Despite the White House and Democratic leadership's seeming reluctance to discuss it, House progressives say their budget proposal didn't just come out of left field and deserves to be part of the discussion.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) told TPM that though he's been "somewhat disappointed" with the response from Democratic leadership, and the White House, he thinks it's because
"we have a platform that probably scares people more than anything else."
41 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus signed a letter Thursday (which can be read in full here) to President Obama, asking that CPC leaders be included in the current budget negotiation talks.
A press release summarized the CPC's budget plan:
The Congressional Progressive Caucus has put forth the People's Budget, a plan rooted in principles shared by the majority of the Americans: Invest in education, infrastructure and transportation, protect the social safety net and create a fair tax system. The People's Budget eliminates our deficit and gets our national debt under control by putting America back to work and ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. The CPC budget cuts $5.6 trillion from the deficit over ten years, produces a budget surplus, and reduces debt to below 65% of GDP. Compare this with the Republican budget proposal, which increases the deficit by $6 trillion over the next decade, hardly a serious commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Grijalva, who co-chairs the Caucus, told TPM that the reaction to the proposal from the public has been "very positive," but when it comes to the Democratic leadership, he's "somewhat disappointed, to be honest with you, that the whip operation chose to have no recommendations to the rest of the caucus on our budget."
Grijalva said he doesn't think the CPC is getting enough support from the White House either, but "we insist that these things be on the table."
"You can deal with the deficit, you can deal with the debt, and preserve the entitlement programs," he said.
But he continued that he thinks there's enough of a "stark difference" between what's on the table now and the CPC's plan, and "that people will get a chance to compare, and if they do, we'll win."
"I think the tone has changed considerably to be much more assertive about what our economic policies are," Grijalva said.