Representative Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) was firm in his assessment that “there is no reason to work” Republicans who did not vote for the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden‘s much-heralded $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package.
“If Republicans have a majority and want to work on providing economic relief to the American people, including lifting working people out of poverty by providing a decent standard of living ― and I really do hope that we will have given people a $15 minimum wage by then ― then I’m on board,” he said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
“Right now, there is no reason to work with people who did not vote for the American Rescue Plan, despite it being popular with 77% of the American people, including the majority or about half of Republicans. I think it’s clear that our democracy is broken, and that the people who are in the Republican caucus are not interested in working in good faith,” he added.
Jones also addressed the tension in Congress since January 6, the day a group of former President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the United States Capitol in a bid to overturn the results of the 2020 general election.
“I did not expect that I would have to serve with people who nearly got me killed on January 6 and have expressed no remorse for doing so,” he said, noting that he supports expelling those who voted to overturn the results, including Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). “I did not expect that a substantial number of Capitol police officers would not be interested in the protection of my well-being and that of my colleagues. “
Jones also addressed violent extremism; the FBI has warned that domestic extremism is one of the biggest security threats facing the country today.
“Violent extremism in this country is violent extremism, whether it is motivated by one kind of ideology or another ― it’s all deadly,” he said. “And of course, when people saw what happened on January 6, even if they weren’t white supremacists, domestic terrorists, they understood the Capitol to be vulnerable from a security standpoint. And so now, you have expanded the group of people who are interested in doing this harm at the Capitol.”
Jones has been serving New York’s 17th Congressional district since winning a House seat in the 2020 election. He voted to impeach Trump for inciting the insurrection against Congress and co-wrote a letter with Senator Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) to the Attorney Grievance Committee of the New York State Supreme Court-Appellate Division asking for Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani to be disbarred.