WASHINGTON — Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Vice Chair At-Large Chuy García (IL-04), Chair Emeriti Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) and Barbara Lee (CA-13), Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Executive Board Member At-Large Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) expressed their support for the democratic process in Peru and their hope that the results of a highly competitive election will be respected. 

“We congratulate the people of Peru for carrying out a free and fair election, and we hope that it will help resolve some of the political instability, polarization, and the loss of public confidence in democratic institutions. Given the major social, economic and political challenges the country confronts, and the importance of strong U.S.-Peruvian relations, we express our support for a return to well-functioning democratic institutions in Peru,” said the lawmakers. “For that to happen, the first step is for everyone — both inside and outside of Peru — to respect the will of the electorate.” 

The second and final round of Peru’s presidential election saw Pedro Castillo, a schoolteacher and union leader, face off against Keiko Fujimori, a rightwing former congresswoman and daughter of the incarcerated former authoritarian president Alberto Fujimori. With almost all the votes counted, Castillo has maintained a lead of about 60,000 votes and is widely recognized as the winner. Fujimori has now claimed fraud, but has offered little evidence, and international observers have not found any.

In the past week, the government has announced that the number of deaths from COVID-19 had soared to 180,000 — three times higher than previously reported — putting Peru at or near the highest COVID-19 death rate in the world. The pandemic has also led Peru to suffer severe economic hardship, including an 11 percent decline in GDP in 2020, a near-doubling of unemployment to 15.3 percent, and a 27 percent increase in poverty. 

Peruvians’ confidence in democratic institutions has also declined in recent years. In 2018, only 11 percent of the population responded that they were satisfied with the functioning of democracy — the lowest in Latin America after Brazil. Since 2016, three former presidents have been arrested for corruption, and a fourth committed suicide prior to arrest. Keiko Fujimori has been indicted on charges of corruption and money laundering, and had also pledged, if elected, to pardon her father, who was convicted of involvement in gross human rights violations, including murders and kidnappings.

In November of last year, President Martin Vizcarra was impeached by Peru’s Congress in a move that was widely considered an illegal congressional coup, leading to demonstrations that were met with violent repression for which another president is currently under investigation.

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El Caucus Progresista del Congreso aplaude la conclusión de las elecciones democráticas en Perú y las perspectivas de estabilidad política

WASHINGTON — La presidenta del Progressive Caucus, congresista Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), el vicepresidente general, Chuy García (IL-04), presidentes eméritos Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) y Barbara Lee (CA-13), parlamentaria Ilhan Omar (MN-05), y miembra del directorio Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) manifestaron su apoyo al proceso democrático en el Perú y expresaron la esperanza de que se respeten los resultados de las elecciones altamente competitivas. 

“Felicitamos al pueblo del Perú por llevar a cabo unas elecciones libres y justas, y esperamos que esto ayude a resolver parte de la inestabilidad política, la polarización y la pérdida de confianza pública en las instituciones democráticas. Dados los grandes desafíos sociales, económicos y políticos que enfrenta el país, y la importancia de la gran relación entre Estados Unidos y Perú, expresamos nuestro apoyo al retorno del buen funcionamiento de instituciones democráticas en Perú”, dijeron los legisladores. “Para que eso suceda, el primer paso es que todos, tanto dentro como fuera del Perú, respeten la voluntad del electorado.” 

En esta segunda y última vuelta de las elecciones presidenciales del Perú, Pedro Castillo, un maestro de escuela y líder sindical, se enfrentó a Keiko Fujimori, una excongresista de derecha e hija del expresidente autoritario, hoy encarcelado, Alberto Fujimori. Con casi todos los votos contados, Castillo ha mantenido una ventaja de alrededor de 60.000 votos y es ampliamente reconocido como el ganador. Fujimori ha denunciado fraude, pero ha ofrecido pocas pruebas y los observadores internacionales no han podido encontrar ninguna.

La semana pasada, el Gobierno anunció que el número de muertes por COVID-19 se había disparado a 180.000 —tres veces más de lo reportado anteriormente— colocando la tasa de mortalidad per cápita por COVID-19 del Perú en la más alta del mundo, o cerca de serlo. La pandemia también ha llevado al Perú a sufrir graves dificultades económicas, incluida una disminución del 11 por ciento en el PIB en 2020, un desempleo que casi se duplicó llegando al 15,3 por ciento y un aumento del 27 por ciento en la pobreza.

La confianza de los peruanos en las instituciones democráticas también ha disminuido en los últimos años. En 2018, solo el 11 por ciento de la población respondió que estaba satisfecha con el funcionamiento de la democracia, la cifra más baja de América Latina después de Brasil. Desde 2016, tres expresidentes han sido arrestados por corrupción y un cuarto se suicidó antes del arresto. Keiko Fujimori ha sido acusada de corrupción y lavado de dinero, y también se hacomprometido, si fuera elegida, a indultar a su padre, quien fue condenado por su participación en graves violaciones a los derechos humanos, incluidos asesinatos y secuestros.

En noviembre del año pasado, el presidente Martín Vizcarra fue destituido por el Congreso del Perú a través de una maniobra que fue ampliamente considerada un golpe parlamentario ilegal, lo que provocó protestas que fueron atajadas con violentas represiones, por las que otro presidente está actualmente siendo investigado.

 

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.

 

 

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in support of CPC Whip Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05):

“Rep. Omar is a deeply valued member of the Progressive Caucus. Her voice is critical and necessary, both in the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Democratic Caucus as a whole. 

“We cannot ignore a right-wing media echo chamber that has deliberately and routinely attacked a Black, Muslim woman in Congress, distorting her views and intentions, and resulting in threats against Rep. Omar and her staff. We urge our colleagues not to abet or amplify such divisive and bad-faith tactics. Members of the Democratic Caucus owe it to each other to pause, reflect, and engage directly with each other when misunderstandings arise, and stand together against cynical attempts to divide our caucus.” 

 

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.

 

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the White House negotiations on an infrastructure package.

“In case it wasn’t clear already, it certainly is now: Republicans are not going to do what needs to be done for working families. It would be foolish to think that Republican Senators will suddenly go against Leader McConnell’s goal of dedicating 100 percent of his energy toward blocking President Biden’s agenda, and actually support urgently needed investments in affordable housing, health care, or paid leave — even though they are wildly popular with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

“These are the same Republican Senators who refused to vote against the American Rescue Plan even if some touted its benefits after voting no, who refused to pass a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection, and who refused to vote for pay equity.

“Every day that is wasted trying to get Republicans on board is another day that people can’t go back to work because they don’t have child care; another day without investing in millions of good, union jobs, another day that we lose further ground on the climate crisis. Further delays jeopardize momentum and allow Republicans to block progress for the American people with no end in sight.  

“President Biden has laid out a big, bold vision, and it is urgent. The next step is clear: let’s do what the people are demanding. Let’s go big, bold and fast. We’ve got people of all political ideologies with us. The House and the Senate must immediately begin working on budget resolutions to pass the American Jobs and Families Plan through reconciliation so we can deliver on our promises.”

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.

 

WASHINGTON — In response to President Biden’s budget proposal today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) called for the American Jobs and Families Plan to be moved and passed through a budget reconciliation process, which only requires simple majorities in Congress.

Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) said:  

“Voters delivered Democrats the House, Senate, and White House — a clear mandate for transformative change. Now, we must go big, bold, and fast to deliver for them and meet the urgent needs of this moment — not only addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, but also long-standing, systemic inequalities that contributed to the crises that followed. By including the CPC’s five priorities, the American Jobs and Families Plans can do just that.

“The Biden administration set a deadline for Memorial Day to make significant progress on the legislation; that deadline that will pass this weekend with only totally inadequate counter offers from the Republican caucus. As Mitch McConnell brags that 100 percent of his focus is on stopping the Biden administration, and Republicans continue dragging their heels, families across the country are waiting for Congress to take action.  

“140 million Americans remain poor or low-wealth, women have been pushed out of jobs and desperately need affordable childcare and paid leave, and too many young people need free college to prepare for their futures. Just like we did with the American Rescue Plan, we believe we must go big, bold, and act with urgency. We simply cannot afford to limit our ambitions for Republicans or continue to wait for an offer that will never materialize.  

“With today’s release of the administration’s spending proposal, Congress should now begin crafting a budget resolution that includes the reconciliation instructions needed to pass the President’s unified proposal for an ambitious Jobs and Families Plan as a single bill.  

In April, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released five priority areas for the infrastructure bill. We must ensure these are included, and that the legislation truly does what is necessary to invest in the care economy with universal childcare, paid family leave and a historic expansion of the long-term care workforce; tackle climate change with a bold civilian conservation corps; create millions of good-paying union jobs; provide a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers; and invest in housing and healthcare.   

“We appreciate that in today’s budget request, the President reiterated his clear commitment to expanding Medicare through lowering the eligibility age, while improving its benefits and lowering the cost of prescription drug prices for all Americans. The Progressive Caucus has joined forces with over 70 percent of Democrats across the caucus — including in the most vulnerable districts — to reiterate our strong support and the urgency for including these priorities in the Jobs and Families Plan. We stand ready to work with House and Senate leadership and the White House to finally deliver on these popular and populist policies for the American people.

“We also appreciate the President’s strong commitment to making our tax system fair for working people, raising tax rates on corporations and the wealthiest so that they pay their fair share. The Progressive Caucus has surveyed our membership to identify a list of progressive improvements to the tax code that are supported by a supermajority of the caucus. We will be working to include as many of these as possible into the Jobs and Families Plan as we craft it in Congress.

“While we enthusiastically support the significant increase in discretionary domestic investments included in the budget, progressives also believe it is essential to reduce the President’s request for increased funding for an already-bloated $740 billion Pentagon budget. At a time when America’s military budget is larger than those of the next ten countries combined, we believe it is essential to identify and cut military waste, fraud, and abuse in the budgetary process. 

“We will continue to do everything in our power to craft a piece of legislation that includes these critical priorities and delivers on the President’s charge of a once-in-a-generation investment in our country.”

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON — Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) led nearly 60 lawmakers from across the Democratic Caucus in calling on Congressional leadership to go big, bold, and fast in the next legislative package. Urging Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer to ensure that Congress enacts “as robust and comprehensive a Build Back Better package as possible,” the legislators wrote that the package should focus on a robust size of public investments, ambitious scope — combining both physical and social investments — in addressing long standing Democratic priorities, and rapid speed.

The lawmakers shared three priorities for consideration as Congress develops Build Back Better legislation:

  • Go Big: “Given the scale of our unemployment, caregiving, health care, climate and inequality crises; the historically low cost to make the necessary investments our country needs; and the singular governing opportunity presented to us, we urge our colleagues in Congress to pursue a larger up-front investment that truly meets this historic moment.”
  • Go Bold: “While bipartisan support is welcome, the pursuit of Republican votes cannot come at the expense of limiting the scope of popular investments. … We ask that you work with the White House to prioritize transformative legislation that our voters were promised, which may require reforming or even eliminating the Senate filibuster”
  • Go Fast: “We believe that robust legislation comprising the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan must be enacted as rapidly as possible, preferably as a single, ambitious package combining physical and social investments hand in hand.”             

The lawmakers also called for bold investments in climate action, caregiving, manufacturing, and other infrastructure priorities. Additionally, they cited President Biden’s ambitious campaign proposals as well as research demonstrating that infrastructure can pay for itself by increasing productivity, efficiency, and consumer demand. 

Signatories reflect a full range of voices among the House Democratic caucus, including members of the Progressive Caucus, the New Democrat Coalition, the Blue Dog Coalition, and House Leadership.

“People across America delivered Democrats the House, the Senate, and the White House — a clear mandate for transformative change. Now, we must use this historic governing opportunity to go big, bold, and fast in order to deliver for them,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “With Mitch McConnell declaring that one hundred percent of his focus is on stopping this new administration, a Build Back Better plan with Republican support cannot come at the expense of real climate action, equity and opportunity for marginalized communities, and health care, child care, paid leave, and strong labor standards that make a real impact in the lives of people throughout this country.”

“For far too long, our nation has gone without the appropriate funding for our infrastructure,” said Congressman Panetta.  “Now more than ever, we need ambitious investments in all of our communities that can put Americans back to work as we address the challenges of the 21st century.  It’s time for a bold Build Back Better package that builds on President Joe Biden’s transformative vision with sweeping investments in our infrastructure, job creation, and the future of the American family.”

The lawmakers’ call for a big, bold, and fast Build Back Better package is also supported by local, state, and national organizations across the country. 

“SEIU members and worker leaders in the Fight for $15 and a Union have spent more than a year on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic as home care providers, nursing home workers, janitors, airport workers, educators, fast food workers and other essential workers risking their lives to keep the country fed, clean, safe, and healthy,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “Today, we stand ready to work with the Biden administration to build an inclusive, resilient country where every family can thrive. That’s why we’re calling for Congress to prioritize the bold, transformative investments in the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan, including the investment in the Black, brown, and immigrant women who do the bulk of care work in our country. The recommendations for scope, size and speed outlined in this letter recognizes the realities working families continue to face during this pandemic and paints a clearer roadmap for rebuilding a nation that will be better than before.”

“While our leaders are haggling over price tags, Americans are bearing the burdens of life threatening economic, climate, and racial crises. Tackling huge challenges requires solutions, like the THRIVE Act, that are just as big in scale and just as urgent, said Kaniela Ing of People’s Action. “With every dollar we infuse into our communities, we create new jobs, mitigate the climate crisis, and build modern infrastructure so the country gets a lot safer and fairer. The message to our Democratic leaders is clear: There’s no time to lose. We want you to make the boldest investments possible to protect our families and future.” 

“From the Chinese railroad workers and other immigrants who built much of this country’s physical infrastructure to today, Asian American and Pacific Islander workers have endured decades of underinvestment, erasure, exclusion, and discrimination,” said Alvina Yeh, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO. “Our communities cannot get back to work without childcare, long-term care, paid leave, or investments in education and job retraining. Now is the time to go big and go bold to address long-overdue inequities for immigrant workers and workers of color. APALA strongly supports an ambitious infrastructure package that meets the scale of our unemployment, caregiving, health care, climate and inequality crises.” 

“As we rebuild from the devastation of the pandemic, we have not only a historic opportunity but also a fierce moral urgency to invest in a society that cares for everyone who is part of it,” said Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “Now is not the time to timidly compromise our future – we must be even bolder in our efforts to not simply recover from the pandemic, but transform our economy, our infrastructure, and our society.”

“We need an economic renewal plan that’s as large as the physical reality of the climate crisis, the economic reality of mass unemployment, and the structural reality of systemic racism,” said Ben Beachy, Living Economy Director, Sierra Club. “Congress should build on the strong foundation of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and increase the scale of investments to match the magnitude of the crises we face, as outlined in the broadly backed THRIVE Act. Millions of Americans are counting on Congress to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver cleaner air and water, family-sustaining jobs, healthier living conditions, bold climate action, and a more just economy.”

“Seniors and people with disabilities have paid a devastating toll in lives lost and harms faced by the pandemic,” said Alex Lawson, Executive Director of Social Security Works. “Because of that, there are no louder voices calling for big and bold solutions delivered as quickly as possible to the people. After 14 months of devastation, there is no such thing as too much, for too many, or too fast.”

“We strongly support Rep. Jayapal and Rep. Panetta’s calls for the swift passage of President Biden’s American Families Plan,” said Bridget Todd, spokesperson for UltraViolet. “We cannot ‘build back better’ if women are not being paid a living wage and saddled with student debt. We will not recover from the devastation of this pandemic without more permanent investments in our children, including expanded tax credits and additional support for childcare and family care.  President Biden was elected with a mandate to go big. The American Families Plan does that. Women of color especially worked tirelessly to elect Biden into office on the promise that our needs would finally become a priority. Centering women of color, Black women, Indigenous women and LGTBQ people, is a critical step to not only recover from the pandemic, but push for fundamental transformation in the fabric of our society.” 

The letter is endorsed by MoveOn, Groundwork Action, Moms Rising, National Partnership for Women and Families, Social Security Works, SEIU, Time’s Up Now, The Green New Deal Network, Indivisible, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Center for Popular Democracy Action, 9 to 5, Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement and Research (CLEAR), Demos, National Women’s Law Center, Progressive Democrats of America, Main Street Alliance, Sunrise Movement, Americans for Democratic Action, Paid Leave for All, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap, Courage California, The New York Women’s Foundation, National Association of Social Workers, Marked By COVID, Campaign for America’s Future, Equal Rights Advocates, Coalition of Labor Union Women, POWER-PAC IL, Data for Progress, Pep Talk Her, ExtendPUA.org, Sierra Club, Center for Popular Democracy, Democracy for America, Zero to Three, Our Revolution, Health Care for America Now, Tax March, UltraViolet, Immigration Hub, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Caring Across Generations, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Black to the Future Action Fund, Native Women Lead, Working Families Party, and People’s Action.

The full letter is available here.

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WASHINGTON — Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement regarding the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine:

“This crisis—and the senseless deaths of Palestinians and Israelis alike—shows no signs of abating. Prime Minister Netanyahu has vowed to continue bombing Gaza, and Hamas continues firing rockets at Israeli towns. We need an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The U.S. must now go beyond simply voicing support for a ceasefire and urgently work to secure one.

“Disproportionate Israeli bombings that have destroyed the Associated Press offices, targeted a refugee camp, and damaged a Doctors Without Borders clinic. I am deeply concerned by the message sent by a pending $735 billion U.S. weapons sale to Israel, as its timing and significance threaten to undermine U.S. diplomacy to secure an immediate end to this violence.

“Congress and the Biden Administration should consider delaying this arms sale to carefully review whether transferring these precision-guided missiles at this moment is consistent with protecting human rights, achieving an immediate ceasefire, and is in accordance with the Arms Export Control Act, which only allows such weapons transfers for legitimate defense and prohibits their use to escalate conflict.

“Finally, as part of the overall process to bring about a peaceful settlement, the U.S. must recommit to using the many tools at its disposal to address the root causes of this recent violence and help bring about a two-state solution.”

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WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would send an additional 20 million doses of FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines abroad by the end of June: 

“To end a global pandemic, we need global solutions. That is why the Congressional Progressive Caucus has been urging President Biden to release some of our stockpile of unused COVID-19 vaccines to countries around the world, approve requests for raw vaccine materials, and support a resolution at the WTO to waive patent protections so we finally put people’s lives over pharmaceutical profits.

“The Biden administration’s willingness to heed our call on each of these lifesaving requests is a significant step in the right direction — but it is not yet sufficient. To truly address the scale of the global crisis, we must work quickly and deploy every tool in our arsenal. Specifically, this should include continuing to release more of our stockpile — immediately investing an additional $25 billion to manufacture vaccines domestically and provide them to the world. 

“We must also leverage U.S. patent ownership over vaccine innovations to license their widespread production while cooperating with the World Health Organization’s program to transfer vaccine technology to global producers. Additionally, we should support a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights, a cost-free IMF reserve asset, to strengthen public-health budgets worldwide and assist low-income countries in carrying out vaccination campaigns.

“The Progressive Caucus is ready to partner with this administration on additional measures to achieve our shared goal of a rapid and equitable global vaccination program. Now is the time to build international cooperation and solidarity in ways we have never seen before, including using the full force of U.S. membership in multilateral institutions. It is clearer than ever that the fate of our own health and safety in the U.S. is inextricably connected to the wellbeing and protection of the most vulnerable among us worldwide. With cases and deaths on the rise around the world, there is no time — or resource — to waste.”

 

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WASHINGTON — Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement regarding U.S. support for a resolution advanced by India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization (WTO), backed by 100 countries, to temporarily waive intellectual property protections on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments until the pandemic has ended: 

“I commend President Biden for today’s monumental decision, which recognizes the common humanity we share in the face of this horrific and unprecedented pandemic. By heeding the call of a global grassroots movement and a majority of House Democrats—led by Progressive Caucus members Reps. Schakowsky, Doggett, DeLauro, Blumenauer, Chuy Garcia, and Espaillat—this administration is restoring U.S. global leadership by putting human life above pharmaceutical profits. This life-saving decision to reverse the Trump Administration’s shameful obstruction of international efforts to temporarily waive patent monopolies could not come a moment too soon, as India, Brazil, and countries across the world experience terrifying new surges in COVID19 infections and deaths. 

“Today, wealthy countries have administered more than 80 percent of global vaccines while low-income countries have received just 0.3 percent. Redressing this injustice requires deploying every tool in our arsenal, and this waiver is a vital first step. The Progressive Caucus is ready to partner with this administration on additional measures to achieve our shared goal of a rapid and equitable global vaccination program. This should include leveraging U.S. patent ownership over vaccine innovations to license their widespread production; investing an additional $25 billion in the Build Back Better agenda to manufacture vaccines domestically and provide them to the world; cooperating with the World Health Organization’s program to transfer vaccine technology to global producers; and supporting a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights, a cost-free IMF reserve asset, to strengthen public-health budgets worldwide and assist low-income countries in carrying out vaccination campaigns.

“Now is the time to build international cooperation and solidarity in ways we have never seen before, including using the full force of U.S. membership in multilateral institutions, as the Biden Administration has just demonstrated at the WTO in such an historic way. It is clearer than ever that the fate of our own health and safety in the United States is inextricably connected to the wellbeing and protection of the most vulnerable among us worldwide.”

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement today applauding President Joe Biden’s decision to lift the refugee cap to 62,500 after progressives urged him to end Trump’s cruel, xenophobic policy:

“Just a few weeks ago, I vocally urged President Biden to keep his promise to restore America’s humanity, immediately increase the refugee cap, and end Donald Trump’s xenophobic policy that cruelly restricted refugee admissions to a historically low level. Organizers around the country, refugee resettlement agencies, and other progressive Members of Congress all raised their voices to ensure a quick change in the policy.

“Today, President Biden did just that. With his decision today to raise the cap to 62,500, the President has not only kept his promise to us but to refugees around the world — including over 35,000 who have already been cleared for resettlement. By signing an Emergency Presidential Determination, he is clearly saying that America is once again a beacon of hope.

“I am grateful that President Biden listened to our call to action and is building on the swift work he did during his first 100 days to begin reversing Trump’s all-out draconian assault on immigrants. While this new administration inherited a broken immigration system that was gutted and sabotaged by the previous president, it is on all of us to fix it — quickly. Today’s announcement is a critical step. Now, we must continue to rebuild our refugee system and reform our immigration system in a humane way that focuses on dignity, respect, and family unity. The Progressive Caucus looks forward to working closely with the Biden Administration to ensure that we do exactly that.” 

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement tonight applauding President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office and urging him to continue going big in the days ahead: 

“President Biden has risen to this moment — one in which people across America face multiple crises. In tonight’s address, he recounted the immense progress we’ve made as a country over the past 100 days to move beyond the cruelty, chaos, and mass COVID-19 casualties that defined the Trump presidency. President Biden inherited a nation in despair, with hundreds of thousands having needlessly died, millions more thrown out of work, and too many unable to put food on the table. 

“The bold, decisive action he took in proposing and signing the American Rescue Plan — which progressives fought to keep as big as possible — put money in people’s pockets, shots in their arms, and robust relief into their communities to help weather this devastating pandemic. The President deserves recognition for laying the foundations for a just economic recovery, and demonstrating real leadership in ensuring that we quickly got 200 million vaccine doses into people's arms, bringing hope and security to so many.

 “Now, the challenge is not to let up because there is so much more that America needs to bring back opportunity and justice for all. That is why we urge President Biden to go just as big in the days ahead. His outline for the American Families Plan tonight is a strong addition to his American Jobs Plan, and reflects many longstanding priorities of progressives including free community college, paid leave, child care, affordable housing, and so much more. 

“But there is more to be done to address the serious health challenges that have existed in this country for far too long. We must include in the Families Plan bringing down the price of pharmaceutical drugs for all Americans who are paying over twice as much as those in other countries. Pharmaceutical companies have been profiting from their greed and the pain of Americans who are cutting their prescriptions at the kitchen table. We must also expand Medicare benefits for seniors to include dental, vision, and hearing benefits while lowering the Medicare eligibility age to cover tens of millions more. Finally, we need to expand child care to ensure every single family in America can afford it. 

 

“Progressives also welcome the President’s remarks on immigration and look forward to working with him to provide a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers as part of this package. Paired with an American Jobs Plan that tackles the climate crisis and creates millions of good, union jobs that pay a living wage, the American Families Plan must be enacted by Congress as a single package — without delay — to transform the lives of people throughout this country.

“Finally, President Biden showed courage and moral clarity on foreign policy tonight in bringing U.S. servicemembers home after 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The return of our soldiers must be paired with robust diplomacy, humanitarian aid, and a genuine end to U.S. hostilities in order to achieve a peaceful outcome, led by Afghans. But much more must be done to improve U.S. foreign policy.

“Tonight’s joint address showcased President Bident’s vision in guiding America through the worst challenge we’ve faced in a generation. The Congressional Progressive Caucus looks forward to continuing to partner with the Biden-Harris Administration to seize the historic opportunity to make a real, lasting difference in the lives of people across America.” 

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