WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the passage of another continuing resolution to keep the government open:

“Once again, House Democrats’ unity and commitment to governing defeated Republicans’ cruel, extreme, and unworkable agenda. Republicans were forced again to retreat from their relentless attacks on public education, abortion, the LGBTQ community, climate and more and withdraw their wish list of extreme policies and cuts to vital programs. Democrats have prevented a government shutdown and protected the funding our communities rely on.

“It’s shameful, but not surprising, that the Republican House majority could not scrape together the votes from its own members to keep the government open and protect low-wage federal contractors’ paychecks. Instead of learning from their past failures, House Republicans are still trying to pass legislation — which has no chance of becoming law — that would take teachers out of classrooms, kick poor families off rental assistance, and cut vital investments in low-income communities all so they can criminalize abortion and make it easier for the wealthy to cheat on their taxes.

“We will need to remain vigilant. Republicans may continue trying to force that agenda on the American people, but the CPC is ready. Progressives stand shoulder to shoulder with our Democratic colleagues, and we will never back down in the face of these threats to working families.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the new proposed rule from the Biden administration’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to address predatory Medicare Advantage plans:

“Progressives in Congress have long fought to end the predation of corporate health care and we welcome this step from the Biden administration to address some elements of Medicare Advantage, one of the worst offenders in attempting to privatize Medicare and harm care for seniors. The new proposed rule includes some important safeguards that would protect our seniors’ health and their wallets, including addressing predatory marketing of Medicare Advantage plans and ensuring fair competition. The rule also adds new requirements for coverage of mental health and substance use care and increases transparency on how Medicare Advantage’s harmful practices, like preauthorization and restricted networks, impact underserved communities. 

“However, the most important piece to ensuring these rules are followed is the enforcement of these rules and ensuring meaningful penalties that discourage predatory behavior. The proposed rule does not include any of these enforcement or increased penalty provisions to hold Medicare Advantage plans accountable, and we believe this is essential to achieve the results that the rule intends to achieve. The companies operating these plans are making billions off of our seniors annually and they’re not going to give up easily. 

“We know that Medicare Advantage plans run by these private insurance companies seek to lure in unsuspecting seniors, making enormous profits from their pain, and ultimately offer far inferior care to traditional Medicare. By holding these Medicare Advantage plans accountable, we will also bring in the resources needed to expand traditional Medicare and provide the kinds of care that seniors need and deserve. Privatized health care is always going to put profits over people’s health, and the best coverage will always be universal coverage. As we continue the fight for Medicare For All, we must seize every opportunity to expand access to health care in the current system and reject every attempt by corporate entities to defraud and steal from our families.”

WASHINGTON — Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Ranking Member of the Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Subcommittee; Nanette Barragán (CA-44), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Judy Chu (CA-28), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus; and Steven Horsford (NV-04), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement on reported Senate negotiations around border funding in the government’s FY2024 Appropriations package: 

We raise our strong opposition to any emergency supplemental funding bill that seeks to establish new immigration and border policy or authorities. Democrats have rebuilt the legal pathways torn down by the last administration and have advanced bipartisan bills through the House that we would like to see pass the Senate and be signed into law. However, trying to appease Republicans with bad border policy attached to critical emergency spending or a continuing resolution will not work and is completely inappropriate. If Republicans really wanted to secure the border, they would work with Democrats to modernize ports of entry, expand legal pathways for migrants, and address the root causes of migration. 

"Republicans cannot move their extreme, cruel, unworkable anti-immigrant agenda through the regular legislative process, so they’re trying to make an end-run around Congress and exploit two foreign wars to force it into law. We have been trying their enforcement-only strategy for 30 years, and the results are plain for everyone. We can only solve the complex issue of immigration by addressing it holistically and in a bipartisan manner that deals with our economic, humanitarian, and security needs, not an end-run around Congress for bad policy in a supplemental funding bill.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the death of health care activist and Be A Hero co-founder Ady Barkan:

“The progressive movement has lost a hero tonight. Ady Barkan accomplished more in his too-short time here than most do many lifetimes over. This country, and the lives of all of us who knew and loved him, are better for it.

“I often say that being a progressive means being first to the best and most just idea, and no one embodied that more than Ady. I remember when he testified at the first congressional hearing on Medicare For All. His big strategic mind and even bigger heart were on full display. He spoke with urgency and clarity, pushing all of us to do more and push farther with the power we had. Ady became a seminal figure in the fight for Medicare for All and access to health care, organizing alongside the CPC to ensure Congress passed the first major investment in long-term and home-based care — care on which his life eventually depended — in 2021. He was one of the first to push for full employment and investments in low-wage and marginalized workers with the visionary FedUp Campaign. His commanding presence would not be denied and his relentless pursuit of justice could not be ignored — not by a senator on an airplane, a presidential candidate, or the countless activists he inspired daily.

“I am devastated to lose a champion, a partner, and a friend. My Progressive Caucus colleagues and I are with all those mourning Ady tonight, and we send our deepest condolences to Rachael, Carl, and Willow. May he rest in power.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after CPC member Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) announced he will retire at the end of this term:

“Congressman Blumenauer will retire with a distinguished legacy. He has been a consistent leader of the fight for a national climate emergency and a champion for the Green New Deal. He was a key architect of legislation to strengthen public transit and sustainable infrastructure to create more livable communities and to advance the clean energy transition to help reduce carbon emissions. Rep. Blumenauer authored the first legislation to provide special visas to Afghan evacuees, including those who aided the United States in Afghanistan.

“Rep. Blumenauer also holds the distinction of being one the co-founders and co-chairs of the Cannabis Caucus. He has been instrumental in the fight for federal cannabis reform, including to support federal research, ensure racial and economic justice for those incarcerated for marijuana offenses, and legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana nationwide.

"During the time we served together, Rep. Blumenauer has been a personal friend and steadfast supporter, including of the CPC, and we will miss him dearly in the Progressive Caucus. Thank you, Congressman, for your decades of service.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Republican failure to elect a Speaker of the House after two weeks of intra-Conference dysfunction:

“For more than two weeks, House Republicans have held the Congress of the United States hostage while they were distracted with their own chaos and incompetence.  

Now, for yet a 16th time, Republicans have had to bring us to the floor for another Speaker vote. Let’s be clear that the name above the door may be different, but the dynamics any Republican speaker would face is the same: a slim majority, an empowered MAGA wing, and a divided government. Jim Jordan did not even get as many votes as Kevin McCarthy’s lowest vote total — and that was with all bullying tactics in full force. 

“It is time for a handful of Republicans who try to portray themselves as reasonable to step up and stop putting politics over people. They must come to the table to work with Democrats on a shared governance model going forward so that we can get back to work for the important business of the country.

“When we had the identical margin of a majority, Democrats passed historic legislation to take climate action, lower prescription drug costs, invest in the working- and middle-class, and rebuild American infrastructure. The past two weeks have clarified just how incapable Republicans are of governing and how much they will continue to need House Democrats to get anything done. The good news: while Republicans may be caught up in petty infighting, progressives and our colleagues across the Democratic Caucus will remain focused on the American people and the issues facing them.

Republicans simply have not been able to govern and the stakes are high. We have just a month left until the next government funding deadline. Come to the table, work with us, and let’s get real work done.” 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement applauding the announcement of new actions from the Biden administration, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ban junk fees:

“Today, the Biden administration is showing the country what bold, progressive economic policy looks like. I applaud the President, Chair Khan, and Director Chopra for these new actions to ban junk fees. It’s just the latest move in their relentless fight to take on corporate power and put it back in the hands of consumers and working people.

“We have all experienced the pain of junk fees: the fees on overdraft, inactivity, or even checking a bank account that keep people trapped in a poverty; the outrageous sums hidden from view when we book air travel, rent a car, or buy concert tickets; the exorbitant extra costs added on to already expensive medical care. Cracking down on junk fees will put money back in working people’s pockets and help middle-class families afford the things they need. The requirement for transparent pricing is essential to an anti-monopoly agenda that forces corporations to compete for business and ensures consumers have the information they need to make the choice that’s best for them.

“Today’s order builds on an exciting record of corporate accountability policy from the Biden administration, including through the CFPB’s action on banking junk fees that has already saved consumers nearly $2 billion since 2021. This is also the fifteenth action taken from our 2023 Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda, following taking on airline industry misconduct, raising the overtime pay threshold, investing in the care economy, and more. Progressives look forward to continuing to work with the FTC, CFPB, and White House to implement this exciting policy and to make progress for the American people.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement following arguments in CFPB v. CFSA, the Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding structure:

“I applaud the Solicitor General for her powerful defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the tens of millions of Americans whom it protects. There should be no question of the CFPB’s constitutionality; no court has ever ruled that Congress is prohibited from passing a law that authorizes spending.

“This case was brought by the predatory lenders and special interests who have historically rigged our economy and don’t like the CFPB fighting back for the people. Consumer protection cuts into their profits. Well I’ve got a message for the plaintiffs: that’s simply too bad. 

“In the 12 years since it was founded, the CFPB has put $17.5 billion back in the pockets of the American people, provided $175 million in relief to service members and veterans harmed by corporate abuse, and put $4 billion in its fund for victims of illegal violations of consumer protections. The agency has pursued action to remove medical debt from credit reports, forced Wells Fargo to return more than $2 billion to customers that resulted from illegal auto and mortgage lending practices, and protected millions from junk fees. If the Supreme Court rules against the CFPB, it will be ruling against those actions, and the millions of working- and middle-class people they have served. 

“A ruling against the CFPB would have catastrophic consequences. It could endanger the guaranteed funding of Medicare and Social Security and unwind the progress we’ve made since the 2008 crisis to fight predatory banks and corporations. It would also be an admission of the Supreme Court’s corruption, confirming that the justices are perfectly comfortable to collect undisclosed gifts from wealthy benefactors, engage in conflicts of interest, and then remove every safeguard from those same forces defrauding our constituents out of their hard-earned income. 

“I urge the court’s far-right majority  to remember their constitutional obligation to the American people — not their own interests.” 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the victories Democrats secured in legislation to keep the government open: 

“House Democrats have engineered a huge victory for the American people in averting a Republican shutdown. This is a moment of relief for the thousands of federal employees and working-class federal contract workers who will not miss a paycheck and the millions of Americans who rely on government services that will continue uninterrupted. The reason that the government will remain open tonight is simple: Democrats held the line against Republicans' cruel, extreme, and unworkable agenda and the Republican resolve crumbled.

House Democrats stared down their funding cuts and we won. The Congressional Progressive Caucus in coalition with the Chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus, made it clear that we would not support any bad border or immigration policy and it was dropped from the bill as a result. We ensured that our communities in Hawai’i, Vermont, and across the country could receive the federal disaster recovery funding they desperately need.

However, there is work still ahead. Congress still needs to pass government funding legislation, and Republicans are still trying to gut food, housing, and home heating assistance for low-income families, take teachers out of classrooms, criminalize abortion, cut Social Security funding and create a death panel for the earned benefits seniors rely on. Republicans have managed to fulfill the absolute bare minimum of their obligations as the governing majority, but Democrats will need to remain vigilant against their extreme, cruel, and unworkable agenda. 

“There are now 45 more days to avoid a national crisis. Speaker McCarthy should stick to the deal he made with President Biden and work with Democrats in the House and Senate to actually pass funding bills, prevent a Republican shutdown, and continue to provide the essential services people need. Their incompetence and extremism has cost our constituents enough already — but the American people can rest assured that just as we held the line for them in this fight, we will continue to do so in the fights to come.

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement in response to consideration of a continuing resolution to fund the government:

“It is not appropriate to establish new immigration and border policy in a bill to keep the government funded. House Republicans cannot move their extreme, cruel, unworkable anti-immigrant agenda through the regular legislative process, so they’re trying to make an end-run around Congress and hold the American people hostage to force it into law. Even Minority Leader Senator McConnell has said, ‘Shutting down the government isn’t an effective way to make a point.’ We couldn’t agree more.”