Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement after working with Education & Labor Chairman Bobby Scott and Speaker Nancy Pelosi to secure the inclusion of a $15 minimum wage in the House of Representatives’ pandemic relief reconciliation package:

“In the midst of a deadly pandemic, millions of American workers are risking their lives for poverty wages that haven’t been raised in over a decade. It’s long past time for Congress to right this wrong and enact a minimum wage that allows families to live with dignity.

“The Progressive Caucus has long identified the inclusion of a $15 minimum wage as a top priority for this pandemic relief package. Today, we’re pleased to announce that, after working with Democratic leadership, we have secured the inclusion of this critical provision in the budget reconciliation package to raise wages for an estimated 27 million low-wage workers and lift nearly 1 million people out of poverty. The CPC thanks Chairman Scott, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Sanders for working diligently with us to get this done. In the richest nation on Earth, there’s no excuse to pay workers a poverty wage – every job has dignity and every worker deserves a livable wage.”

The Progressive Caucus was the first caucus to support a $15 minimum wage, with the introduction of the Pay Workers A Living Wage Act in 2015.

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the announcement from the Biden Administration that the U.S. will end its involvement in the conflict in Yemen, a long-standing priority for the Congressional Progressive Caucus:

“President Biden’s decision to end U.S. participation in the brutal war in Yemen is a long overdue step towards peace. The Progressive Caucus has spent the last several years calling for an end to our involvement in this humanitarian atrocity, as the Yemeni people have endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of the Saudi-Emirati coalition. Last Congress, the Progressive Caucus fought for and was successful in passing a bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolution in both chambers of Congress, which was later vetoed by President Trump despite the objections of national security experts, human rights organizations, and members of both parties.

“We applaud President Biden for listening to the consensus from the national security and human rights communities and ending U.S. support for these atrocities. But far more must still be done to address the human suffering in the region. The United States is partially responsible for the fact that 80 percent of the Yemeni population requires humanitarian aid. As we end our role in this conflict, we must redouble our efforts to facilitate peace in the region and provide the humanitarian aid that is so desperately needed. The Progressive Caucus will continue to champion robust investments in diplomacy while fighting to cut the bloated, ever-increasing Pentagon budget that fuels endless wars.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the passage of H. Con. Res. 11, the FY 2021 Budget Resolution to expedite pandemic relief for millions of Americans:

“This is a moment for urgency and action. This week, House Democrats took the first critical step towards passing an ambitious and aggressive COVID-19 relief bill that will rescue our economy, prevent mass suffering, and help families and communities weather this crisis.

“We know the enormity of the challenges we face, which is why the Progressive Caucus has consistently — from the beginning of the pandemic — called for bold and expansive legislation that meets the scale of this crisis. The budget resolution passed last night is a strong framework and we look forward to passing a robust relief bill that ends this pandemic and keeps families afloat. We cannot afford a repeat of the jobless recovery from the Great Recession which cost millions of people – disproportionately low-income families and people of color – their homes, livelihoods and savings.

“As we move forward, the Progressive Caucus has identified five priorities to strengthen the proposed pandemic relief package. First, it is essential that this package increases the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Our current minimum wage is an abhorrent, immoral poverty wage – and it’s particularly shameful that frontline workers are being asked to risk their lives in a pandemic while being denied a decent, livable wage. Second, we support expanding access to health care by automatically enrolling the unemployed, uninsured, and their dependents in public plans like Medicare and Medicaid. Third, given the enormous toll this pandemic has taken on our states, municipalities, tribes, and territories, which are on the frontlines in combating this pandemic and vaccinating the public, we also support increasing aid to those governments. Fourth, we want to ensure that our relief is inclusive of and open to all communities, regardless of immigration status. Lastly, we strongly support robust payments to families to keep them afloat for the duration of the pandemic, both in the form of survival checks as well as through the child tax credit proposal which would cut child poverty in half.

“We look forward to working with House leadership and our allies in the Senate and the White House to pass this urgently-needed relief bill, rescue our economy, and fulfill our promise to the American people.”

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Washington, D.C. – Today, the Executive Board of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45), sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer reiterating the strong progressive support for a urgent and ambitious pandemic relief package of no less than $1.9 trillion.

“With the economy in crisis, rock-bottom interest rates, and no sign of inflation, the economic consensus is clear: the best hope for the economy is a massive public investment to create jobs, raise wages, and keep people out of poverty,” the letter notes. “If we aim too low, the financial consequences will be catastrophic, long-lasting, and borne by the American families who can least afford it.”

“President Biden’s rescue package, which comes in at $1.9 trillion, is a critical first step meeting the economic need, but if anything, it doesn’t go far enough. Congress should be building off of this opening offer, not weakening it. Given the clear economic consensus and urgent need for government spending, we are deeply concerned that lawmakers – including a handful in our own party – are advocating to scale back the President’s rescue package,” the letter continues. “Deficit-financed investments, especially those targeted toward poor, working-class, and middle-class communities, will drive broad-based economic growth. Manufactured concerns about the debt will only get in the way of urgently-needed action and delay relief for millions of families.”

The letter was signed by 25 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Board. The full letter is available here.

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement applauding President Joe Biden’s executive actions to provide economic relief for families, including expanding food access for hungry children and families, ensuring survival checks reach the American people, restoring and expanding labor protections for workers, and beginning the process to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for federal contractors:

“The pandemic has unleashed a level of financial distress across the country unseen since the Great Depression. An estimated one in four children are food insecure and nearly a million Americans are still losing their jobs each week. The executive actions signed by President Biden are a critical and long-overdue step to help families weather this financial crisis, keep food on the table, and survive the pandemic.

“The expansion of SNAP and other nutrition programs will help millions of people feed their families. We also applaud President Biden’s efforts to ensure low-income families can access their survival checks and expand labor protections so workers aren’t forced into taking unsafe jobs and putting themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Since 2014, the Progressive Caucus has led the charge to make the federal government a model employer by raising the poverty minimum wage for federal contractors and expanding paid family and sick leave. We have also been champions in pushing for a $15 federal minimum wage — taking the movement started by fast-food workers who helped make Seattle became the first major city in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage all the way to Congress with the Raise the Wage Act. In the coming weeks, building on President Biden’s critically important executive order to raise the wage for federal employees and contractors, I will join my colleagues in the House and Senate to re-introduce the Raise the Wage Act to lift the wages of millions of workers across the country.

“As we work to pass an ambitious and transformative pandemic relief package, these executive actions will help workers and families get by in the midst of this crisis. But ultimately, we must do more to help families thrive – not just survive this pandemic.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the Day One Executive Actions signed by President Joe Biden:

“For four years, Donald Trump wreaked havoc on our nation, governing with lawlessness, cruelty, and chaos. Today, we turned a new page with the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris – restoring decency, empathy, and justice to the White House.

“But much work remains to undo the damage of the last four years. We are pleased to see that President Biden is wasting no time in undoing many of the worst policies of the Trump Administration – including ending the Muslim Ban, restoring DACA for Dreamers, reinstating a fair census count, beginning to reverse cruel immigration policies that separated families, advancing racial equity within the federal workforce, and rejoining the Paris Accords – and pro-actively providing relief for the American people during this pandemic.

“As we mark the tragic milestone of 400,000 American lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden Administration is acting with urgency to expand public health and financial relief measures. We applaud the extension of the eviction, foreclosure and student loans moratoriums, the institution of a 100 day mask mandate, and the rejoining of the World Health Organization, and are ready to work with President Biden, Vice President Harris, and our Senate partners to build on these measures with the swift passage of a comprehensive and bold relief package that meets the scale of this crisis.

“This is a promising start, and we look forward to working with President Biden to build on these executive actions and pass transformative legislation through Congress. We have no time to waste.”

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Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs for the 116th Congress, Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02), released a report detailing the CPC’s accomplishments from the past two years.

The Progressive Caucus 116th Congress in Review report identifies the major legislative, communications, and procedural victories for the Progressive Caucus over the past two years and opens with a letter from the CPC Co-Chairs.

“The Progressive Caucus has spent the last two years fighting for policies that restore power to the hands of the people. We became the first Caucus to endorse impeaching this lawless President, advocated for low-wage workers during and in the wake of the longest-ever government shutdown, fought for sweeping policies to protect families and workers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and demanded transformative and structural reforms to our criminal justice system and federal institutions as part of the long-overdue reckoning on racial justice,” write Representatives Jayapal and Pocan. “We have also looked inward to improve our functioning as a caucus and ensure we are a nimble and member-driven organization prepared to leverage power as we welcome President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to the White House.”

Read the full report here.

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement applauding President-elect Biden’s decision to appoint FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):

“President-elect Biden has made an excellent decision in selecting Rohit Chopra to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Throughout his career – including his previous work at the CFPB and at the Federal Trade Commission – Rohit Chopra has been an unwavering advocate for everyday families and demonstrated a consistent willingness to challenge concentrated corporate power. Under his leadership, the CFPB will be able to once again live up to its mission as a bulwark against predatory lending and abuse and restore power to the hands of consumers.

“We also encourage President-elect Biden to appoint a successor to Commissioner Chopra at the Federal Trade Commission who shares his strong commitment to vigorously enforcing our nation's antitrust and consumer protection laws.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package proposed by President-elect Joe Biden:

“The COVID-19 package proposed by President-elect Biden is a promising start to help crush the virus, provide relief to the American people, and rescue our economy. At a moment when cases continue to rise, it provides critical funding to build out our public health infrastructure and workforce, includes critical family and medical leave, and targets aid to communities of color who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. At a time when nearly one million additional people are losing their jobs each week, it delivers direct aid to families, invests in state and local governments, expands the child tax credit, and extends relief for the unemployed and those on the brink of eviction. Importantly, this package would also cut child poverty in half across the United States.

“The Progressive Caucus has long cautioned against going too small in a moment of crisis that demands urgent and sweeping action. We know that the challenges facing the American people are enormous and structural – and the policies we pass as a Congress must reflect that. In our People’s Agenda, we identified pandemic relief as a key pillar of our agenda, and we remain committed to addressing this crisis through ambitious and transformative policies that help families thrive, not just survive.

“We look forward to working with the Biden Administration to strengthen this proposal and deliver comprehensive and swift relief to families suffering across the nation.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), CPC Chair Emeritus Mark Pocan, (WI-02), CPC Peace & Security Task Force Chair Barbara Lee (CA-13), and CPC Deputy Whip Ro Khanna (CA-17) released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization:

“The Trump Administration’s reckless decision to designate the Houthis as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and Foreign Terrorist Organization only further imperils hope for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen and exacerbates the world’s worst humanitarian crisis for the millions of Yemenis on the brink of starvation.

“An estimated 24 million people – nearly 80 percent of the population – are in dire need of food and medicine. The people of Yemen cannot afford another obstacle to receiving the assistance they need. That is why the Congressional Progressive Caucus has consistently supported an end to unconstitutional U.S. participation in the Saudi-led coalition’s brutal war, spearheading the first-ever War Powers Resolution to pass the House and Senate in 2019. The imminent end of Trump’s lawless administration opens the possibility for robust engagement with the UN-brokered peace talks to diplomatically resolve the crisis.

“We call on the incoming Biden Administration to reverse both designations and remove all obstacles that prevent the Yemeni people from accessing food, medicine, fuel and other necessary goods and services. We are committed to reasserting Congress’s rightful constitutional authority over war and peace, and look forward to working with the Administration to secure the immediate end to all military and political support for the Saudi-led coalition, a major increase in humanitarian aid to prevent a full-blown famine, and full support for the UN-brokered peace negotiations led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to finally end to this crisis.”

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