WASHINGTON — In response to President Biden’s budget proposal today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) called for the American Jobs and Families Plan to be moved and passed through a budget reconciliation process, which only requires simple majorities in Congress.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) said:
“Voters delivered Democrats the House, Senate, and White House — a clear mandate for transformative change. Now, we must go big, bold, and fast to deliver for them and meet the urgent needs of this moment — not only addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, but also long-standing, systemic inequalities that contributed to the crises that followed. By including the CPC’s five priorities, the American Jobs and Families Plans can do just that.
“The Biden administration set a deadline for Memorial Day to make significant progress on the legislation; that deadline that will pass this weekend with only totally inadequate counter offers from the Republican caucus. As Mitch McConnell brags that 100 percent of his focus is on stopping the Biden administration, and Republicans continue dragging their heels, families across the country are waiting for Congress to take action.
“140 million Americans remain poor or low-wealth, women have been pushed out of jobs and desperately need affordable childcare and paid leave, and too many young people need free college to prepare for their futures. Just like we did with the American Rescue Plan, we believe we must go big, bold, and act with urgency. We simply cannot afford to limit our ambitions for Republicans or continue to wait for an offer that will never materialize.
“With today’s release of the administration’s spending proposal, Congress should now begin crafting a budget resolution that includes the reconciliation instructions needed to pass the President’s unified proposal for an ambitious Jobs and Families Plan as a single bill.
In April, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released five priority areas for the infrastructure bill. We must ensure these are included, and that the legislation truly does what is necessary to invest in the care economy with universal childcare, paid family leave and a historic expansion of the long-term care workforce; tackle climate change with a bold civilian conservation corps; create millions of good-paying union jobs; provide a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS holders, and essential workers; and invest in housing and healthcare.
“We appreciate that in today’s budget request, the President reiterated his clear commitment to expanding Medicare through lowering the eligibility age, while improving its benefits and lowering the cost of prescription drug prices for all Americans. The Progressive Caucus has joined forces with over 70 percent of Democrats across the caucus — including in the most vulnerable districts — to reiterate our strong support and the urgency for including these priorities in the Jobs and Families Plan. We stand ready to work with House and Senate leadership and the White House to finally deliver on these popular and populist policies for the American people.
“We also appreciate the President’s strong commitment to making our tax system fair for working people, raising tax rates on corporations and the wealthiest so that they pay their fair share. The Progressive Caucus has surveyed our membership to identify a list of progressive improvements to the tax code that are supported by a supermajority of the caucus. We will be working to include as many of these as possible into the Jobs and Families Plan as we craft it in Congress.
“While we enthusiastically support the significant increase in discretionary domestic investments included in the budget, progressives also believe it is essential to reduce the President’s request for increased funding for an already-bloated $740 billion Pentagon budget. At a time when America’s military budget is larger than those of the next ten countries combined, we believe it is essential to identify and cut military waste, fraud, and abuse in the budgetary process.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to craft a piece of legislation that includes these critical priorities and delivers on the President’s charge of a once-in-a-generation investment in our country.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.