January 4, 2021
Washington, D.C. — Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the passage of the House Rules for the 117th Congress, which included critical progressive priority reforms to the PAYGO Rule, the Motion to Recommit, and Truth in Testimony rules:
“As we begin the 117th Congress, millions of people across the country are living on the brink. ICUs are at capacity in big cities and small towns. Families are months behind on the rent. The climate crisis continues unchecked.
“This is not a time for incrementalism. We need bold and visionary action from Congress that meets the scale of the crises we face. That’s why the Progressive Caucus has spent the last several months working with House leadership to reform the House Rules for the 117th Congress, so big ideas don’t get bogged down by procedural hurdles or harmful, outdated austerity measures.
“We are very pleased that our top priorities for the Rules package reforms were all included and are important wins for the progressive movement. The House Rules package automatically exempts all climate change, pandemic relief, and related public health measures from the House PAYGO Rule. It reforms the Motion to Recommit, restoring it to a procedural vote instead of a poison-pill gotcha amendment designed to water down or delay critical legislation. It strengthens Truth in Testimony disclosures to require individuals testifying before House committees to reveal any conflicts of interest. It builds upon important diversity initiatives from the previous Congress, including making the Office of Diversity and Inclusion permanent and examining the diversity of witnesses at House committee hearings. And it protects privilege for War Powers Resolutions, so any member can bring up and demand an up-or-down vote on critical issues of war and peace.
“For far too long, Congress has undermined its own ability to govern effectively by allowing archaic procedural hurdles like PAYGO and the Motion to Recommit to derail our agenda. We can’t afford to continue to govern this way. We thank Chairman McGovern and Speaker Pelosi for working with us to secure these reforms to the House Rules. Progressives are ready to govern with vision and urgency, and these reforms will help us do just that.”