WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2024 Budget:
“The President’s budget shows he remains focused on delivering for the American people to meet the challenges they face. We are thrilled to see him continue to emphasize investments in working families that will raise wages, tackle poverty, and lower the cost of living, paid for by taxing the wealthy and the largest corporations. This is an agenda that the American people can be proud to have voted for — and that progressive movements can feel proud to have fought for.
“This budget would advance priorities progressives have been pushing for years, and continue the unfinished work from the President’s 2022 agenda: lowering prescription drug costs; expanding Medicaid, affordable housing, and accessible maternal care and health care; providing two years of free community college; and taking on the out-of-control costs of child care, pre-K, home care, and housing. It would reinstate the Child Tax Credit, decrease hunger, protect Medicare and Social Security, and finally provide national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave. It would also continue the important progress the President and Democrats began last Congress: continuing to lower the cost of deploying clean energy and speed our transition away from fossil fuels, rebuild American manufacturing, and take climate action with a focus on environmental justice. Essentially, these investments would be paid for with incredibly popular and common sense policies: a 25 percent minimum Billionaire Tax, increasing taxes on the largest corporations, quadrupling the tax on stock buybacks, and repealing the Trump Tax Scam.
“There are also a few places where we need to do better, and ensure record levels of funding come alongside real accountability, particularly for immigration and defense. On immigration, we must ensure that we focus resources on the implementation of humane immigration policy that matches our values, and does not penalize immigrants who are central to our economy’s functioning.
“On Pentagon spending, the President’s budget requests $842 billion for the Pentagon, $26 billion more than Congress allocated in the previous budget — which itself was $63 billion more than the $773 billion the President requested for FY2023. This is a never-ending cycle of increased funds without accountability. It would be a new record high for the defense budget, following a year when the Pentagon failed its fifth consecutive audit, without ever having successfully accounted for all its assets. There is simply no reason for taxpayers to continue to pay for outrageously high budgets rife with waste, fraud, and abuse. A recent CBO study confirmed that the Pentagon could cut $100 billion per year without compromising on national defense. This is long overdue. Progressives in Congress have been at the frontline of this fight for decades, and we will continue to push for sensible, targeted defense policy that prioritizes our national security over profit-hungry military contractors.”