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Giffords Endorses Members of House Leadership

Washington, DC — Today, Giffords PAC, the gun safety organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, announced its endorsement of members of the House Democratic leadership team in their re-election campaigns. Specifically, Giffords is proud to endorse Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, Assistant Speaker of the House Katherine Clark, Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Pete Aguilar, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Sean Patrick Maloney in acknowledgment of their collective efforts to advance gun safety measures through the House of Representatives. 

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

“Gun violence continues to tear communities across the country apart. Every day that Congress doesn’t act, lives are lost from coast to coast. The time for real action is now. It’s critical that we  re-elect members of the Democratic leadership team in the House who have proven they can achieve real results for the American people. For years, inaction in the Senate may have stalled progress, but these unmatched advocates have not only championed vital gun safety reforms in the House—like passing universal background checks and closing the Charleston loophole—they’ve actually put in the work to get the job done.

This group understands that a vast majority of Americans are united in supporting gun safety legislation and they take the emotional toll of this country’s epidemic of violence seriously. Now more than ever, their compassion and impressive work ethic are needed to guide our country forward. We know they will never give up until every child can grow up in a country free from gun violence. We are proud to work hand in hand with them in this fight and to endorse them in their re-election bids.”

The slate of endorsed candidates includes:

  • Nancy Pelosi (CA-11) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been a stalwart champion for gun violence prevention over the course of her career in Congress. In 2007, she shattered the marble ceiling and became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House—a feat she repeated in 2019 after a triumphant midterm cycle for Democrats. Speaker Pelosi has led her party for nearly two decades and has dutifully represented San Francisco, California in Congress for over 30 years. Working with Presidents Obama and Biden, Speaker Pelosi has led Congress in some of its most successful legislative sessions in decades. Since she regained the Speaker’s gavel, Pelosi has made gun violence prevention a top priority. Speaker Pelosi has successfully led efforts to block the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda and has presided over the passage of landmark gun safety legislation like the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and Enhanced Background Checks Act, as well as historic investments in gun violence research. Each day, she wears an orange bracelet made with a bullet to remind herself of the victims of gun violence and to send the message that she will not stop fighting until America has universal background checks. Throughout her career, Speaker Pelosi has not only been an extraordinary public figure on the national stage, but she has also been a loyal, dedicated friend to our founder, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Speaker Pelosi was in the room when Gabby first opened her eyes following the horrific events of January 8, 2011, and she has been a consistent partner to Gabby in every mission she’s undertaken ever since. As a leader, Speaker Pelosi has the courage to rise to any challenge and the fortitude to take on the toughest fights. As Speaker, she touched the lives of millions through the passage of major legislation. As an advocate for gun violence prevention, she has no equal. We must re-elect Speaker Nancy Pelosi this November and maintain the gun safety majority in the House that she has so skillfully led for the past four years.
  • Steny Hoyer (MD-05) – Majority Leader Steny Hoyer represents Maryland’s 5th Congressional District, and is currently serving his 21st term in Congress. Throughout his time in public service, Leader Hoyer has earned a reputation for effectiveness. In the 1990s, he was an original co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act, and in susequent years, he has worked within the Democratic Caucus and across the aisle with Republicans to secure the passage of groundbreaking legislation to address America’s epidemic of gun violence. As House Majority Leader, he is the second-ranking member of the House Democratic leadership team and plays a key role in shaping the House’s priorities. In particular, he is responsible for deciding what legislation comes to the House floor to effect the party’s agenda. His experience, know-how, and strong work ethic have led to increasing responsibilities within the leadership structure over the years, and he previously served as House Democratic Whip from 2003 to 2007 and Chair of the Democratic Caucus from 1989 to 1995. In 2007, he became the longest-serving member of the US House from Maryland. Leader Hoyer continues to work hard every day to keep Americans safe, and with his leadership, our gun safety majority will be stronger than ever next year.
  • Jim Clyburn (SC-06) – In 1992, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn became South Carolina’s first African American Congressman in nearly 100 years. Now in his 15th term representing South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District, Whip Clyburn has made a name for himself as a bold leader. Throughout his tenure, Clyburn has served in numerous leadership roles, and is currently serving as House Majority Whip—making him responsible for ensuring that there are a sufficient number of members that will vote for key pieces of legislation when they come to the House floor. For Whip Clyburn, the fight to end gun violence is one of the utmost importance. On June 17, 2015, a white supremacist shot and killed nine African American worshipers at the Emanuel AME Church just outside of his district in Charleston. Although the shooter in this case should have failed a background check, delays in the process allowed for the sale of the deadly firearm used in this tragedy to proceed after just three days. Whip Clyburn has since championed legislation to close this dangerous loophole in our federal gun laws and has consistently introduced the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which would give law enforcement more time to complete background checks. The House passed this landmark legislation in both 2019 and 2021, and Whip Clyburn has proven time and again that he has the ability to bring together diverse coalitions and enact real change and will not stop fighting for this commonsense change until it’s signed into law. 
  • Katherine Clark (MA-05) – Representative Katherine Clark first ran for office to support the women, children, and families of her district, and like so many Americans, she knows that a critical piece of that mission is taking on America’s deadly epidemic of gun violence. Since she came to Congress in 2013, Representative Clark has been a proud and vocal supporter of gun safety measures. She believes that reforming our laws to ensure that guns are sold and used responsibly is essential for improving public safety, and she has proudly co-sponsored bills to strengthen background checks, reduce gun trafficking, eliminate ghost guns, and protect victims of domestic violence. In 2016, following the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Representative Clark teamed up with her friend, the late Congressman John Lewis, to hold a sit-in on the House floor for nearly 26 hours, calling on the then Republican-led body to hold votes on gun safety measures. As a mother, she is serious about passing on this spirit of activism to her children—in fact, her teenager even led their local community’s March for Our Lives protest after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In her former role as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and now as the Assistant Speaker of the House, Representative Clark has been instrumental in making gun safety a key priority for House Democrats as a member of the body’s leadership team.
  • Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) – Representative Hakeem Jeffries has always been a tireless advocate for social and economic justice. In the House, he has long been an outspoken voice for commonsense gun safety legislation and has risen through the ranks to become the current Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. In 2021, he was proud to help usher the historic Bipartisan Background Checks Act through the House—the first step in paving the way for universal background checks to be the law of the land. Representative Jeffries has also consistently pushed for stopping the flow of illegally trafficked guns into Brooklyn and for allocating federal dollars to research gun violence as a public health issue. Throughout his career, Representative Jeffries has understood that gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color, and he knows that addressing this epidemic will require investing in historically underserved neighborhoods. As the Congressional Black Caucus Whip, Jeffries led fellow members in a “hands up, don’t shoot” demonstration in 2014 to spark a national conversation about the shooting of unarmed black men by police. As a founder of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Caucus, Jeffries has also been a leading proponent for community violence intervention programs. In 2021, he also successfully fought to include a $5 billion federal investment to reduce gun violence and trauma in President Biden’s Build Back Better Act and we know that his skills as a legislator will be crucial in advancing life saving reforms in the years to come.
  • Pete Aguilar (CA-33) – Representative Pete Aguilar has been an unwavering advocate for commonsense gun safety reforms during his years in public service. As mayor of Redlands, California, he was an early member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition. As San Bernardino County’s voice in Congress and as a member of House leadership, he understands that gun violence should not be a partisan issue, and he has taken on the gun lobby time and again. For Representative Aguilar and members of his community, this issue is deeply personal. In 2015, just one mile away from his district office in San Bernardino, a deadly terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center occurred, leaving 14 individuals dead, 22 wounded, and his community reeling from the deadly toll of senseless gun violence. Since then, Aguilar has been a passionate voice in the fight to bolster public safety, and as the new Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, he has never allowed this issue to slip from public consciousness. In Washington DC, Representative Aguilar has worked to pass universal background checks, prevent illegal gun trafficking, invest in community violence intervention programs, and root out homegrown radicalism and hate-fueled violence. We know that he is a part of a new generation of leaders who will be responsible for ending gun violence in America once and for all, and we need Representative Aguilar’s voice in Congress to continue moving the needle on this life or death issue.
  • Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney has served the constituents of New York’s 18th Congressional District since 2012, and has always been a strong supporter of commonsense gun safety reforms. As a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Representative Maloney has consistently worked to get dangerous weapons of war off of New York’s streets and has supported legislation like the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which would close loopholes that allow dangerous individuals to access firearms. Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Representative Maloney led a letter-writing campaign focused on highlighting the devastating impacts of gun violence on school-age children, and he delivered more than 200 letters from local students to then House Speaker Paul Ryan. He has never wavered in his pursuit to shield the children and families of the Hudson Valley from senseless violence, and his relentless advocacy for stronger safe storage laws and legislation to combat America’s rise in hate-fueled violence has laid the groundwork for a safer future for his constituents. 


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