Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement regarding President Biden’s annual budget proposal and the need to cut the bloated Pentagon budget:

 “I applaud President Biden for recognizing that after more than a decade of chronic underinvestment, the federal government can and should serve as a force for good in the lives of everyday Americans. By raising spending on domestic needs by 15 percent in his budget proposal — a $100 billion annual increase — President Biden is sending a powerful message: in the world’s wealthiest country, all Americans deserve robust education, job training, environmental protection, health care, housing, research, transportation, nutrition support, and so much more.

“However, this proposal also recommends increasing the level of an already-out-of-control Pentagon budget, which has exploded over the past four years. By boosting Trump’s $740 billion Pentagon budget by 1.6 percent to $753 billion a year, this proposal would fund a military larger than those of the next 10 countries combined. At a time of such dire challenges—including a global pandemic, a mass unemployment crisis, a climate catastrophe, and millions more being pushed into poverty—a military budget rife with waste, fraud and abuse must finally be reined in so we can invest these resources in our communities to address genuine human needs. While I welcome the proposed end to the overseas contingency operations slush fund, a longstanding Progressive Caucus priority, Congress must continue to identify and eliminate additional military bloat, such as the production of needless and dangerous nuclear weapons, which we should be working to rapidly reduce — not expand. If our national security was preserved during eight years of the Obama-Biden administration, there should be no reason not to return to those levels of military spending under the new Biden-Harris administration.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement regarding President Biden’s nomination of legal scholar Ur Jaddou as Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):

“I celebrate the president’s nomination of Ur Jaddou, a daughter of immigrants, to head the USCIS. Ms. Jaddou boasts a deep understanding of immigration law and policy, and held the Trump Administration to account for its cruel immigration policies as a tireless advocate and scholar. I am thrilled to see this highly credentialed nominee head our Citizenship and Immigration Services. Ms. Jaddou knows exactly how to restore USCIS to ensure timely processing of immigration benefits for the workers who help drive our economy, families seeking to reunite, and so many more.”

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Washington, D.C. – Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced its five key recommendations for building on and strengthening the American Jobs Plan framework proposed by President Biden. 

The five recommendations, which were identified by the membership of the Progressive Caucus as key priorities that should be considered for inclusion in the final American Jobs Plan, are:  

  • Strengthen the Care Economy 
  • Bold Investments in Affordable Housing 
  • Dramatically Lower Drug Prices; Use Savings to Pay for Public Health Expansion
  • Bold Investments in Climate Jobs and Impacted Communities 
  • Roadmap for Citizenship and Inclusion for Immigrant Communities 

“President Biden presented a vision for bold legislation that tackles the biggest challenges before us and reinvests in good-paying, sustainable union jobs that empower working families. We agree that it’s time for transformative change and we look forward to working with the Biden Administration to expand on their proposal and ensure that the American Jobs Plan goes big to truly meet the needs of the public,” said CPC Chair Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07). “To that end, the Progressive Caucus has identified five key priorities on both physical and human infrastructure, which are inextricably linked. These priorities will strengthen this critical bill and fulfill our promises to the American people. It’s time to go big and it’s time to go bold, and enact these as part of a single, ambitious package.”

More details on the five priorities identified by the Progressive Caucus can be found here. 

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement regarding President Biden’s American Jobs Plan:

“Today, President Biden is making a compelling case to the American people that now is the time for comprehensive investments in our infrastructure. We applaud his vision of government as a force for good in this country and agree that bold investments in good-paying union jobs, climate action, and caregiving are essential to uplifting families and building back better.

“While President Biden’s proposal is a welcome first step, more must be done to improve on this initial framework to meet the challenges we face. We are still emerging from a deadly pandemic that has killed half a million Americans and plunged millions more into poverty, joblessness, and food insecurity. It is imperative that we act on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to use our governing majorities and build on the success of the landmark $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to enact the transformational policies that we were voted into office to deliver.

“To that end, we believe this package can and should be substantially larger in size and scope. During his campaign, President Biden committed to a ‘$2 trillion accelerated investment’ over four years on climate-focused infrastructure alone, which would set America on ‘an irreversible course to meet the ambitious climate progress that science demands.’ Today’s proposal, which includes many other priorities such as care jobs, will invest half that amount—roughly $2 trillion over eight years—or 1 percent of GDP. Given the President’s fierce resolve in passing the overwhelmingly popular American Rescue Plan earlier this month, it makes little sense to narrow his previous ambition on infrastructure or compromise with the physical realities of climate change.

“While we understand there is a separate package to be released on broader care economy supports, health care, and free college, our preference is for a single, ambitious package that would include both physical infrastructure and care infrastructure – these investments go hand-in-hand, and we need both to restore our economy and empower families. People—especially women and people of color who have suffered disproportionate job losses during this recession—can’t get back to work without child care, or long-term care, or investments in education and job retraining. This human infrastructure cannot be secondary to the physical infrastructure needs we have as a country. We have a limited window to get this done—we must seize our chance to build back better with economy-wide investments that work for working families and communities of color.

“We believe that our country is ready for an even bolder, more comprehensive and integrated plan that demonstrates the size, scope, and speed required to aggressively slash carbon pollution and avoid climate catastrophe; create millions of good, family-sustaining, union jobs; improve Americans’ health and safety; reduce racial and gender disparities; and curb income inequality by making the wealthy and large corporations finally pay their fair share in taxes. The Progressive Caucus looks forward to engaging with the White House and Congressional leadership to make all the economic and social investments that we need—with or without Republican votes—and before Congress leaves for August recess. We must act urgently to develop and pass a package that rises to the unprecedented challenges we face as a country.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement calling for Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and Deputy Social Security Commissioner David Black to be fired for obstructing the delivery of $1400 survival checks to 30 million Americans:

“It is appalling and outrageous that holdovers from the Trump Administration at the Social Security Administration have delayed the delivery of survival checks to 30 million Americans, including veterans, seniors, and people living with disabilities. This is not a game – for millions of people, these checks are a lifeline to put food on the table, refill prescriptions, and put gas in the car.

“The IRS first sought data for automatic payments from the SSA two weeks prior to the signing of the American Rescue Plan on March 11th – but the SSA refused to provide those files until March 25th after the House Ways & Means Committee issued an ultimatum. In delaying these payments, Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black have shown a profound contempt for the American people and are unfit to continue to serve in their roles at the Social Security Administration. The American people should be able to trust that the senior leadership of the Social Security Administration will advocate on their behalf – not needlessly and cruelly obstruct the delivery of survival checks. Commissioner Saul and Deputy Commissioner Black should be removed from their positions immediately.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives vote today to waive statutory PAYGO for the American Rescue Plan Act:

“We’re pleased that the House voted today to waive statutory PAYGO for the American Rescue Plan Act to prevent damaging, self-defeating, and wholly unnecessary cuts to Medicare and other programs. We urge the Senate to follow the House’s lead and act swiftly to waive statutory PAYGO.

“It’s long past time for Congress to end statutory PAYGO permanently. The austerity politics of the last several decades have been an unmitigated failure – hollowing out programs that families rely on and leaving millions unable to afford the basics. Congress should never have to choose between protecting programs like Medicare and lifting families out of poverty or providing urgently needed assistance to working people facing unprecedented economic hardship.

“At the Progressive Caucus, we will keep fighting to end statutory PAYGO for good so that Congress can focus on what really matters: empowering and investing in working people across this nation.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act:

“The passage of the American Dream and Promise Act today is a direct result of years of dedicated, tireless organizing by countless immigrants, activists, and organizers. This bill is a promise and a commitment to millions of people who love this country, call it home, and are American in every way except on paper.

“As an immigrant who came to this country alone at the age of 16 and went on to start the largest immigrant rights organization in Washington state, I know that our nation is enriched in so many ways by the Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients who have built their lives here. By passing the American Dream and Promise Act today, we are sending a clear message that we value their contributions and welcome them in this country. Congress still has a great deal of work ahead of us to end the punitive, arbitrary and cruel policies of the Trump Administration – but by passing the American Dream and Promise Act today, we are reaffirming our commitment to protecting the 4.4 million Dreamers, TPS, and DED recipients in this country and treating immigrant communities with dignity and respect.

“We cannot allow this bill to die in the Senate at the hands of Senator McConnell and a viciously xenophobic Republican minority. The American Dream and Promise Act, like so many bills we’ve passed, has majority support in both chambers of Congress, the White House, and among the American people. It’s long past time we abolished the filibuster – a relic of Southern white segregationists, now used to block progress on widely popular and populist bills – so we can pass this bill into law and deliver on our promises to people across this country.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the Senate passage of the American Rescue Plan:

“The American Rescue Plan is a truly progressive and bold package that delivers on its promise to put money directly in people’s pockets and decisively crush the coronavirus’s spread, which is responsible for our economic crisis. Compared to the response to the Great Recession, this package meets the scale of this unprecedented crisis, delivering the equivalent of seven percent of GDP for the coming year – exactly what economists say is needed to jumpstart our economy and the labor market. This is a crucial down payment on the $3 to $4.5 trillion in total stimulus funding needed to fully recover from this crisis.

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus worked very hard to ensure that the package that the House passed was as bold as it needed to be, keeping the thresholds for survival checks the same, including essential funding for housing, utilities, and a child tax credit that will cut poverty in half, among other provisions. The CPC also ensured inclusion of the $15 minimum wage in the House plan to continue our pressure on the Senate to pass $15. We are proud of our efforts and know that had we not passed such a bold package in the House, the resulting bill would have been far worse.

“Importantly, despite the fact that we believe any weakening of the House provisions were bad policy and bad politics, the reality is that the final amendments were relatively minor concessions. The American Rescue Plan has retained its core bold, progressive elements originally proposed by President Joe Biden and passed in the House relief package. As 24 million Americans go hungry and 40 million Americans struggle to stay in their homes, the package provides essential aid to keep people in their homes, put food on the table, reopen our schools, ensure access to childcare, keep small businesses afloat, and more.

“We remain extremely disappointed that the minimum wage bill was not included. The minimum wage remains essential policy and we must deliver on this issue. We call on the President to lay out his plan in the coming days for providing a desperately needed raise for 32 million Americans.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement celebrating the passage of H.R. 1, the For The People Act:

“For far too long, our political system has been held captive by billionaires, lobbyists, and special interests. Our democracy has been eroded by voter suppression and gerrymandering. And the voices of everyday families have been drowned out by an avalanche of dark money.

“Our political system can’t work for the people unless we end the corruption in Washington and expand access to the ballot box. The For the People Act is a transformational bill that would restore power to where it belongs – in the hands of the people. This bill contains many priorities that the Progressive Caucus has long advocated for. It makes our elections more fair by expanding voter registration, strengthening early voting and vote by mail programs, ending partisan gerrymandering, and preventing voter suppression. It stops billionaires and big corporations from purchasing our democracy by strengthening ethics laws and oversight, strengthening public financing programs for campaigns, and shining a light on dark money donations.

“The passage of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, is a victory for our democracy and for people across the nation who deserve to have an equal voice in our government. Now, we need the Senate to act. We cannot allow for archaic Senate procedure to derail progress and undermine our democracy – it’s past time to abolish the filibuster so we can deliver real results for the American people, starting with the For the People Act.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021:

“This nation was founded on white supremacy. Structural racism is embedded into our institutions and written into our laws. Nowhere is that more evident than in the persistent unequal and unjust treatment of Black Americans by law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

“Last summer, millions of Americans rose up to protest this nation’s epidemic of police brutality, which has gone unaddressed for far too long. By once again passing the Justice in Policing Act, Congress is sending a message that Black Lives Matter and we are undeterred in the fight for justice and accountability. This bill contains many provisions long fought for by the Progressive Caucus, including reforming qualified immunity for police officers, limiting transfers of military-grade equipment to local law enforcement, banning chokeholds, and creating a binding national standard for the use of force. The passage of this bill is an essential piece in the fight to dismantle institutional racism and rebuild centering justice and racial equity.

“We cannot pass this bill in the House only to see it die in the Senate. The filibuster was used for generations as a tool for white supremacists to deny civil rights and basic protections for Black Americans. Allowing the filibuster to remain on the books – and thereby dooming the most transformative civil rights legislation passed in the 21st century – would be an outrage. We urge our Senate colleagues to bring this bill for a vote and end the filibuster once and for all."

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