WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after CPC member Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) announced he will retire at the end of this term:

“Congressman Blumenauer will retire with a distinguished legacy. He has been a consistent leader of the fight for a national climate emergency and a champion for the Green New Deal. He was a key architect of legislation to strengthen public transit and sustainable infrastructure to create more livable communities and to advance the clean energy transition to help reduce carbon emissions. Rep. Blumenauer authored the first legislation to provide special visas to Afghan evacuees, including those who aided the United States in Afghanistan.

“Rep. Blumenauer also holds the distinction of being one the co-founders and co-chairs of the Cannabis Caucus. He has been instrumental in the fight for federal cannabis reform, including to support federal research, ensure racial and economic justice for those incarcerated for marijuana offenses, and legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana nationwide.

"During the time we served together, Rep. Blumenauer has been a personal friend and steadfast supporter, including of the CPC, and we will miss him dearly in the Progressive Caucus. Thank you, Congressman, for your decades of service.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Republican failure to elect a Speaker of the House after two weeks of intra-Conference dysfunction:

“For more than two weeks, House Republicans have held the Congress of the United States hostage while they were distracted with their own chaos and incompetence.  

Now, for yet a 16th time, Republicans have had to bring us to the floor for another Speaker vote. Let’s be clear that the name above the door may be different, but the dynamics any Republican speaker would face is the same: a slim majority, an empowered MAGA wing, and a divided government. Jim Jordan did not even get as many votes as Kevin McCarthy’s lowest vote total — and that was with all bullying tactics in full force. 

“It is time for a handful of Republicans who try to portray themselves as reasonable to step up and stop putting politics over people. They must come to the table to work with Democrats on a shared governance model going forward so that we can get back to work for the important business of the country.

“When we had the identical margin of a majority, Democrats passed historic legislation to take climate action, lower prescription drug costs, invest in the working- and middle-class, and rebuild American infrastructure. The past two weeks have clarified just how incapable Republicans are of governing and how much they will continue to need House Democrats to get anything done. The good news: while Republicans may be caught up in petty infighting, progressives and our colleagues across the Democratic Caucus will remain focused on the American people and the issues facing them.

Republicans simply have not been able to govern and the stakes are high. We have just a month left until the next government funding deadline. Come to the table, work with us, and let’s get real work done.” 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement applauding the announcement of new actions from the Biden administration, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ban junk fees:

“Today, the Biden administration is showing the country what bold, progressive economic policy looks like. I applaud the President, Chair Khan, and Director Chopra for these new actions to ban junk fees. It’s just the latest move in their relentless fight to take on corporate power and put it back in the hands of consumers and working people.

“We have all experienced the pain of junk fees: the fees on overdraft, inactivity, or even checking a bank account that keep people trapped in a poverty; the outrageous sums hidden from view when we book air travel, rent a car, or buy concert tickets; the exorbitant extra costs added on to already expensive medical care. Cracking down on junk fees will put money back in working people’s pockets and help middle-class families afford the things they need. The requirement for transparent pricing is essential to an anti-monopoly agenda that forces corporations to compete for business and ensures consumers have the information they need to make the choice that’s best for them.

“Today’s order builds on an exciting record of corporate accountability policy from the Biden administration, including through the CFPB’s action on banking junk fees that has already saved consumers nearly $2 billion since 2021. This is also the fifteenth action taken from our 2023 Progressive Caucus Executive Action Agenda, following taking on airline industry misconduct, raising the overtime pay threshold, investing in the care economy, and more. Progressives look forward to continuing to work with the FTC, CFPB, and White House to implement this exciting policy and to make progress for the American people.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement following arguments in CFPB v. CFSA, the Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s funding structure:

“I applaud the Solicitor General for her powerful defense of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the tens of millions of Americans whom it protects. There should be no question of the CFPB’s constitutionality; no court has ever ruled that Congress is prohibited from passing a law that authorizes spending.

“This case was brought by the predatory lenders and special interests who have historically rigged our economy and don’t like the CFPB fighting back for the people. Consumer protection cuts into their profits. Well I’ve got a message for the plaintiffs: that’s simply too bad. 

“In the 12 years since it was founded, the CFPB has put $17.5 billion back in the pockets of the American people, provided $175 million in relief to service members and veterans harmed by corporate abuse, and put $4 billion in its fund for victims of illegal violations of consumer protections. The agency has pursued action to remove medical debt from credit reports, forced Wells Fargo to return more than $2 billion to customers that resulted from illegal auto and mortgage lending practices, and protected millions from junk fees. If the Supreme Court rules against the CFPB, it will be ruling against those actions, and the millions of working- and middle-class people they have served. 

“A ruling against the CFPB would have catastrophic consequences. It could endanger the guaranteed funding of Medicare and Social Security and unwind the progress we’ve made since the 2008 crisis to fight predatory banks and corporations. It would also be an admission of the Supreme Court’s corruption, confirming that the justices are perfectly comfortable to collect undisclosed gifts from wealthy benefactors, engage in conflicts of interest, and then remove every safeguard from those same forces defrauding our constituents out of their hard-earned income. 

“I urge the court’s far-right majority  to remember their constitutional obligation to the American people — not their own interests.” 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the victories Democrats secured in legislation to keep the government open: 

“House Democrats have engineered a huge victory for the American people in averting a Republican shutdown. This is a moment of relief for the thousands of federal employees and working-class federal contract workers who will not miss a paycheck and the millions of Americans who rely on government services that will continue uninterrupted. The reason that the government will remain open tonight is simple: Democrats held the line against Republicans' cruel, extreme, and unworkable agenda and the Republican resolve crumbled.

House Democrats stared down their funding cuts and we won. The Congressional Progressive Caucus in coalition with the Chairs of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Black Caucus, made it clear that we would not support any bad border or immigration policy and it was dropped from the bill as a result. We ensured that our communities in Hawai’i, Vermont, and across the country could receive the federal disaster recovery funding they desperately need.

However, there is work still ahead. Congress still needs to pass government funding legislation, and Republicans are still trying to gut food, housing, and home heating assistance for low-income families, take teachers out of classrooms, criminalize abortion, cut Social Security funding and create a death panel for the earned benefits seniors rely on. Republicans have managed to fulfill the absolute bare minimum of their obligations as the governing majority, but Democrats will need to remain vigilant against their extreme, cruel, and unworkable agenda. 

“There are now 45 more days to avoid a national crisis. Speaker McCarthy should stick to the deal he made with President Biden and work with Democrats in the House and Senate to actually pass funding bills, prevent a Republican shutdown, and continue to provide the essential services people need. Their incompetence and extremism has cost our constituents enough already — but the American people can rest assured that just as we held the line for them in this fight, we will continue to do so in the fights to come.

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and Congressional Black Caucus issued the following statement in response to consideration of a continuing resolution to fund the government:

“It is not appropriate to establish new immigration and border policy in a bill to keep the government funded. House Republicans cannot move their extreme, cruel, unworkable anti-immigrant agenda through the regular legislative process, so they’re trying to make an end-run around Congress and hold the American people hostage to force it into law. Even Minority Leader Senator McConnell has said, ‘Shutting down the government isn’t an effective way to make a point.’ We couldn’t agree more.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement applauding Chair Jessica Rosenworcel’s announcement that the Federal Communications Commission will end Trump-era attacks on net neutrality and reestablish open internet protections:

“Once again, Democrats have a majority of commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the power to undo the harm caused by the Trump administration. This new Democratic majority has already shown its commitment to democratic values with Chair Rosenworcel’s announcement that the FCC will reinstate the 2015 Open Internet Order.

“That 2015 order enshrined the policy of ‘net neutrality’ into law and prevented large corporate internet service providers from throttling internet speeds, favoring or blocking certain types of online content, or engaging in other types of anti-competitive behavior. The Trump-era decision to overturn those protections left online consumers at the mercy of special and corporate interests and allowed wealthy corporations to consolidate power. Net neutrality is essential to ensuring that internet companies cannot rig access to what has become a fundamental public utility with pay-to-play schemes. 

“Americans deserve a free, open internet. They deserve net neutrality. I hope to see the Commission quickly move to finalize this action and correct the damage of 2017 and protect it for all our communities.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus was one of the first voices to call for Title II reclassification and strong enforceable net neutrality protections in 2014. The passage of the 2015 Save the Net Act was the culmination of a years-long Congressional campaign spearheaded by the Progressive Caucus in solidarity with activists, organizers, innovators, small business owners, and everyday families.

WASHINGTON — 92 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus urged Speaker Kevin McCarthy today to do his job, join his House Democratic colleagues and a bipartisan majority in the U.S. Senate, keep to the deal he struck with President Biden, and pass a government funding bill to avoid a shutdown.

The new letter comes just 10 days before House Republicans’ infighting and inability to govern threatens to shut down the government. The House majority has only been able to pass one of the 12 funding appropriations bills required to keep the federal government functioning on October 1, despite the “inclusion of extreme policy riders and draconian spending cuts designed to accommodate the far-right faction of your conference,” write the lawmakers.

Speaker McCarthy’s abject failure to ensure his House majority governs is also a failure in meeting the obligations of the deal he himself negotiated with President Biden in May. That deal became law; Republicans’ attempt to undercut the deal with lower spending levels or the inclusion of “poison-pill policy riders” guarantees a government shutdown. 

The members outline the catastrophic impact of those cuts, should they become law: “Republican-written House appropriations bills would impose an $800 million cut to food benefits for low- income mothers and children, kick 224,000 teachers from classrooms, and eliminate access to early childhood education for 51,000 children in Head Start, all while limiting access to abortion.” 

Progressives also warn that House Republicans’ dysfunction will cause immediate and widespread harm to the American people. “A government shutdown will impact the very things families desperately need: the risk of running out of SNAP and TANF benefits, limited access to beneficiary assistance for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, curtailed food and environmental safety inspections, weakened disease surveillance, treatment and prevention efforts, and the potential of no back pay for low-wage federal contract workers,” the lawmakers write.

As lawmakers emphasize: “[I]f you choose not to pass a bipartisan government funding bill consistent with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, you are deliberately choosing to shut down the government.”

The full letter can be read here.

Signatories of the letter include: Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Greg Casar (TX-35), Alma S. Adams, Ph.D (NC-12), Becca Balint (VT-AL), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D (NY-16), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Shontel Brown (OH-11), André Carson (IN-7), Troy A. Carter, Sr. (LA-02), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Judy Chu (CA-28), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Chris Deluzio (PA-17), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Debbie Dingell (MI-06), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Valerie Foushee (NC-4), 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), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Val Hoyle (OR-04), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Summer Lee (PA-12), Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Jennifer McClellan (VA-04), Morgan McGarvey (KY-03), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Kweisi Mfume (MD-07), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Joe Neguse (CO-02), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-at large), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6), Jimmy Panetta (CA-19), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-45), Delia Ramirez (IL-3), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Andrea Salinas (OR-6), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5), Janice Schakowsky (IL-09), Brad Sherman (CA-32), Adam Smith (WA-09), Melanie Stansbury (NM-01), Mark Takano (CA-41), Shri Thanedar (MI-13), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Jill Tokuda (HI-02), Paul D. Tonko (NY-20), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), Lori Trahan (MA-03), Juan Vargas (CA-52), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), 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 applauding the Department of Labor’s announcement that it will propose a new rule to raise the threshold for full-time salaried workers to be federal guaranteed overtime pay to $55,000 per year: 

“I am pleased to see the Biden Administration act to raise the overtime threshold and advance this key pillar of worker justice that has been a top priority for the CPC’s Executive Action Agenda. I’m grateful for the leadership of Acting Secretary Julie Su and the Department of Labor in this effort.

“For nearly eight years, the federal overtime threshold has been so low it guaranteed overtime pay for only 15 percent of full-time salaried workers, forcing millions to essentially work any hours above 40 per week for free at a time when they cannot afford to do so. When this new rule is finalized, it will cover 3.6 million more workers and ensure they are finally paid for all their hours on the job. That is real progress, but it doesn’t go far enough. Too many families are still being squeezed by the cost of living, from housing to child care to health care. This incremental move will leave too many behind when a larger increase to the threshold could give millions more families breathing room in their budgets at a time when they desperately need it.

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus has a long history of advocating for bold action: under President Obama in 20142015, and 2016; and as a proposal for the Biden administration in both our 2022 and 2023 Executive Action Agendas. Our Caucus understands this is about basic fairness: people should be paid for every hour they work. It is also about economic justice: workers should not be forced to donate their time over 40 hours per week to their employers, especially for those who work at wealthy corporations that are raking in record profits.

“The CPC called for the overtime threshold to be raised to $80,000 per year, which would cover 55 percent of workers at one-and-a-half times their regular pay—and grant fair pay to 26 million new workers. But the increase from above $35,568 to $55,000 leaves millions more workers to fight for fair pay on their own. We urge President Biden not to consider the job done with this proposed rule, and pursue a relentless commitment to fair overtime pay, which would be a powerful demonstration of his pro-worker commitment. We cannot rest until we’ve exhausted every option to ease the burden on working- and middle-class people.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the Biden Administration that Medicare will negotiate the costs of Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, and certain other insulins including Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill:

 “This is an incredibly important step to continue the work of lowering costs for seniors who take these lifesaving prescription drugs – a step that builds on the pieces of the Inflation Reduction Act that have already been implemented, including capping the cost of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries at $35 per month and an out-of-pocket drug spending limit is just months away, saving the average senior $400 a year. The Congressional Budget Office estimates these reforms could save Medicare $98.5 billion over 10 years and will drastically cut costs for seniors who spent $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs on these medications in 2022 alone.

“I am so proud of the work that the Congressional Progressive Caucus did to make this happen. By successfully demanding that the House pass a bold prescription drug negotiation bill in the 116th Congress and then holding the line during Build Back Better negotiations, we were able to ensure that these cost-saving provisions would be included in the final Inflation Reduction Act. Democrats then united to use our governing majorities to stand up against corporate interests, putting patients over profits.

“This is a major step in the right direction, and progressives look forward to continuing to lower the costs of health care for people across this country, both through ensuring that we allow for the negotiation of every prescription drug and continuing the fight for Medicare for All.”