Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement applauding President Joe Biden’s executive actions to provide economic relief for families, including expanding food access for hungry children and families, ensuring survival checks reach the American people, restoring and expanding labor protections for workers, and beginning the process to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for federal contractors:

“The pandemic has unleashed a level of financial distress across the country unseen since the Great Depression. An estimated one in four children are food insecure and nearly a million Americans are still losing their jobs each week. The executive actions signed by President Biden are a critical and long-overdue step to help families weather this financial crisis, keep food on the table, and survive the pandemic.

“The expansion of SNAP and other nutrition programs will help millions of people feed their families. We also applaud President Biden’s efforts to ensure low-income families can access their survival checks and expand labor protections so workers aren’t forced into taking unsafe jobs and putting themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“Since 2014, the Progressive Caucus has led the charge to make the federal government a model employer by raising the poverty minimum wage for federal contractors and expanding paid family and sick leave. We have also been champions in pushing for a $15 federal minimum wage — taking the movement started by fast-food workers who helped make Seattle became the first major city in the country to pass a $15 minimum wage all the way to Congress with the Raise the Wage Act. In the coming weeks, building on President Biden’s critically important executive order to raise the wage for federal employees and contractors, I will join my colleagues in the House and Senate to re-introduce the Raise the Wage Act to lift the wages of millions of workers across the country.

“As we work to pass an ambitious and transformative pandemic relief package, these executive actions will help workers and families get by in the midst of this crisis. But ultimately, we must do more to help families thrive – not just survive this pandemic.”