Washington, DC – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement to congratulate Jim Kenney on winning the 2015 mayoral primary in Philadelphia:

“I congratulate Jim Kenney on winning the Democratic mayoral primary in Philadelphia today. Philadelphia is one of our nation’s most vibrant cities with an unparalleled commitment to economic equality. I know that Jim will maintain that commitment as Mayor, and will continue the extraordinary progress Mayor Nutter has made for countless communities across the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. The Democratic Party is thrilled to hold the 2016 convention in this historic city, and I look forward to working with Jim in the year to come on this momentous convention.”

Following the news that Bobby Jindal has launched his Presidential Exploratory Committee, DNC National Press Secretary Holly Shulman released the following statement: 

Washington, DC – With Mike Huckabee’s announcement that he is running for president, DNC National Press Secretary Holly Shulman released the following statement:

“Mike Huckabee’s decision to throw his hat into the GOP ring tells us all we need to know about who the Republican Party is and what they believe. This Republican candidate for president said that being gay is a lifestyle choice akin to using profanity. He opposes a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions, and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and return control to the insurance companies.

“It’s one thing to spout off nonsense on his TV show, but for Mike Huckabee to present his ideas as legitimate policies for a presidential campaign is insulting to the American people, though I can't say I am particularly surprised. I mean, have you heard the rest of the Republican hopefuls?

“Mike Huckabee’s vision for America is out of touch, in many cases completely out of line and would take the country backwards.”

Washington, DC – The Democratic National Committee announced today that it will sanction six debates between candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, beginning in the fall of 2015.  
 
“We’ve always believed that we would have a competitive primary process, and that debates would be an important part of that process,” said DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  “Our debate schedule will not only give Democratic voters multiple opportunities to size up the candidates for the nomination side-by-side, but will give all Americans a chance to see a unified Democratic vision of economic opportunity and progress – no matter whom our nominee may be.”
 
Each of the six DNC-sanctioned debates will be sponsored by a combination of state Democratic Parties, national broadcast media, digital platforms, local media, and civic organizations.  The four early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will each host a sanctioned debate.
 
Wasserman Schultz said that there are several key principles guiding the process of putting together a debate schedule:

  • Setting a reasonable number of impactful debates that give voters ample opportunity to see the candidates side-by-side, while remaining manageable for all of the candidates.
  • Beginning the debate window in the fall of 2015, when voters are truly beginning to pay attention.
  • Making the debates as appealing and accessible as possible to voters through a variety of means, including:
    • Diversity of media outlets, moderators and formats
    • Inclusion of key civic groups
    • Strong and creative digital presence that will take the debates directly to voters

While a six sanctioned debate schedule is consistent with the precedent set by the DNC during the 2004 and 2008 cycles, this year the DNC will further manage the process by implementing an exclusivity requirement.  Any candidate or debate sponsor wishing to participate in DNC debates, must agree to participate exclusively in the DNC-sanctioned process.  Any violation would result in forfeiture of the ability to participate in the remainder of the debate process.
 
Wasserman Schultz said that the DNC has already received a number of proposals and inquiries from potential debate sponsors.  Senior DNC officials will now begin working directly with those groups to facilitate partnerships and discuss next steps.  Additional details regarding debate partners, cities, dates, logistics, additional host states, and criteria for participation will be released at a later date.

Washington, DC – In recognition of Older Americans Month beginning on May 1, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
 
“Our seniors are such a vital part of the fabric of our country, and we have so much to celebrate with them in the month of May. This year we mark the 50th anniversary of both Medicare and Medicaid and the passage of the Older Americans Act of 1965, crucial pieces of legislation that gave our seniors the protections and retirement security they deserve, and we should do everything we can to stop any weakening of these safeguards that our seniors have earned. In my capacity as a Member of Congress I am proud to represent many South Florida retired and older Americans and to fight for their health and economic security. The Democratic Party continues to be a champion for older Americans, and we should all take time every month to appreciate our nation’s seniors.”

Washington, DC – DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement today in recognition of May as Jewish American Heritage Month. As a Congresswoman, Chair Wasserman Schultz was instrumental in establishing May as JAHM. President George W. Bush first proclaimed JAHM almost 10 years ago and it has been celebrated ever since:
 
"As a member of the American Jewish community, it is with tremendous pride that I celebrate May as Jewish American Heritage Month.
 
"From our nation's earliest days, America has held promise and hope for the Jewish people. Ours is a nation founded on justice and equality, assuring freedom of religious opportunity and freedom from religious tyranny. In the centuries since George Washington famously wrote to the Hebrew congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, our community has become an integral part of this nation's past, present and future. Escaping violence, hatred and prejudice, our forefathers and mothers arrived on these shores seeking a better life and brighter future. We are compelled to continue that legacy by making this nation a light for all those seeking the same.
 
"American Jews have invented vaccines, created businesses, and fought and died for the United States on the battlefield. We have made Nobel-winning discoveries, explored outer space, inspired countless Americans through athletics, and run for office to help fulfil the promise of extending the American Dream to everyone.
 
"Our history is proof of that promise fulfilled. As the party of inclusion, empowerment, and opportunity, the Democratic Party is committed to extending those values for the American Jewish community and all Americans."

Washington, D.C. – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement today in recognition of May as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month:

“May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – an opportunity to recognize the contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures that make up this vibrant community. For generations, AAPI Americans have faced and overcome adversity, and we appreciate the integral role they have played in shaping America into what it is today.

“The AAPI community is strengthened by the success of middle class economics. AAPI small business owners continue to thrive in an economy that has experienced 61 straight months of private sector job growth. AAPI families have benefitted from increased access to quality affordable health insurance, investments in education, and tax cuts for the middle class.

“The Democratic Party remains committed to fighting for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and we will continue to fight for commonsense policies that put the middle class first and give all AAPI families their shot at achieving the American dream.”

Washington, DC – In response to Bernie Sanders’ announcement that he will run for president in 2016, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:
 
“Democrats welcome Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as the second candidate to officially seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in 2016. Senator Sanders is well-recognized for his principled leadership and has consistently stood up for middle class families. Throughout his service in the U.S. House and Senate, Bernie Sanders has clearly demonstrated his commitment to the values we all share as members of the Democratic Party.

“The Democratic Party appreciates the contributions that Senator Sanders, Secretary Clinton, and other candidates will make to a healthy dialogue about the future of our party and our nation. There is a distinct contrast between Democrats who are on the side of middle and working class families and Republicans who are concerned with the very rich and wealthy corporations. Over the next year, the discussions we have during our respective nominating processes will help make that choice clear.”

Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Supreme Court begins to hear arguments in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, the result of which will determine whether marriage equality can be extended to all Americans. Currently, approximately 70 percent of Americans live in a state where it is legal for same-sex couples to marry. DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

“Like millions of other Americans, I have anxiously awaited the beginning of these oral arguments because I know that in my heart of hearts the Supreme Court will ultimately come down on the side of equality, love, fairness and families. I’ve watched thousands of couples in my home state of Florida express their love for one another in marriage vows since the law was overturned in January, and they’re no different than people in North Dakota or Georgia or Texas. We’ve come too far to stall or reverse the incredible progress states have made in the past few years. Yet as Democrats stand with families  and fight for fairness, Republicans like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and the rest of the presidential hopefuls want to take us backwards. This is an important issue and we now need the Supreme Court to end discrimination under the law once and for all because love is love and it’s the right thing to do.”

“It’s about time Senate Republicans finally came to the table and allowed a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as our next attorney general.  Instead of working to ensure that our justice system serves its citizens to the best of its ability by swiftly confirming Lynch, Republicans chose to delay her confirmation for longer than any attorney general nominee in over three decades for purely political purposes.  As the president noted, this was embarrassing and it is a clear demonstration of what Republican leadership looks like.  Moving forward, Americans deserve leaders who will get things done for the American people, leaders like Loretta Lynch – not more of this obstructionist nonsense that we've seen from the likes of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz; all of whom voted against her confirmation. And to be clear, it was bad enough that they held up her nomination and voted against this extraordinarily qualified first female African American attorney general, but to add insult to injury, the things that Republican presidential hopefuls said about her throughout this process were horrible, and completely uncalled for.” – Michael Tyler, DNC spokesperson

A quick reminder of some of the lowlights:
 

  • Rand Paul:  When asked about Lynch’s nomination, he responded, “Oh, she’s going down.”  Paul later called for 10,000 people to sign his petition to “Stop Loretta Lynch.”
  • Marco Rubio argued that her support for President Obama’s efforts to assist DREAMers “should disqualify her from being the next attorney general.”
  • Ted Cruz brazenly declared that “no senator who takes his or her oath of office seriously should vote to confirm such a nominee.”
  • Scott Walker believes that Loretta Lynch “is not fit to serve as the nation’s attorney general.”

Washington, DC – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement today on National Equal Pay Day: 

"As the party that puts the middle class first, Democrats are proud to fight for equal pay every single day. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the very first bill signed into law by President Obama, setting the tone for an administration that would recognize the contributions women make to our nation’s economy. But we know that our work isn't finished.

"The Paycheck Fairness Act would help level the playing field for women, but unfortunately, Congressional Republicans and Republican candidates for president have opposed it at every turn.

"Not content to merely vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate, Marco Rubio said it was “wasting time,” Rand Paul compared it to the Soviet Union’s Politburo and Ted Cruz derided it as a “show vote.” Chris Christie and Rick Perry vetoed equal pay legislation in their states, and Scott Walker repealed equal pay enforcement in Wisconsin. But the most out-of-touch GOP hopeful may be Jeb Bush, who didn’t even know what the Paycheck Fairness Act was.

"Unlike members of the Republican party, Democrats are proud to support policies that open the door to more opportunities for the middle class and help working families’ paychecks go farther. Democrats and the American people understand that equal pay is a necessity to ensure that hardworking Americans can get ahead in a 21st century economy. We won't stop fighting for women and the middle class and we have one question for the GOP, 'Whose side are they on?'"

Washington, DC – In response to Marco Rubio’s announcement that he will run for president in 2016, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

“As Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign gets underway, expect him to try and portray himself as a bold, new leader with fresh ideas. But the truth is – as those of us in Florida know all too well – he’s simply peddling the same stale, harmful wares that the rest of the Republican Party is selling.

“At every opportunity, Rubio has revealed his true colors - taking outdated positions that match up with the Republican base instead of doing what’s best for his constituents and the country. Rather than propose a serious tax plan that aims to grow the middle class and expand opportunity for all Americans, his plan is a GOP wish list - slashing taxes for those at the top and shifting the burden onto working Americans. He even went so far as to run away from his own immigration plan when the most extreme wing of his party put pressure on him, and he supported shutting the government down to deny people quality health care, costing our economy $24 billion.

“Rubio says he’s a new type of Republican, but the only things he’s ever championed are the same failed policies the public has already rejected, and the only cause he’s ever advanced is his own.”

Washington, DC – In response to Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she will run for president in 2016, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

“I would like to welcome Hillary Clinton as the first official candidate for President of the United States to seek the Democratic Party's nomination in 2016. As First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been a forceful advocate for women, children, and families, and an effective ambassador on the global stage.

“While we expect a competitive primary for the Democratic nomination, one thing is for certain — next November, voters will face a choice between Democrats who will continue to build on the middle class economic success of President Obama, and Republican candidates who want to bring back the failed, trickle-down economics of the past. I look forward to the contributions that Secretary Clinton, and all of our eventual candidates, will bring to this debate between two very different visions for the country.”

Washington, DC – DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued the following statement on tonight’s mayoral election in Chicago, IL:

"I would like to congratulate Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on his reelection. Mayor Emanuel has made critical investments in the city’s infrastructure and public transportation, implemented universal full-day kindergarten, and helped foster a growing economy that is creating jobs. With today’s election result, it is clear that the people of Chicago support his focus on middle class economics and the direction he is taking the city.  I look forward to seeing Mayor Emanuel's and the city of Chicago's continued success in the years ahead.”

Washington, DC – In response to Senator Rand Paul’s announcement that he will run for president in 2016, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement:

"Rand Paul says he wants to unleash the American Dream but the only thing a Paul presidential candidacy unleashes is a massive lurch backwards to failed policies and narrow-minded extremism. He says he’s something different, but when you take a look, he’s the same as any other Republican presidential hopeful: good for the wealthiest few and bad for the middle class, and taking positions that are way outside the mainstream on issue after issue.

This is a classic example of a GOP presidential candidate thinking he can talk his way into our communities while turning his back on us when it comes to his policy prescriptions. Not only is Rand Paul not going to make the GOP’s tent any bigger, the tent actually collapses under the weight of his harmful policies. How can Rand Paul seek to broaden Republicans’ appeal when he has voiced opposition to the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, opposed comprehensive immigration reform, written a budget slashing Pell Grants, belittled LGBT rights, and introduced bills to take women’s health care decisions out of their hands?

“On issue after issue his policies are the same as the rest of the GOP, but even more extreme, and will turn back the clock on the progress we have made.  That sounds like the same old Republican Party to me and it will to voters as well, who want a president who will fight to help them climb the ladder of opportunity."

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