Veronica Escobar

Nomination of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker of the House - Jan. 6, 2023

Veronica Escobar
January 06, 2023— Washington, D.C.
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Escobar nominated Hakeem Jeffries for speaker of the House of Representatives in the 13th ballot.

ESCOBAR: Madam Clerk, I rise to nominate a unifier, not a divider, Hakeem Jeffries for speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

HOUSE CLERK CHERYL JOHNSON: The gentlewoman is recognized.

ESCOBAR: We are on day four, the 13th vote, and House Democrats continue to stand united with Hakeem Jeffries, with him and for him, because he is a uniter not a divider, and a positive force of nature. Two days ago during the fourth, fifth, maybe the sixth roll call, a nominator claimed this process should not be considered dysfunction. Madam Clerk, their process didn't begin this week. They have had months to figure this out. And Americans should have profound concerns about what this portends.

As we gather here in this chamber on this solemn day, the second anniversary of January 6, when members of law enforcement were under siege, when there was an attempted coup, an insurrection that will live in infamy what we lived through was an assault on our republic and on our democracy from within. On that day, when my colleagues and I were trapped in this gallery, the terrorists who assaulted our police officers could be heard banging on these doors, breaking these windows, and they were here to prevent the certification of a free and fair election. I shudder to think what a Republican majority's inability to govern would have meant on that day. And what it could mean in the future for those of us who believe in defending our democracy abroad and now more than ever here at home.

On this painful anniversary, thankfully the honorable Hakeem Jeffries made sure that we came together to mark the moment, to honor our law enforcement, recognize the lives lost as a result of that day, honor the families and the survivors, and to ensure that we recommit to our republic and our democracy. That is the kind of speaker that our nation needs.

We are now four days into what should be the 118th Congress, and the House of Representatives has no committees, no rules, no classified briefings, no members who have taken their oaths to serve our country. There are no debates happening on this floor about addressing the challenges we face at home or around the globe. No votes on legislation to tackle the challenges facing the American people.

Madam Clerk, they told the American people they wanted to win the majority to fight inflation. The only thing they are fighting is each other. These four days have tested House Republicans' ability to govern and they have failed.

With Hakeem Jeffries as our speaker, Congress can continue to deliver common-sense, bipartisan solutions for the American people. Instead, what we have seen unfold before our very eyes is exactly what's in store for the country over the next two years under Republican control.

And this should be deeply concerning to the American people who expect us to do our jobs and fulfill even the most fundamental functions of this institution. Like voting on the debt ceiling to fund expenditures we already made. What if this happens then? What if we default on our debts because of the Republican majority's inability to govern? What impact will that have on our economy or the global economy?

And in less than nine months, in September, we have a vote to fund the government, to pay for our military, social security, Medicare, and other obligations. What happens on September 30 when government funding runs out and they are in charge?

With Hakeem Jeffries as our speaker, we can continue to advance an agenda that puts people over politics. Just as we did in the 117th Congress with a majority as slim as theirs.

Es un gran honor nominar a mi amigo. [It is a great honor to nominate my friend.]

Madam Clerk, as co-chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, and in accordance with the vote of the House Democratic Caucus, I'm honored to present for election to the office of speaker of the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress, the name of a man of integrity and intellect, who is bold and brilliant, and most importantly a man who leads with love. the honorable Hakeem Jeffries, representative from the state of New York.

"U.S. House of Representatives House Session." C-SPAN live video. Jan. 6, 2023.