WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, released the following statement tonight applauding President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office and urging him to continue going big in the days ahead:
“President Biden has risen to this moment — one in which people across America face multiple crises. In tonight’s address, he recounted the immense progress we’ve made as a country over the past 100 days to move beyond the cruelty, chaos, and mass COVID-19 casualties that defined the Trump presidency. President Biden inherited a nation in despair, with hundreds of thousands having needlessly died, millions more thrown out of work, and too many unable to put food on the table.
“The bold, decisive action he took in proposing and signing the American Rescue Plan — which progressives fought to keep as big as possible — put money in people’s pockets, shots in their arms, and robust relief into their communities to help weather this devastating pandemic. The President deserves recognition for laying the foundations for a just economic recovery, and demonstrating real leadership in ensuring that we quickly got 200 million vaccine doses into people's arms, bringing hope and security to so many.
“Now, the challenge is not to let up because there is so much more that America needs to bring back opportunity and justice for all. That is why we urge President Biden to go just as big in the days ahead. His outline for the American Families Plan tonight is a strong addition to his American Jobs Plan, and reflects many longstanding priorities of progressives including free community college, paid leave, child care, affordable housing, and so much more.
“But there is more to be done to address the serious health challenges that have existed in this country for far too long. We must include in the Families Plan bringing down the price of pharmaceutical drugs for all Americans who are paying over twice as much as those in other countries. Pharmaceutical companies have been profiting from their greed and the pain of Americans who are cutting their prescriptions at the kitchen table. We must also expand Medicare benefits for seniors to include dental, vision, and hearing benefits while lowering the Medicare eligibility age to cover tens of millions more. Finally, we need to expand child care to ensure every single family in America can afford it.
“Progressives also welcome the President’s remarks on immigration and look forward to working with him to provide a roadmap to citizenship for Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers as part of this package. Paired with an American Jobs Plan that tackles the climate crisis and creates millions of good, union jobs that pay a living wage, the American Families Plan must be enacted by Congress as a single package — without delay — to transform the lives of people throughout this country.
“Finally, President Biden showed courage and moral clarity on foreign policy tonight in bringing U.S. servicemembers home after 20 years of war in Afghanistan. The return of our soldiers must be paired with robust diplomacy, humanitarian aid, and a genuine end to U.S. hostilities in order to achieve a peaceful outcome, led by Afghans. But much more must be done to improve U.S. foreign policy.
“Tonight’s joint address showcased President Bident’s vision in guiding America through the worst challenge we’ve faced in a generation. The Congressional Progressive Caucus looks forward to continuing to partner with the Biden-Harris Administration to seize the historic opportunity to make a real, lasting difference in the lives of people across America.”