WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Biden v. Nebraska striking down President Biden’s executive order to cancel student debt:

“This decision is the latest assault of an extremist right-wing activist Supreme Court and extremist MAGA Republicans on everyday Americans. The President’s legal authority for canceling student debt under the HEROES Act was clear and sound, but the justices chose to uphold a political agenda being unleashed by extreme MAGA Republicans rather than the law. With every decision, from stripping abortion rights and affirmative action to allowing for the destruction of our wetlands and the undermining of LGBTQ+ rights, this Supreme Court is showing the need to expand the court and legislate ethics standards that ensure the Court is working for the people — not for political interests and wealthy benefactors.

“It cannot be overstated how devastating this ruling is. Before the pandemic, more than 25 percent of borrowers were behind on payments and 9 million borrowers were in default, with one borrower defaulting every 26 seconds. The Department of Education estimates those statistics will only get worse for millions without cancellation, and new research shows 1 in 5 borrowers will struggle financially when payments resume.

“Despite the myths that extreme Republicans put out there, 97 percent of student loan borrowers are low- and middle-income. 40 percent of borrowers never were able to finish their degree, often working multiple jobs simply to pay for that education, food and rent. Student debt is also not just a young people's issue: it's one of the largest factors contributing to the rise in debt among seniors. Nearly nine million people who hold student loan debt are older than 50, with nearly one million over age 65. In twenty years, thanks in part to Republicans relentless efforts to cut investments in public education, in-state tuition and fees at public colleges and universities have increased by 175 percent, and the federal government and loan profiteers have made money off students who are simply trying to get an education. All of this is unacceptable.

“President Biden understood all of this, and understood the urgency of relieving tens of millions of people from having their livelihoods, their futures, and their dreams crushed by student debt.  That’s exactly why he used the legal authority he had to issue an executive order that was a lifeline to these millions of our neighbors, friends, parents, and grandparents. Contrast that with the callous, politically motivated lawsuits from Republicans across the country that have blocked any of that relief from going out the door.  

“Let’s be clear: the Supreme Court did not rule against all student debt relief writ large — it only took this particular statutory pathway off the table. The President can utilize other ways to cancel student debt. We urge him to use them and deliver this cancellation 43 million people desperately need as quickly as possible. Inaction is not an option.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, which overturned the constitutional right to abortion:

“One year after Roe v. Wade was overturned, the landscape for reproductive freedom across the United States is bleaker than ever. Abortion is banned or inaccessible in 15 states, eliminating access in large parts of the country. Tens of thousands of people have not been able to have abortions they needed. Approximately 40 percent of obstetricians and gynecologists have faced constraints caring for patients. In state after state, stories have emerged of people nearly dying waiting for the reproductive health care they need and forced to continue pregnancies against their will.

“This is nothing less than a human rights crisis. Millions of Americans are denied the intensely personal, essential freedom to make decisions about our own bodies and our own futures. The end of legal abortion has exacerbated wealth inequality and widened the health disparities between white people and people of color — a particularly deadly gap, given the United States’ Black maternal mortality crisis.

“One year after the Dobbs decision, we remain in a public health emergency — but the movements for reproductive rights, health, and justice have never given up, and neither will progressives in Congress. Abortion funds across the South and Midwest continue to support their communities, and people continue to give to keep them going. Lawyers and organizers have mobilized to create legal defense. Reproductive justice champions in state legislatures have passed laws to codify the right to abortion and protect doctors.

“We can and must follow their example. The CPC will continue to advocate for the Biden administration to use all its executive authority to protect and expand access to abortion and contraception. We will continue to push for the passage of legislation to protect the right to abortion in federal law, as Democrats did this week to force a vote on that bill, as well as the right to contraception. As one of the one in four women in this country who have had an abortion, I cannot — and will not — give up this fight, and neither will my CPC colleagues. One year after Dobbs, the work is only beginning.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Co-Chair of the Equality Caucus Transgender Equality Taskforce, issued the following statement on the introduction of the Equality Act. The legislation, which would provide consistent, nationwide, explicit non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across the country, has been led by CPC members since 2015 and was introduced in this Congress by Representative Mark Takano (CA-39), CPC Vice Chair for Policy.

“The Equality Act has never been more important than it is in 2023. Despite landmark Supreme Court decisions that affirmed the right of LGBTQ+ people to marry and to constitutional protections in the workplace, the community is under a vicious, coordinated attack in localities and states across the country. Nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year alone. Transgender and nonbinary people are the subject of a daily onslaught of harassment, discrimination, and bigotry, including from the highest levels of the Republican Party. 

“Now more than ever, it is incumbent upon Democrats to stand up and support the LGBTQ+ community loudly and unequivocally. The Progressive Caucus has a proud history of leadership of and support for the Equality Act; I’m thrilled to see the first openly gay person of color elected to Congress, Representative Takano, advancing this legislation. LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender and nonbinary people, have the right to equal access to education, to work, to housing, and to exist in public life. We will fight alongside our colleagues until that is the lived reality of every member of the LGBTQ+ community, and the Equality Act becomes law.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after House Republicans approved their newest tax giveaway to the wealthy and biggest corporations in the Ways and Means Committee and set up a vote by the full House of Representatives: 

“Not two weeks after Republicans nearly blew up the economy in order to supposedly lower the national debt, they are sending tax cuts that benefit the wealthy and large corporations to the floor — legislation which, if it becomes law, would explode the deficit. It’s exactly as progressives have been saying: Republicans only care about keeping the cash flowing to billionaires and their corporate donors, and will stick working people with the bill to make it happen.

“Republicans’ Tax Scam 2.0 is packed with corporate giveaways financed on the backs of the working class. It would give $28.4 billion in tax breaks to the richest 1 percent, provide $60.8 billion to the wealthiest fifth of Americans, and authorize a $23.8 billion gift to foreign stockholders in U.S. corporations next year. The poorest fifth of Americans would receive just a $40 tax cut next year — while the richest 1 percent would average $16,550. This is in addition to the climate devastation the bill will cause by rolling back provisions meant to speed up the clean energy transition in Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act.

“It couldn't be clearer where Republicans’ priorities are. Their hypocrisy is blatant and their disdain for poor and working class families is outrageous. Progressives will stand with our Democratic colleagues in voting no on this shameful handout to the wealthiest individuals and corporations, and we will continue our fight to end economic inequality in this country. Now, more than ever, we must tax the rich.”

View the full press conference here

WASHINGTON — Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) members gathered today to sound the alarm on the Republicans’ reckless tactics driving the United States economy toward default and their refusal to cut the deficit by making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, instead forcing working people to foot the bill.

Click here to view the press conference.

The press conference included remarks from CPC Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07); Deputy Chair Ilhan Omar (MN-05); Whip Greg Casar (TX-35); Deputy Whip Chris Deluzio (PA-17); CPC member and Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee James P. McGovern (MA-02); 

and CPC members Representatives Jan Schakowsky (IL-09); Jerrold Nadler (NY-12); Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14); Barbara Lee (CA-12), CPC Chair Emeritus; and Jared Huffman (CA-02), CPC Vice Chair at Large. The full press conference can be viewed here.

Remarks from CPC Chair Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), as prepared:

“Good afternoon. Today, the United States is closer to default than we have ever been in our history for one reason: extreme Republican recklessness. It is clear that Republicans have no interest in cutting the deficit. 

“Their focus is on cutting taxes for their wealthiest benefactors: big corporations and billionaires who finance their campaigns. And they want YOU — working people across the country — to foot the bill. 

“The Progressive Caucus is here to sound the alarm about the harm coming for the working families if Republicans are successful. 

“Please understand: none of this is normal. Congress has raised the debt ceiling 78 times since 1960 — 49 under Republican presidents and 29 under Democrats. Spending is negotiated during that budget and appropriations process. 

“Raising the debt ceiling is separate to implementing what Congress already passed. It’s a constitutional obligation, essential to protecting people’s pensions, health care, and social security. 

“Driving us all off the default cliff is bad enough in and of itself. But let’s call out why they’re sowing this chaos and catastrophe.

“President Biden and Democrats have put forward clear proposals to cut the deficit — but Republicans' posturing has nothing to do with that. Why won’t they discuss raising revenue? Why won’t they reverse their deficit-exploding, unfunded Trump tax cuts, which added nearly $2 trillion to the deficit with nearly half of the benefits benefitting the top 5 percent? Why won’t they cut the bloated defense budget?

“Because it’s not actually about the national debt. It’s about keeping the cash flowing to the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.

“The Speaker claimed today that Democrats are singularly responsible for the deficit. In reality, Trump oversaw the third-biggest deficit increase of any administration. He was beaten out only by George W. Bush and Abraham Lincoln — Bush, who led the U.S. into two foreign conflicts financed almost entirely through debt, and Lincoln, who fought the Civil War. 

“It’s been reported that the Speaker rejected revenue raising proposals, but let’s be specific. I spoke to the White House last night, and I can share today what they told me: the Republicans rejected three trillion dollars worth of policies that could have gone towards deficit reduction.

“Republicans rejected ending tax subsidies to Big Oil — an industry that pockets $200 billion in profit last — to bring in $31 billion for taxpayers. They rejected closing the carried interest and other tax loopholes that would have raised more than $60 billion dollars. They rejected increasing the number of drugs that Medicare negotiates prices for, bringing down drug prices for YOU and saving $200 billion. 

“Republicans rejected a billionaire minimum tax and a corporate global minimum tax that would bring in almost $1 TRILLION dollars. They rejected raising taxes on large corporations from the outrageous cut Trump instituted. Altogether: $3 TRILLION dollars in savings. 

“Instead? They want YOU to foot the bill for these tax cuts. They’re not negotiating at all. Unreasonable. Extreme. Cruel. 

“Don’t just take it from me. Yesterday, Matt Gaetz said: Republicans ‘don't feel like we should negotiate with our hostage.’ 

“Who exactly is that hostage? It’s the American economy. It’s seniors. Parents. Kids. Veterans. People with disabilities. Teachers. The poorest Americans.

“From Day 1, progressives have been the loudest voices defending working families from Republicans' extreme behavior. The CPC publicly called for raising the debt ceiling last fall and our members were the first to sign the discharge petition. We will continue to call out and reject the Republicans’ reckless, hostage taking.

“Republicans want you to believe there are only two choices: Their extreme bill that would make YOU pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest, OR Default. Both are catastrophic.

“Don’t buy it. There are other options. Five Republicans who actually care about working people could join Democrats in signing the discharge petition so that we can raise the debt ceiling and defuse the ticking time bomb. 

“They could agree to some — any — revenue raising policies, so it’s the wealthy and big corporations reducing the deficit by paying their fair share. And if necessary, the President can take unilateral action to avoid default by acting according to the 14th amendment and pay these bills. 

“Let’s be clear, if we default there is one person to blame: the Speaker of the House.”

WASHINGTON — Sixty-six members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), led by CPC Chair Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Deputy Chair Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Whip Greg Casar (TX-35), are calling on President Biden to prepare to invoke his constitutional authority granted in the 14th Amendment to uphold the full faith and credit of the United States and end Republican hostage taking of the economy that could trigger a financial catastrophe.

The members released a letter today urging President Biden to “fulfill the Executive’s Constitutional duty to faithfully and impartially administer the funds already enacted by law at the direction of Congress,” citing the clause which states “the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred…shall not be questioned.”

The lawmakers sent the letter “in light of unremitting efforts by Congressional Republicans to hold the economic health of our nation hostage.” The Republicans’ framework imposes “drastic cuts,” and could take jobs from 780,000 people, nutrition assistance from 1.2 million women, infants, and children, Medicaid coverage from up to 21 million Americans, rental assistance from 640,000 families, and more, the lawmakers warn. “Surrendering to these extremist demands also sets a dangerous precedent that emboldens Republicans to pursue additional, anti-democratic hostage taking, particularly after their having been told previously that a clean debt-ceiling increase was nonnegotiable,” they write.

The members also emphasize the clear legal authority for the President to raise the debt ceiling under the 14th Amendment. “If the options are either agreeing to major cuts to domestic priorities under the Republican threat of destroying the economy and moving forward to honor America’s debts, we join prominent legal scholars, economists, former budget officials, and a former president in advocating for invoking the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.”

They conclude by urging the President to prepare to invoke the Constitution’s 14th Amendment “rather than acceding to bad-faith Republican attempts to harm our hard-fought economic recovery, reverse the climate progress of this administration, impose painful, burdensome, and ineffective new work requirements for recipients of [public assistance programs], and slash essential federal programs that lift up millions of Americans.”

The letter can be viewed here.

Signatories include: Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Greg Casar (TX-35), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44),  Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-17), Cori Bush (MO-01), André Carson (IN-07), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), John Garamendi (CA-08), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Daniel Goldman (NY-10), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Jonathan L. Jackson (IL-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Henry C. “Hank”  Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Summer Lee (PA-12), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-31), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Delia C. Ramirez (IL-03), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Mark Takano (CA-39), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Ritchie Torres (NY-35), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).

House Dems Demand a Clean Debt Ceiling Increase and Separately “Welcome an Open and Productive Debate…on Approaches to Address both Federal Spending and Revenues"

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, led by Representatives Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Annie Kuster (NH-02), Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, Members from across the House Democratic Caucus called on Republicans to uphold their obligation to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by lifting the debt ceiling “without any extraneous policies attached.”

The lawmakers also emphasize, “separate from the lifting of the debt ceiling, House Democrats have welcomed an open and productive debate through the normal budgetary process on approaches to address both federal spending and revenues that do not involve the threat of nonpayment of funds already appropriated by law.” The House Democrats underscore that Congressional Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling on three separate occasions under President Trump.

The catastrophic impact of breaching the debt ceiling cannot be overstated. Moody’s Analytics projects a prolonged breach would lead to a 4 percent decline in GDP, 7 million jobs lost with unemployment above 8 percent, and roughly $10 trillion in household wealth wiped out. The specter of default would haunt the U.S. economy, with GDP a full percentage point lower a decade after the crisis and 900,000 jobs never regained. Additionally, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a default would cause a recession in the U.S. economy and ultimately could cause a global financial crisis. 

The letter reads in part:

“Although [Republicans] recently stated that ‘the greatest threat to our future is our national debt,’ we note with puzzlement that Congressional Republicans voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in 2017, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated would increase the federal deficit by $1.9 trillion over 10 years, with 83 percent of the law’s benefits estimated to accrue to the richest 1 percent by 2027. The first act of House Republicans in the 118th Congress under your Speakership was passing legislation — which Democrats unanimously opposed — to rescind funding for I.R.S. enforcement against tax evasion by wealthy individuals and large corporations. The CBO estimated that by reducing revenue, that legislation would increase the deficit by $114 billion over 10 years. In fact, the Republican agenda would increase the debt by over $3 trillion.”

House Democrats make it clear that while they welcome debate on spending and economic responsibility, negotiations over spending must be distinct from the threat of economic default, and any cuts to Social Security and Medicare are ‘off the table.’

The full text of the letter can be found here.

The signatories of the letter include Representatives Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ann Kuster (NH-02), Alma S. Adams Ph.D. (NC-12), Colin Z. Allred (TX-32), Jake Auchincloss (MA-04), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-06), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL), Suzanne Bonamici(OR-01), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-17), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Cori Bush (MO-01), Yadira Caraveo M.D. (CO-08), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), André Carson (IN-07), Troy Carter (LA-02), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Greg Casar (TX-35), Sean Casten (IL-06), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), J. Luis Correa (CA-46), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Angie Craig (MN-02), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Jason Crow (CO-06), Sharice L. Davids (KS-03), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Diana DeGette (CO-01), Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03), Suzan K. DelBene (WA-01), Christopher Deluzio (PA-17), Mark DeSaulnier( CA-10), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Lloyd Doggett (TX-37), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Anna G. Eshoo (CA-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Bill Foster (IL-11), Valerie P. Foushee (NC-04), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Maxwell Alejandro Frost (FL-10), Ruben Gallego (AZ-03). John Garamendi (CA-08), Jesús G. "Chuy"García (IL-04), Robert Garcia (CA-42), Sylvia R. Garcia (TX-29), Daniel Goldman (NY-10), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Al Green (TX-09), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07), Josh Harder (CA-09), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Bria Higgins (NY-26), James A. Himes (CT-04), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Glenn Ivey (MD-04), Jeff Jackson (NC-14), Jonathan L. Jackson (IL-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. “Hank”  Johnson (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), William R. Keating (MA-09), Robin L. Kelly (IL-02) , Ro Khanna (CA-17), Daniel T. Kildee (MI-08), Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Greg Landsman (OH-01), Rick Larsen (WA-02), John B. Larson (CT-01), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Summer Lee (PA-12), Susie Lee (NV-03), Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted W. Lieu (CA-36), Zoe Lofgren (CA-18), Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), Seth Magaziner (RI-02), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Doris Matsui (CA-07), Lucy McBath (GA-07), Jennifer L. McClellan (VA-04), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-05), Robert J. Menendez (NJ-08), Grace Meng (NY-06), Kweisi Mfume (MD-07), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Joseph D. Morelle (NY-25), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Frank J. Mrvan (IN-01), Kevin Mullin (CA-15), Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-31), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Brittany Pettersen (CO-07), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Stacey E. Plaskett (VI-AL), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-47), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Delia C. Ramirez (IL-03), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Deborah K. Ross (NC-02), Raul Ruiz (CA-25), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02), Patrick K. Ryan (NY-18), Andrea Salinas (OR-05), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), John P. Sarbanes (MD-03), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam B. Schiff (CA-30), Bradley Scott Schneider (IL-10), Hillary J. Scholten (MI-03), Kim Schrier M.D. (WA-08), David Scott (GA-13), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Brad Sherman (CA-32), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), Adam Smith (WA-09), Eric Sorensen (IL-17), Darren Soto (FL-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Greg Stanton (AZ-04), Haley M. Stevens (MI-11), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Eric Swalwell (CA-14), Emilia Strong Sykes (OH-13), Mark Takano (CA-39), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Mike Thompson (CA-04), Dina Titus (NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (MI-12), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul Tonko (NY-20), Norma J. Torres (CA-35), Ritchie Torres (NY-35), Lori Trahan (MA-03), David Trone (MD-06), Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Gabe Vasquez (NM-02), Marc A. Veasey (TX-33), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Susan Wild (PA-07), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24). 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement commending a new executive order from the Biden administration to advance environmental justice across federal agencies:

“The climate crisis isn’t only a threat to the future of our planet — it’s here now, but does not affect every community equally. Neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of water and air pollution, communities of color and poor communities that have less access to health care and green, healthy infrastructure are already living with the worst impact. That’s why in our Executive Action Agenda we called for the Biden administration to build on its 2022 actions to hold federal agencies accountable for reducing disproportionate environmental impacts on frontline communities. I’m thrilled to see today’s new executive order does exactly that.

“I applaud President Biden’s order to protect the hardest-hit communities from disproportionate exposure to pollution, close the gaps in data on that impact, ensure community members have a seat at the table where environmental decisions are made, and create a Chief Environmental Justice Office to coordinate a whole-of-government approach to this fight. Progressives are incredibly proud of our role in enacting legislation and working with the administration to advance policy that reduces emissions as well as addresses the crises facing our most vulnerable communities today. This executive order furthers that vision, and we look forward to working with President Biden and his team to ensure that they live up to their laudable goals in all environmental policy decisions.”

This order is the sixth action the Biden administration has taken from the CPC’s 2023 Executive Action Agenda released last month, including: historic investments in the care economy, rulemaking from the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions from cars and trucks and mercury pollution, the expansion of health insurance coverage eligibility to DACA recipients, and pushing federal banking agencies to pursue enhanced supervision of mid-sized banks.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement applauding a new executive order from the Biden administration to expand access to child and home care and invest in the care workforce:

“As the COVID-19 pandemic made abundantly clear, care workers are essential to our economy and to the health and wellbeing of all our communities. But for too long, child care and home care have been unaffordable, inaccessible, and care workers dramatically undervalued and underpaid. That is why the Congressional Progressive Caucus has advocated for legislative and executive action on the care economy, and why I’m thrilled to applaud this new order from the Biden administration today.

“This new order will bolster the care economy by investing both in those who rely on caregiving and in the essential workers who provide it. The administration’s order builds on its historic implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act’s prioritization of grantees that provide child care to their workers, now directing federal agencies to consider requiring contractors to expand child care for their employees. It pushes all federal agencies to pursue opportunities to expand employee access to child care and expands home-based care access for veterans. It also sets a payment floor to raise care worker wages, issues regulations to improve the quality of care jobs, and leverages Medicaid funding to ensure nursing homes can meet minimum staffing standards to promote worker safety. This order is essential to advancing racial and gender justice, when virtually all child care workers are women and the majority of care workers are women of color. Each of these policies are directly responsive to proposals in our 2023 Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda, issued just last month.

“Today, President Biden rightfully recognized that well-paid, experienced care workers are central to ensuring a competitive and fair economy, and that access to affordable, quality care services are necessary for every family to thrive. The CPC has fought tooth and nail for these investments, including ensuring universal child care and expanded home-based care passed through the House Build Back Better Act in 2021. That work is unfinished, and Congress must meet this moment. Progressives will continue to push for legislation that finally recognizes the hard and essential work of caregivers, guarantees universal child care, and makes home-based care accessible and affordable. We have and will continue to stand with and for care workers and American families every day.”

This order is the fifth action the Biden administration has taken from the CPC’s 2023 Executive Action Agenda, including: rulemaking from the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions from cars and trucks and mercury pollution, the expansion of health insurance coverage eligibility to DACA recipients, and pushing federal banking agencies to pursue enhanced supervision of mid sized banks. 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement, issued the following statement applauding the new proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to grant eligibility for health care coverage to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients:

“DACA recipients are our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The United States is their home, but for too long they have been denied the basic human right to health care. I applaud this new proposed rule from Secretary Becerra and HHS to allow DACA recipients to purchase qualified health insurance coverage. This is a cause I have long championed, including introducing the HEAL Act along with Representative Nanette Barragán (CA-44) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ). This is a long overdue step toward immigrant justice, and the first immigrant-focused action the administration has taken from our Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda, issued just last month.

“The Biden administration has heeded the call of immigrant communities and movements, and understands that it is past time to end the days when almost 600,000 DACA recipients without employer coverage are forced to pay exorbitant costs out of pocket for health care, or go without lifesaving medical treatment because they can’t afford it. In the richest country in the world, no one should be denied access to the health care system simply because of their immigration status — and especially those who have known no other home but the United States. I look forward to seeing this rule finalized. We will continue the fight for health care for all and for a roadmap to citizenship for every undocumented member of our communities.”