Rep. Hakeem Jeffries denounces Trump in fiery district speech in Brooklyn
‘Rise of the Resistance’
Third-termer U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (Brooklyn, Queens) came out swinging against President Donald Trump in his State of the District address on Thursday evening in Downtown Brooklyn.
“What do we do now that the unthinkable has occurred? Some folks down in Washington, D.C. want us to step back. But I’m here today to make it clear we plan to fight back,” Jeffries told a wildly applauding crowd. His speech was livestreamed on Facebook.
Jeffries was recently elected by his colleagues to serve as the co-chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, with responsibility to guide the House’s messaging and policy arm.
His message on Thursday was clear.
“We have a reality show host in the White House masquerading as president of the United States of America,” Jeffries said.
Trump’s cabinet nominees have spent their lifetimes “enriching themselves” at the expense of everyone else, Jeffries asserted. His nominee for labor secretary wants to eliminate overtime pay, while his nominee for secretary of education “wants to privatize the public schools.”
About Trump’s racist backers, Jeffries claimed, “I don’t want to say that every American who voted for Donald Trump is a racist, but I do know that every racist in America voted for Donald Trump.”
He praised President Barack Obama for cleaning up the mess in the economy, the banking industry and employment and commented on Trump’s ethics — or lack thereof.
“Donald Trump wants to drain the swamp? He should start at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said. “The rest of us will build upon the values and principles that made us an exceptional nation. Government of the people, by the people and for the people.
“Rise of the Resistance,” Jeffries intoned.
He vowed to continue to fight against gun violence — “That’s what [former DA] Ken Thompson would have wanted us to do.” He also extolled the Affordable Care Act.
And about that wall?
“If they’re going to build a wall, build it on the Canadian border, because a whole lot of Americans are trying to get out of town because of the election of Donald Trump,” Jeffries said.
There are some things that we can do to keep the progressive American dream alive, he said.
“We should increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, because a rising tide lifts all boats,” he said. Jeffries also called for expanding the earned income tax credit so working families would benefit from tax cuts, and changing the cost of living formula for Social Security recipients.
It’s time for the “rise of the resistance,” he reiterated.
“The road ahead will not be easy,” Jeffries said. “Barack Obama has left the building. And there are some folks in Washington who are going to try to take advantage of the situation.”
He told the audience to fight Trump wherever they could.
“Fight him wherever and whenever he crosses the line.”
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