WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, and in response to a new executive order on policing issued today by President Biden: 

“Two years ago today, the country watched George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Before he was a globally recognized name, he was a father, friend, brother, and son. On this painful anniversary, our thoughts are first and foremost with his family and community. We thank the Floyd family for sharing George’s memory with the world, including with the honor of their presence at today’s signing ceremony.

“President Biden has taken a very important step today to increase police accountability by executive order. In particular, the President's order addresses the policing asks from our Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda: to collect and publish data on the use of force in police departments across the country; to establish strict national standards governing the use of force; and to demilitarize law enforcement by preventing the transfer of certain excess military-grade weaponry to federal, tribal, state, and local police. We applaud the Biden administration for this executive order, and the Progressive Caucus stands ready to work in partnership to ensure these actions are implemented in a manner that maximizes their impact.

“But let us be clear: these executive actions are necessary because Republicans have refused to move forward the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, passed by the Democrats in the House more than a year ago. There is still far too little accountability for far too many killings at the hands of police, especially those of Black and Brown people. Republicans would rather demagogue activists and movements than find a path forward. 

“The Progressive Caucus will continue to support the Congressional Black Caucus as our members continue to introduce legislation to tackle this crisis, such as CPC Whip Representative Ilhan Omar (MN-05)'s Amir Locke End Deadly No-Knock Warrants Act. This bill would establish strict limitations on the use of no-knock warrants and other police actions that have taken too many Black lives. On this anniversary, in the names of families across the country who have been touched by the pain of police violence, we vow to continue to push for Congressional action and for eliminating the Jim Crow-era filibuster that robs Black and Brown families of justice.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, T.X.:

“We are devastated for the families who whose children were murdered today by a gunman, and for the community of Uvalde that is grieving. These children and their teacher had their whole lives ahead of them. At least 18 children got up this morning to go to school: to learn with their teacher, to play with friends, to have a childhood and become the people they were going to be. Now, as a result of senseless violence, those futures are gone, along with the future of a teacher who dedicated her life to that service. Beyond the lives taken, the trauma of this shooting for all the children and families who survived is horrific. There is nothing more heart wrenching for any parent than this horrifying violence. 

“I am furious, and I am ashamed that this is what our country has been reduced to. I am enraged by the hollowness of any condolences from those who offer prayers but do nothing to change the conditions that have allowed this and many other shootings to be possible. We cannot separate these shootings from the constant cries for more guns from those in the U.S. Senate and House, Governor’s mansions, and state legislatures. America has 4 percent of the world’s population but 42 percent of the world’s guns — yet Texas Governor Abbott just recently signed laws loosening restrictions on gun carrying. Senator McConnell has led the GOP to filibuster even the most universally supported gun violence prevention laws for years. And Texas Senator Cruz — as his own constituents try to pick up the pieces of their lives —  is already waving away the call for these common sense reforms. 

“Today’s shooting comes just over a week after the deadly white supremacist mass shooting in Buffalo and nearly a decade after Sandy Hook. How many more elementary school shootings need to happen before Republicans decide to act?  Year after year, the House has passed sensible gun reform legislation that would save lives.  And year after year, the U.S. Senate has blocked those reforms from passing, thanks to the filibuster. It could — tomorrow — find 60 votes to pass sensible gun reforms or eliminate the filibuster, so senators are finally acting to save lives. 

“It does not have to be this way. Our children are dying because the U.S. Senate refuses to act, and because Republicans continue to push for more guns instead of taking guns off the streets.  This isn’t inevitable. We have an obligation as public servants to interrupt this relentless march of violence. Progressives will continue the fight to do so.”

“No group that claims to be looking for real solutions to the problems facing our country can be taken seriously when it tweets out a video that undermines the only real effort to hold perpetrators of the deadly January 6 insurrection accountable, including getting to the bottom of the role of the then-sitting Republican president in inciting a coup attempt to overturn the election. 

“The Select Committee’s work is essential to helping prevent another insurrection from happening — and potentially succeeding — and to investigating how a former sitting President managed to incite an insurrection to overturn a free and fair election. Without a robust investigation, we cannot ensure the perpetrators are punished to the full extent of the law. One cannot claim to espouse the importance of bipartisanship and support a world view claiming the Committee is ineffective. 

“To malign the January 6 Committee as a ‘partisan exercise’ is a dangerous message for the American public and our democracy — one that deeply undermines the Committee’s work and denies the truth about the Republican party. The January 6 committee membership is, indeed, made up of both Democrats and Republicans — but clearly for No Labels, Reps. Kinzinger and Cheney do not count because they have dared to stand up for country over party. The fact that only two Republican members of Congress are willing to be brave enough to seek the truth about what happened is a testament to the brokenness of a Republican party that still subscribes to the Big Lie.

“I was here on the day of the insurrection and witnessed the violence first hand. Congress cannot stop working to hold accountable every person involved in the worst attack on the United States Capitol since the War of 1812. 

“No Labels has thrown any credibility for ‘bipartisanship’ and ‘moderation’ away with this video and shown its true colors.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to a federal court ruling blocking President Biden’s attempt to end Title 42:

“The Trump-initiated Title 42 was a xenophobic end-run around U.S. immigration law that has no basis in public health, and President Biden was right to end it. It is a terrible decision from the federal court to keep this unjust Trump anti-immigrant policy in place, create chaos at the border and continue to deny people seeking asylum their legal rights. Ending Title 42 was a key part of the CPC’s executive action agenda for advancing immigrant rights, and our Caucus leadership, along with the Hispanic Caucus, have pledged to oppose legislative attempts to reinstate it. We applaud the Biden administration's move to appeal this ruling, and their refusal to be deterred in reinstating the rule of American immigration law.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 7688, the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act:

“Fossil fuel companies have been raking in billions of dollars in record profits, all while raising the price of gas on working families who are struggling to get by. Today, Congress is fighting back on behalf of the American people. We’re proud to have helped the House Democratic majority pass this bill, co-led by CPC Deputy Chair Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45) and Rep. Kim Schrier (WA-08), to take on Big Oil. 

“Corporate executives have tried to justify price increases as unavoidable consequences of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, but one look at their record margins make it clear they’re using those crises as cover to pocket exorbitant windfall profits. At ExxonMobil, profits rose to $5.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022. At BP, first quarter 2022 profit reached $6.2 billion, its highest in more than a decade. Chevron more than quadrupled profit in the first quarter of 2022, raking in $6.3 billion. And still the seven largest oil and gas companies announced stock buyback programs that could total up to $41 billion this year alone, all while continuing to raise prices of everyday people who are forced to scrimp on essentials so they can fill the tank. 

“But we’re putting communities over corporations, and taking back the economic power on behalf of those we serve. This bill would empower the President to declare an energy emergency and would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to issue penalties on companies that raise prices excessively during the emergency. It would also enhance the FTC’s authority to go after false market information designed to artificially inflate prices. Today’s vote was a hugely important step, and we thank Speaker Pelosi and House Leadership — in particular CPC members Energy & Commerce Chair Rep. Frank Pallone (NJ-06) and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Chair Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) — for their stewardship of Democrats’ commitment to easing the burden on working families.

“However, there is more to do. Progressives in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to tax Big Oil’s excess profits, and return that money to the people with direct payments for gas costs. This approach will ensure that not only are fossil fuel companies prevented from robbing consumers in the future, but are forced to return what they’ve already taken to the economy and to the people who need it most.

“We’ve encouraged Congressional Leadership to move these windfall profit tax proposals forward, and will continue to do so. Combining both these approaches, we have a path forward for the most urgent task facing Congress today: lowering costs for American families and delivering desperately needed economic relief.”

WASHINGTON — Members of the leadership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced today that the Caucus would oppose legislative efforts to reinstate Title 42, a Trump-era policy that eliminated legal pathways for people to seek asylum during the public health emergency. The statement echoes the position expressed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. 

“In spirit and in policy, the Trump administration’s use of Title 42 stands in opposition to United States immigration law and American values. The Trump-initiated Title 42 was part of his anti-immigrant hate and fear agenda that used the pandemic as an excuse to deny asylum seekers their legal rights. That’s why ending it was a key part of the CPC’s executive action agenda for advancing immigrant rights, and we applaud the Biden administration’s announcement it would do so. 

“The Trump administration systematically sought to remove all legal pathways for immigrants to enter the United States, including misusing a public health law to cut off legal immigration, stopping asylum seekers from seeking safety, and circumventing existing immigration law. There is no public health reason for allowing Title 42 to override our immigration laws, especially given our nation’s testing capacity, screening systems, effective vaccines, and other tools. Title 42 prevents people from pursuing the legal process set forth by Congress to apply for asylum, and violates international human rights treaties to which the U.S. is signatory. It continues to subject people from all over the world, including Central American, Haitian, Cameroonian and other Black asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border to trauma and abuse. By closing lawful paths to immigration, the imposition of Title 42 created chaos and disorder and stressed border communities. The repeal of this Trump administration policy allows for orderly and legal immigration processing at the border, and for systematic and careful review of asylum claims. 

“The Progressive Caucus is proud to stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who have indicated they will oppose any amendments to the COVID-19 relief package and any standalone legislation that would attempt to reinstate Title 42 policy. As the leadership of the CPC, we commit to doing the same: we will oppose any amendments that would undermine President Biden’s effort to end Title 42 and follow immigration law.” 

The signatories to this statement are members of the CPC executive board, and include: Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07); Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45); Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05) Chairs Emeriti Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Mark Pocan (WI-02); Vice Chairs Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Marie Newman (IL-03), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Cicilline (RI-01), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12); Deputy Whips Cori Bush (MO-01), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Andy Levin (MI-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), and Adriano Espaillat (NY-13); Special Order Hour Conveners Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) and Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03); and Member at Large Jan Schakowsky (IL-09).

 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y.:

“The Progressive Caucus joins with all those grieving in the aftermath of last night’s deadly shooting in Buffalo. We are devastated for the families of the victims and those injured, and for every Black American who woke up this morning with another horrific reminder of the ever-present threat of white supremacy.

 “It is clear that this shooter was motivated by that racist and antisemitic ideology, and targeted the Black community in Buffalo. We have seen these kinds of attacks too many times in recent years, including the shooting in Charleston, as well as against other racial and religious minorities, including in El Paso, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh. But Buffalo is also part of a long American history of white supremacist violence. It belongs to the same tradition as thousands of lynchings, as the bombings of Philadelphia and Tulsa, as decades of racist policy that have been used to deny Black Americans their full civil and human rights. 

“We must address white supremacy as the crisis it is, or the death toll will only continue to climb. That means advancing Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)’s H.R. 40 to establish a commission on reparations for slavery, and passing Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13)’s Resolution to form the first U.S. Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation. 

“And, Congress must remove one of the deadliest options from white supremacy’s arsenal, and limit the guns available to those who would harm their neighbors, particularly with weapons of war. The Senate must take up the common-sense gun violence prevention bill passed more than a year ago in the House of Representatives, and if necessary, vote to reform the filibuster so it can become law. For too long, Senate Republicans have stood in the way of lifesaving legislation, and a Jim Crow-era procedure has let them. That must end. 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after the Senate failed to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation that would codify the right to abortion in federal law and ban state laws attacking abortion access:

“One week after a leaked draft opinion made it clear that the Supreme Court will, in a matter of weeks, overturn 50 years of precedent and outlaw legal abortion in some form, Senate Republicans remain firmly entrenched against their constituents’ human rights. It is beyond shameful that even though 70 percent of the American public support Roe, there are not 50 votes in the Senate to defend it.

“The right to abortion is a matter of dignity, freedom, and bodily autonomy — the right to make our most personal medical decisions without government interference. The end of Roe will be disastrous for the health of millions of people, but the impact will be hardest on Black and Brown people, young people, people in abusive relationships, people who live in rural areas, and those with lower incomes who won’t be able to cross state lines for care. As one of the one in four women in this country who has had an abortion, I will not stop fighting for Congress to stand up for this right — and I urge my colleagues to join me. 

“Ultimately, our ongoing fight for access to abortion must include reforming the filibuster. Make no mistake: if Republicans take the chamber, they threaten to overturn the filibuster to enshrine minority rule on this issue and ban abortion nationwide — in the past week, Senate Republicans have suggested as much. Democrats must stop putting a Jim Crow-era procedure above their duty to protect Americans’ constitutional rights. But it is also clear that we urgently need not just a Democratic majority in the Senate, but a true pro-reproductive rights majority, as we have in the House."

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement upon House passage of H.Res. 915, a Resolution Recognizing the Rights of Congressional Workers to Organize, introduced by CPC Deputy Whip Rep. Andy Levin (MI-09):

“Every worker deserves a union — including in Congress. The Progressive Caucus is proud to be the first caucus to support congressional staff unionization, and we were proud to vote for this resolution today.

“Congress would not work without our staff, who are essential both to the functioning of the legislative branch and to ensuring that Congress well represents the communities we serve. But for too long, House rules have stood in the way of their right to organize and collectively bargain. Today, they can now begin the process that every worker should have access to, and that thousands have found power in during recent years: they can form a union. This resolution will also make critical progress toward staff retention, ensuring that those with institutional knowledge, deep expertise, and a commitment to public service can continue to work on the Hill. From Seattle to Staten Island, everyone has the right to dignity, safety, and fair treatment in the workplace — and they will always find champions and allies among progressives in Congress.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to a new Department of Justice (DOJ) enforcement order advancing environmental justice:

“We’re thrilled to see the Biden administration continue to advance key policies from our CPC Executive Action Agenda, this time putting the full power of the Department of Justice behind advancing environmental justice. 

“In our agenda, we urged President Biden to respond to the disproportionate and devastating impact of climate change and pollution on poor communities and people of color in two ways: ensuring at least 40 percent of the overall benefits from federal investments in climate and clean energy go to disadvantaged communities, and holding government agencies accountable for reducing disproportionate environmental impacts on frontline communities. We applaud the new DOJ Office of Environmental Justice for advancing significant progress on those two goals. 

“Today’s announcement shows an administration that is not afraid to go to bat for our most vulnerable communities against waste, corruption, and discrimination. We’re seeing the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice play hardball on behalf of communities of color, and a Biden administration bringing the full weight of its enforcement powers — not only its regulatory ones — in the fight for environmental justice. We look forward to continuing to work with President Biden and his administration to advance our executive action agenda and deliver for communities across the country.”

Progressives have long been some of the loudest champions in Congress for environmental justice. CPC Chair Emeritus and Natural Resources Committee Chair Representative Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03) led the introduction of the Environmental Justice For All Act, legislation to trengthen environmental compliance and pollution standards and provide new enforcement tools to counter environmental discrimination; the bill was endorsed by the Progressive Caucus earlier this year. Rep. Jayapal and CPC member Representative Nanette Barragán (CA-44) co-chair the bicameral Environmental Justice Task Force. And CPC members Representatives Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) lead the Get The Lead Out Caucus to fight for full funding to replace lead pipes across the country.

Today’s executive order is the sixth action implementing portions of the Progressive Caucus’ executive action agenda since it was announced in March. It follows orders to: fix the Affordable Care Act “family glitch,” end Title 42, require public companies disclose information about their climate risk, develop heat and wind labor standards, and invoke the Defense Production Act to mobilize the production of renewable energy technology, all of which were proposed by the CPC in the agenda.