Click image above to watch Congressman Clyburn's nominating speech
WASHINGTON, D.C – Today, Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn made the following remarks to nominate Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) to be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives:
As Prepared for Delivery
“Madam Clerk: I rise to nominate my friend, colleague, and leader of the House Democratic Caucus, Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. I want to begin by thanking you for your contribution to maintaining the dignity and honor of this august body.
“The eyes of the country are on us today, let us consider what they will remember. I often refer to this Hall as America’s classroom. The proceedings we undertake in this body, and our actions, should serve as lessons for those who may be watching and or listening.
“Hopefully that which they see and hear will help them gain understanding and appreciation for the greatness of America and the goodness of the American people. This body has a unique role in this government. What we do, and how we do it, will determine whether our pursuit toward a “more perfect union” can continue in earnest.
“No day in recent history underscores the importance of that pursuit more than January 6, 2021. Exactly two years ago today, our resolve was tested when a violent mob of insurrectionists attacked our Capitol, threatened the integrity of this democracy, and undermined our Constitution. The greatness of this country — and the resiliency of our democracy — were put at peril, but we survived.
“The preamble of the Constitution explains that the document was established in part to “secure the Blessings of Liberty” not just to ourselves, but also to our Posterity.” In this body, we are tasked with protecting our nation’s hard-earned principles of liberty, justice, and freedom for all. Every two years, the American people evaluate our stewardship and render a verdict.
“Last November they invested their time and resources, going to the polls, and casting their votes. They expect and should get a just return on their investments. For many, maybe most Americans, this is the only investment they will ever make to help preserve the greatness of this country. For the first time in over 200 years, after 11 rounds of voting, we are unable to organize and begin to work on behalf of those who elected us to serve.
“Democrats are offering a candidate for Speaker, Hakeem Jeffries, who is not just prepared to lead, but committed, to preserving this democracy and enhancing this august body.
“Madam Clerk, there is some dispute among historians as to whether Alexis de Tocqueville said this, but I consider it to be true regardless. De Tocqueville is credited in some quarters, with having said, “America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
“The greatness of America lies in the goodness that exists within the American people. Today, the greatness of our nation hangs in the balance because the goodness of the American people is at stake.
“We Democrats are offering the people of America, through this unique body, a good man who has the best interests of the American people at heart and is committed to preserving the fundamental principles that make this country great.
“Madam Clerk, I’m honored to carry out the directive of the House Democratic Caucus and submit to this August body the name of Hakeem Jeffries to be Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.”