Press Release · Remarks


DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján joined Democratic leaders in the House to present a strong contrast to President Trump’s widely criticized State of the Union.

Remarks from Chairman Ben Ray Luján

Good morning everybody. To all my colleagues, I thank them for all the work that they do day in and day out in reaching out to hardworking families across America.

I think what we saw last night was President Trump painted a very dark picture. And you contrast that with the remarks that we heard from Joe Kennedy, who was inspirational. He talked about real plans and ideas to help hardworking families across the country. The eloquence of Delegate Guzman, speaking directly to the President, but reaching out. Very different pictures last night. And I really believe that where the country is today is – they want to be forward looking. They’re tired of this dark cloud that has been hanging over this administration.

And look – with the words the President shared last night there was a lot of talk. And especially when it came to combating opioid addiction. This is not the first or even second pronouncement this President has made. But doing something concrete to help people suffering across the country – actions speak louder than words, Mr. President. And let’s get to work. This is a bipartisan effort. Democrats and Republicans want to work together so let’s do something real to help the American people.

What was absent last night, the President did not talk about how to help the American people when it comes to access to healthcare. And what the President also did not talk about was the rising premiums at the hands of the Republicans. In the Republican tax plan, actions were taken by the House Republicans, Senate Republicans and by President Trump that are going to increase premiums on the American people. Actions taken by House Republicans, Senate Republicans and by President Trump, with the destabilizing of the market place, are increasing premiums on the American people and he refused to talk about it.

So when you look at the difference with where we are today, the dark cloud that continues to hang over this administration, the dark picture that he painted last night, pales in comparison to the conversation that we will continue to have with the American people about how to help all these hardworking families. That’s the difference between where we are, let’s work together to get people back to work, a real infrastructure plan that is concrete with ideas not just filled with words. And I yield back to Mr. Crowley.


Joe, can I just add something to that? On the tax bill 83.1% goes to top 1% and corporations, 16.9% goes to everybody else. When you further break that down and you see what actually made it to the middle class, I recognized that there was something there. But it doesn’t add up, this is simply not fair. And the American people see that, it’s why they are overwhelmingly rejecting this. It’s why the Super PAC tied to Paul Ryan said, ‘Go out, Republicans, and try to sell this to American people’ because they see it for the scam that it is.

Number one, I would say that the Republicans continue to try to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people and they are smarter than that. And the one thing that’s not being talked about, Chad, once upon a time Fox used to profess these commitments from our Republican colleagues about budgets that would be adopted and their commitments to get this done, and certainty from our military.  And they seem to be ignoring the call from Secretary Mattis when he says that these short-term C.R.s are bad for the country, bad for national security, bad for military preparedness. They need to be called out, and why I say they, I mean my Republican colleagues need to be called out for that. This is not good for the country.

Democrats are willing to work together, to the question about President Bush and going forward. Democrats are willing to work together in a bipartisan way today. But we don’t see that outreach from the President, nor from our Republican colleagues and that has to change. And that’s what the American people want. They want to see what we’re going to do. There’s enough reasons with concerns with the other side. They want people to come together and get real results. And I’m certainly hopeful we can carry that conversation forward and make sure that 2018 comes to be a year that we are able to put American people first and earn back their trust and get back to work.

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