WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“Today, the Supreme Court has issued yet another blow to our democracy and the rights of future generations. With this decision, the Court once again overturned a significant precedent, this time from Massachusetts v. EPA, gutting the administration’s regulatory authority and cutting it off from the most powerful tools it needs to combat climate change. 

“The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated. Already, the United States is behind schedule when it comes to lowering emissions and deploying renewable energy due to the policies of former President Trump and decades of Republican obstructionism in Congress. But now that the EPA cannot enforce the Clean Air Act, our already narrow path to meeting President Biden’s goal of halving carbon emissions by 2030 is even narrower. Polluters will be able to destroy our lands and waters and poison our communities with impunity. Without federal regulation and enforcement, we cannot ensure that environmental justice communities — those living on the frontlines of the climate crisis, disproportionately Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income neighborhoods — will experience further harm. This opinion will also have ramifications beyond the EPA, hobbling the regulatory power of agencies across the federal government. From today, the duly elected presidential administration can no longer actually use the tools of the executive to enact the agenda the people voted for.

“We cannot accept defeat. The administration has taken steps to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to speed the production of renewable energy technologies, and we need them to double down on climate action. In our Progressive Caucus agenda, we have identified a number of actions that can, and must, be pursued in light of this decision: ending fossil fuel subsidies, ending financing for fossil fuel infrastructure overseas, and declaring a national emergency to put the full power of the administration behind renewable energy. Congress must also meet this moment with a renewed sense of urgency. There is broad consensus among Democrats in both chambers for climate action, and we are running out of time to pass it. We must pass legislation clarifying the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions, the Stop Corporate Capture Act to improve the regulatory process and ensure it works for the American people, and we must finalize a reconciliation bill with clean energy investments this month.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, which overturns the constitutional right to abortion:

“Today, a decades-long project of the extreme right-wing has come to fruition: the Supreme Court has overturned the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade. As one of the one in four women in this country who has had an abortion, I am outraged for what this will mean for those who need abortion care — particularly those who will be most harmed by this decision: Black and Brown women, those who live in rural areas or have lower incomes and can’t afford to cross state lines for care, young people and LGBTQ people, and women in abusive relationships. The Supreme Court has now mandated forced pregnancy, taking away an intensely personal freedom for pregnant people to make decisions about our own bodies with a doctor or loved one, and instead bringing politicians into your decision and your bedroom. Every woman, every family, every pregnant person should fear what this means for their futures. 

“As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I am furious that right-wing extremists and Republican Senators have warped the Supreme Court into a partisan political body that does not respect decades of precedent or the fundamental freedoms of millions of Americans. These five justices were appointed by two presidents who lost the popular vote, yet have overturned what was a 7-2 decision in 1973, a decision that 69 percent of Americans across the political spectrum support today and that Americans have considered settled for half a century. This decision makes it clear that this Supreme Court is far out of step with the American people and taking us backwards, not forward.

“It is important that Americans understand that this Supreme Court and Republicans in Congress will not stop here. In Justice Thomas' concurrence, he says explicitly that the Court should reconsider ‘all substantive due process precedents,’ including right to contraception, to same-sex marriage, and to same-sex relationships. It is clear he and the Court's majority have no respect for other precedents that have been won in recent decades.  This Supreme Court is out of touch with the American people and increasingly suffers a legitimacy crisis.

“House Democrats have passed bills to protect LGBTQ rights and abortion rights, as well as to end discriminatory insurance coverage bans on abortion to expand access — but all have been blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Those Senators who voted no have an obligation to reconsider their decision — and the devastation facing this country if they don’t. But we also clearly need not just a Democratic majority, but a clear pro-choice majority in the Senate, as we do in the House. But most immediately, all of us must continue to take this righteous anger to the streets and to the voting booths.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Representative Ilhan Omar (MN-05), whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the House passage of the Keep Kids Fed Act, legislation to extend the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s waiver authority to provide school meals for millions of children across the country:

“No child in the richest country in the world should go hungry. We are thrilled that the House of Representatives once again stepped up to extend school meal waivers. The USDA waivers provided essential flexibility for families to get food, and to ensure schools can keep providing nutritious meals for children across the country — as many as 10 million children received free breakfast and lunch each day under this program. While those waivers were scheduled to expire this month, the need has not. Especially given the inflated cost of food and the continuing challenges of COVID, we cannot allow 95 million meals to be missed by kids this summer. The impact of this program has been unequivocal: 95 percent of school nutrition staff reported the waivers helped reduce child hunger, 89 percent said they eased the burden on parents and guardians, and 82 percent said they support academic achievement.

“That data shows us why school meals have been the lifeblood of working class communities for decades: hungry kids can’t learn. House Democrats have acted decisively to protect children’s health and keep meals affordable. With promising bipartisan consensus emerging in the Senate to extend these waivers, we urge the upper chamber to quickly pass the House bill and send it to the President’s desk without delay. Going forward, Congress should enact the Universal School Meals Program Act to make nutrition support permanent and ensure our children never face an emergency hunger cliff again. No family should be punished for needing to rely on school meals to get their kids the food they need — and we have the legislative tools to make they don’t ever again.”

The bill passed today comes after aggressive advocacy from the Progressive Caucus to address the issue immediately, and builds on legislation from CPC members. In March 2020, Representative Omar introduced and passed the MEALS Act, a bill that directly authorized these school meal waivers and protected students’ access to school meal benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. Representatives Omar, Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), and James McGovern (MA-02) also introduced and led the passage of the Pandemic Child Hunger Prevention Act, which increased the flexibility and availability of school meals so that children who rely on the meals had access to them even as schools were closed. Representatives Omar and Gwen Moore (WI-04), along with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), introduced the Universal School Meals Program Act to permanently provide free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack to all school children regardless of income, eliminate school meal debt, and strengthen local economies by incentivizing local food procurement.

WASHINGTON — Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Peter DeFazio (OR-04), lead sponsors of H.J.Res. 87, the bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolution which includes more than 80 cosponsors, issued the following statement regarding the recent announcement that President Biden plans to visit Saudi rulers in mid-July: 

“We share the concerns of many of our congressional colleagues who have expressed grave misgivings regarding the President’s planned meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and a ‘reset’ of the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia — after promising to treat the regime as a ‘pariah.’ President Biden made a commitment ‘that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons’ and would ‘end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen.’   

“In light of the administration’s reported plan to use the visit to ‘push to end the war in Yemen,’ Congress must play a constructive and active role in fulfilling these promises, while asserting its rightful constitutional role over war and peace. We urge both the House and Senate to expeditiously consider our bipartisan Yemen War Powers Resolution to ensure the President’s goal is realized. Its passage will help maintain the tenuous ceasefire between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition, while preventing any resumption of deadly Saudi airstrikes which rely on critical U.S. operational support. We also ask for President Biden’s full support of this critical resolution. 

“The United States has participated in the Saudi-led war in Yemen for more than seven years without congressional authorization. Congress acting to pass our Yemen War Powers Resolution will send a powerful signal to the Crown Prince that both the President and Congress are committed to seeing an end to this war and alleviating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, which continues to impact tens of millions of innocent Yemenis, including children. That suffering, and the United States’ role in it, must be brought to an end.”

WASHINGTON — The Co-Chairs of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), Reps. Gerry Connolly, Doris Matsui, and Paul Tonko, along with the Chair of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), Rep. Suzan DelBene and the Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), Rep. Pramila Jayapal, sent a letter to President Biden urging him to do everything in his power to reach a deal and sign into law as swiftly as possible a revised reconciliation package that includes the climate investments passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. These investments will be critical to tackling change, lowering energy costs for Americans during a time of rising prices, and ensuring true U.S. energy independence by transitioning to a clean energy economy.

The letter is signed by 175 members representing the wide ideological breadth of the House Democratic Caucus. It is signed by 13 Committee Chairs, 75 Members of SEEC including all 8 Members of SEEC Leadership, 73 members of the New Democrats Coalition, 89 Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and all Democratic Members of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

“As Congress and your Administration continue to work on policies to lower gas and fuel prices in the short-term, the House-passed reconciliation package includes the necessary climate investments to put the United States on the path to achieving your long-term vision of a clean economy,” wrote the Members. “The climate investments in the House-passed reconciliation package would provide the long-term antidote to both the energy crisis and the inflation crisis our nation currently faces. These investments would help transition all sectors of our economy to a clean future with good jobs and environmental justice at its heart – from our power grid to our transportation systems, our buildings to our industries, and our agriculture to our public lands and waters. Unfortunately, we no longer have the luxury of waiting if we want to prevent the worst consequences of climate change. We simply cannot fail to meet this moment.”

It follows on previous letters that similarly demonstrated this is a top priority for House Democrats, including a March 14th letter led by Representatives Sean Casten, Jamaal Bowman, and Nikema Williams along with 86 other members of Congress urging a restart of negotiations with climate at the center, and a January 31st letter led by Rep. Mike Levin along with 22 members of Congress in competitive districts demonstrating how important this issue was to their constituents. 

The full text of the letter can be found here.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement marking the 10th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

“Today, we mark ten years since the creation of the DACA program under President Obama. It was a monumental accomplishment for the immigrant justice movement in this country, won through persistent and relentless organizing of Dreamers and their families, activists and immigrant communities. Hundreds of thousands have been protected from deportation in the decade since DACA’s creation. It allowed Dreamers to step out of the shadows, go to school and work, and build families and lives in the only country they have ever known. 

“As an immigrant, one of only two dozen naturalized citizens serving in Congress, and an organizer who spent more than a decade fighting for immigrant rights, this anniversary carries a special resonance. I am so proud of the movement’s work in making DACA a reality, and their consistent fight in the years since to keep it alive. 

“But even as we celebrate this milestone, we know we cannot stop here. Too many DACA recipients live in fear of one day losing their status, being deported from their home, and separated from their families. Congress has failed for years to provide a permanent solution for immigrants — and that was before the Trump administration tried to end the DACA program, dismantled our refugee system, and injected additional fear and chaos into the lives of immigrants. 

“On this anniversary, we must commit to creating a different future for our immigrant neighbors. We must deliver Dreamers and all the 11 million undocumented immigrants are in the United States a roadmap to citizenship. As the Progressive Caucus called for in our executive action agenda, we must expand Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) so that safety is guaranteed to every immigrant that calls this country home, not just some. We must end Remain in Mexico, Title 42, and rebuild our asylum system to once again guarantee asylum as a human right.

“Today and every day, progressives are proud to declare unequivocally that Dreamers belong here. Dreamers are home. Dreamers are us. We will not stop fighting to build a just system that welcomes every immigrant with open arms and open hearts.”

 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the House of Representatives vote to pass  H.R. 7910, the Protecting our Kids Act, legislation that would raise the purchasing age for assault rifles to 21, mandate safe gun storage, prevent gun trafficking, ban high-capacity magazines, and implement other gun safety measures:

“I am proud to have been involved in the Judiciary Committee’s effort to advance this critical package under Chairman Nadler’s leadership, and that progressives helped pass it on the floor today. This bill will implement widely popular, commonsense policies that fulfill the most basic mandate of our government and society: keep our children, our families, and our communities safe. Today’s passage would not have been possible without the impassioned, tireless activists, volunteers, and survivors who have never given up the work for a safer America. In honor of their fight and the millions across this country who have lost a loved one to gun violence — and in commitment to losing not one more life — we voted yes today.

“As this bill heads to the Senate, the entire country is watching: will Senate Republicans finally join with Democrats to prevent further mass slaughter of our constituents, or will they remain beholden to the gun lobby and moneyed interests that would allow the devastation on our streets to continue? After Buffalo, Tree of Life, and El Paso, after Uvalde and Sandy Hook, after Pulse and Aurora and Columbine, will they finally heed the calls of the majority of Americans from across the political spectrum and act? Or will they simply throw up their hands and allow the carnage to continue? We have been elected to represent the will of the people — and it certainly does not represent their will to continue to allow our families to live in fear and at risk of being gunned down in schools, grocery stores, churches, and across our public spaces. It’s time to meet the urgency and moral clarity of this moment, and send gun safety legislation to the President’s desk.

“This is the beginning of essential congressional action, but it cannot — and will not — be the end. House Democrats will advance Rep. McBath and Rep. Carbajal’s Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act to ensure those who are a serious danger to themselves or others cannot access these deadly weapons. But our response must also include removing weapons of war from our streets, and passing an assault weapons ban — as President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and 210 members of the House have supported. Progressives in Congress are firmly supportive of this legislation, and will continue to push for its passage on the House floor so that we can continue the work of saving lives.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement applauding President Biden’s new executive order invoking the Defense Production Act to increase the production and deployment of renewable energy, including accelerating decarbonization by spurring domestic manufacturing in solar panel parts, building insulation, heat pumps, fuel cells, and power grid infrastructure like transformers:

“We applaud President Biden for taking a critically necessary step by embracing his administrative authorities and invoking the Defense Production Act, ensuring Americans have a reliable supply of electricity in the face of supply chain stocks and rising global fuel prices, while addressing the national security concerns that climate change poses. This action is a key component of our Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda to mobilize domestic industry to manufacture affordable renewable energy. Crucially, it will also allow us to export green, cutting edge manufacturing to reduce emissions abroad, while decreasing our reliance on foreign oil and autocratic human rights abusers, like Russia and Saudi Arabia, that produce it.

“We’re particularly gratified to see the President’s plan to pursue the DPA implementation with a justice-oriented mindset, working toward strong labor protections, union membership, and high wages for the new jobs created. In particular, the administration has met a key goal of progressives in Congress and the environmental justice movement to prioritize communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis and have been devastated by pollution.

“The President’s leadership cannot substitute for lack of Congressional action. There is simply no way to meet the President’s climate goals with executive action alone. As the people’s representatives, we have a moral and governing obligation to fight the climate crisis and pass legislation that will facilitate our transition away from fossil fuels and support frontline communities. The House has already passed a broad set of climate investments in a reconciliation bill, and there is broad agreement among Democrats in both chambers on using reconciliation to make these investments. We will continue to push to make that bill law.”

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of nearly 50 members of Congress introduced H.J.Res. 87 today, legislation to invoke constitutional war powers to end unauthorized United States military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen. The resolution was led in the House of Representatives by Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Nancy Mace (SC-01), and Adam Schiff (CA-28). A companion version will be introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Senate when the upper chamber reconvenes.

Consistent with virtually identical provisions the House has adopted for three consecutive years — most recently in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act passed by a bipartisan majority in 2021 — this new resolution would put an end to U.S. military participation in offensive air strikes that are operationally essential to the Saudi-led military campaign. The resolution includes provisions to:

  • End U.S. intelligence sharing that enables offensive Saudi-led coalition strikes;

  • End U.S. logistical support for offensive Saudi-led coalition strikes, including the providing of maintenance and spare parts to coalition members engaged in anti-Houthi bombings in Yemen; and,

  • Prohibit U.S. personnel from being assigned to command, coordinate, participate in the movement of, or accompany Saudi-led coalition forces engaged in hostilities without prior specific statutory authorization by Congress.

“Article I of the Constitution is clear: Congress, not the Executive branch, has the sole authority to declare war and authorize involvement of U.S. forces in overseas conflicts, including inserting U.S. troops as advisors in aid of foreign-led hostilities,” said Rep. DeFazio. “It’s critical that the Biden Administration take the steps necessary to fulfill their promise to end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen. We should not be involved in yet another conflict in the Middle East— especially a brutal war that has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, and contributed to the deaths of at least 377,000 civilians.” 

“Congress cannot sit by and allow the United States’ complicity in the worst humanitarian crisis in the world to continue,” said Rep. Jayapal. “There are more than 16 million Yemenis living on the brink of starvation and more than two million children suffering from acute malnutrition — and the American people’s tax dollars are helping finance that suffering. I am proud to join my colleagues in leading the introduction of this resolution today, and securing a vote to finally put a stop to American involvement in this catastrophe. We look forward to seeing this resolution pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by the President, so he can fulfill his commitment to ending U.S. involvement in this crisis.”

"The war in Yemen continues, sadly, to be an overlooked humanitarian crisis; it is imperative Congress rescinds U.S. support for this unauthorized military conflict and works toward peace on the Arabian peninsula,” said Rep. Mace.

“The recent ceasefire has created an opportunity for American diplomacy to help end the tremendous human suffering caused by the war in Yemen,” said Rep. Schiff. “The clearest and best way to press all sides to the negotiating table is for Congress to immediately invoke its constitutional war powers to end U.S. involvement in this conflict.”

Today’s introduction comes more than seven years after unauthorized U.S. participation began. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes and air-and-sea blockade have cost hundreds of thousands of lives and threatened millions more with famine. In recent months, Saudi airstrikes escalated, killing and injuring four times more civilians than in 2021. 

The need for Congressional action has only become more urgent with recent developments. Roughly 30 percent of Yemen’s wheat imports come from Ukraine and with food prices soaring, acute hunger in Yemen is expected to increase five-fold. While a United Nations-brokered truce has temporarily succeeded in pausing Saudi airstrikes, which had escalated dramatically in late 2021 and early 2022, efforts to ease the Saudi aerial and naval blockade on food, fuel, medicine, and travel remain tenuous. With that truce scheduled to expire early this month, the new bipartisan resolution signals broad congressional resolve to ensure that Saudi-led airstrikes cannot resume, while adding incentive for the Saudi-led coalition to arrive at a broader, negotiated peace settlement. The resolution has been endorsed by 100 national organizations across the political spectrum, which urge prompt floor action and passage of the bill.

The new bipartisan resolution also advances President Biden’s promise to “end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen” and “make clear that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons.” His administration’s commitment dates back to 2019, when the former Vice President urged Congress to override President Trump’s veto to pass a War Powers Resolution to end U.S. military involvement in Yemen. That same year, a group of now-senior Biden administration officials, including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, publicly called on Congress to terminate precisely these activities: “logistics, spare parts for warplanes, intelligence sharing, and other support activities that are essential to waging Saudi Arabia’s deadly aerial bombing campaign” to help resolve the conflict “by motivating Saudi Arabia to move quickly to political negotiations in the face of an impending cessation of crucial U.S. operational involvement in airstrikes.” Shortly after taking office, President Biden announced a commitment to ending support for ‘offensive’ operations.

The resolution text can be found here.

The full list of co-sponsors includes: Representatives Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Nancy Mace (SC-01), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Ken Buck (CO-04), André Carson (IN-07), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Gerald Connolly (VA-11), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Lloyd Doggett (TX-25), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), John Garamendi (CA-03), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), James Himes (CT-04), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Kaiali’i Kahele (HI-02), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Richard Larsen (WA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Andy Levin (MI-09), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Thomas Massie (KY-04), James McGovern (MA-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-45), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Bobby Rush (IL-01), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (Guam-AL), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Susan Wild (PA-07).

Groups endorsing this resolution include: Action Corps, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), American Muslim Bar Association (AMBA), American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN), Antiwar.com, Ban Killer Drones, Bring Our Troops Home, Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR), Center for International Policy, Center on Conscience and War, Central Valley Islamic Council Church of the Brethren, Office of Peacebuilding and Policy Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP), Community Peacemaker Teams, Concerned Vets for America, Defending Rights & Dissent, Defense Priorities Initiative, Demand Progress, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Freedom Forward, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ Health Alliance, International Historians for Peace and Democracy ICNA, Council for Social Justice, If Not Now, Indivisible, Islamophobia Studies Center, Jewish Voice for Peace Action, Just Foreign Policy, Justice Is Global, MADRE, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, MoveOn, Muslim Justice Leagu,e Muslims for Just Futures, National Council of Churches, Neighbors for Peace, Our Revolution, Pax Christi, USA Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Presbyterian Church (USA), Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, ReThinking Foreign Policy, RootsAction.org, Secure Justice, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Justice Team, Spin Film, Sunrise Movement, The Episcopal Church, The Libertarian Institute, The United Methodist Church -- General Board of Church and Society, Union of Arab Women, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee United Church of Christ, Justice and Local Church, Ministries United for Peace and Justice, US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), Veterans For Peace, Win Without War, World BEYOND War, Yemen Freedom Council, Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, and the Yemeni Alliance Committee.

WASHINGTON -- Yesterday, two years after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, President Joe Biden signed an executive order addressing police accountability and public trust. The Congressional Progressive Caucus’s Policing, Constitution, and Equality Task Force praised the decision after police reform passed by the House in 2021 stalled in the Senate.

“Two years after George Floyd’s murder at the hands of Minneapolis police, Black people are still waiting for justice. Americans all over the country have raised their voices in calling for police reform, yet little progress has been made. In fact, police killings increased in the year following the murder of Mr. Floyd, and a disproportionate number of the victims were Black,” said Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) Chair of the Policing, Constitution, and Equality Task Force. “I thank President Biden for issuing an executive order on police reform, which will start holding federal law enforcement officers accountable for their actions. This is a historic step in the right direction, but it is not the end. We must ensure that Black lives matter not just to civil rights advocates, but to our nation’s most powerful institutions. I’m honored to launch the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ new Policing, Constitution, and Equality Task Force, which will provide policy suggestions for building a justice system that prioritizes the safety of all Americans.”

“I applaud President Biden for his bold action. As one of the leading voices in Congress against police militarization, I’m pleased to see that many of the recommendations in the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act – a bill I've introduced every Congress since 2014 – are a part of the President’s executive order, including banning the transfer of certain military-grade equipment,” said Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04). “The time is long overdue to deliver the urgent, critical reforms needed to address systemic racism while increasing transparency and holding police accountable, and this executive order does just that. I’m going to continue fighting to see these and other ideas are passed into law and made permanent. I appreciate the President’s leadership on this issue and look forward to working with my colleagues to rein in the Pentagon’s weapons pipeline—we must remember that military equipment fundamentally changes the relationship between police and the communities they serve.”

“I commend President Biden for taking this bold action to demilitarize police forces across the country. This executive order is a vital first step to protect the health and safety of our most marginalized communities, and working to reform our nation’s broken criminal legal system,” said Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY). “We made a promise to the American people that we would address systemic racism in this country head on, while ensuring that these systems become more transparent and accountable in the process. Today’s announcement is a welcome step in that direction. I look forward to continuing my work here in Congress to enshrine these reforms into law, to deliver true public safety for those we swore an oath to protect.”

The executive order creates an accountability database of officers fired for misconduct, ensures timely and thorough investigations after the use of deadly force or deaths in police custody, places restrictions on the transfer of military equipment to local police departments, institutes a ban on chokeholds, and adds restrictions on no knock warrants at the federal level.