deserve A Better Deal. One that puts hardworking families first again.
This means building an economy where people can pursue the dignity of a good-paying job.
It means rewarding the small business owner for her hard work and entrepreneurship.
It means skill training and investing in the future through apprenticeship programs and communities colleges, as well as making four-year college more affordable.
It also means addressing what isn’t working in our economy.
We must close tax loopholes so big corporations pay their fair share. We must stop big corporations from monopolizing and stifling competition, so consumers get more options at lower costs.
We must crack down on corporations that send our jobs overseas.
These are common sense priorities, these are the things Americans want us to get done.
On the farm, mom and dad taught me that no job is too big or too small—and when you’re trusted to do something, you had better do it right. Congress is no different—the American people expect us to deliver. We hear them, and it’s time to get to work.
I’m now pleased to turn it over to Senator Klobuchar.