Washington, D.C. – Tonight, the Congressional Progressive Caucus held a virtual event unveiling a bold Congressional agenda for the first six months of 2021 to deliver relief to the American people and govern with the urgency and vision that this moment requires.

Tonight’s event unveiling “The People’s Agenda: A Progressive Roadmap for Congress in 2021” featured remarks from Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Reverend Dr. William J Barber II, and Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, along with testimony from members of Congress, movement leaders, and members of the public demanding progress. Click here for the full video of the event.

The People’s Agenda has been endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and 37 outside organizations: The Poor People’s Campaign; SEIU; Community Change Action; Common Defense; MoveOn; Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE); American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC); Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO; Association of Flight Attendants-CWA; Association of Professional Flight Attendants; Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation; Center for Economic and Policy Research; Center for Popular Democracy Action; Communications Workers of America; DC Vote; Demand Progress; Indivisible; NARAL Pro-Choice America; National Domestic Workers Alliance; National Education Association; National Employment Law Project; National Immigration Law Center; National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC); NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Our Revolution; People's Action; PL+US: Paid Leave for the United States; Progressive Democrats of America; Public Citizen; Social Security Works; Transgender Law Center; UltraViolet; United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW); United for Respect; Win Without War; Working Families Party; Young Invincibles.

The seven planks outlined in The People’s Agenda are:

• Provide COVID Relief that Meets the Scale of the Crisis and Addresses the Disproportionate Harm to Black, Indigenous, People of Color and Other Vulnerable Communities

• Put People Back to Work, Give Workers More Power, and Transform to a Clean Renewable Energy Economy.

• Ensure Health Care for Everyone

• Defend and Expand Voting Rights, Strengthen Democracy and End Corruption

• Dismantle Racism, White Supremacy and Inequality in All Institutions

• End Endless Wars and Invest in Diplomacy and Peace

• End Corporate Greed and Corporate Monopolies

“The People’s Agenda is the culmination of months of works to identify our shared progressive priorities for the start of the new Congress. As we heard tonight, people across this nation are organizing and working for change – and at the Progressive Caucus, we stand ready to be their voice and their champion in the halls of Congress,” said CPC Chair, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “Congress must govern with the urgency that this moment requires and restore power to the hands of the people. The People’s Agenda unveiled tonight is a promise to the American people that we will fight for them and deliver transformative and bold policy change in the new year.”

“We see this launch of the People’s Agenda as a huge first step towards healing the nation. The Poor People’s Campaign is proud to have helped shape these priorities extensively, including the policy recommendations of poor and impacted leaders, economists, public health experts, researchers and faith leaders put forward in our Moral Agenda, Moral Budget, Jubilee Platform and 14 Policy Priorities for the First 100 Days,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and President of Repairers of the Breach. “We are encouraged by the commitment of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to moral policy that lifts from the bottom. The price of inequality is too high and the deaths from unjust policies are too many to not address. The only way to heal the nation and have domestic tranquility is to first establish justice. This agenda sets us on the path towards doing just that.”

“The People’s Agenda centers many of the needs and demands of the 140 million people who were already poor or one storm, fire, health care crisis, job loss or other emergency from economic ruin, the 700 people who were dying each day from poverty and inequality before the pandemic, and those who have been most impacted by the public health crisis and economic recession as well as the interlocking injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism and the war economy,” said Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. “This is why the Poor People’s Campaign is endorsing these progressive and nonpartisan priorities, which we have helped to shape and inform. And we will push lawmakers in the House and the Senate from both sides of the aisle to enact these legislative priorities now, because lives depend on it.”

“The People’s Agenda: A Progressive Roadmap for Congress in 2021” is posted here.

“Congressional Progressive Caucus Priorities: The Stakes for Women, People of Color, and Poor and Low-Income Families,” a supporting fact sheet published by the Institute for Policy Studies, Kairos, Repairers of the Breach, and the Poor People’s Campaign.

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the bipartisan agreement to fund the government and provide additional, long-overdue pandemic relief for the American people, including survival checks and enhanced unemployment demanded by the Progressive Caucus:

“It’s been eight long months since the American people have received any pandemic relief from the federal government. This deal will help keep families afloat – and prevent a catastrophic economic cliff and eviction crisis on January 1st – but it’s not nearly sufficient to address the enormous and growing need in our nation.

“This crisis was wholly preventable. Poverty, homelessness, and mass unemployment are policy choices made by callous politicians who would rather funnel money into the pockets of billionaires than help working families. This suffering could have been prevented if Congressional Republicans had worked with us, instead of stonewalling for months while hundreds of thousands of Americans died and millions more lost their jobs and life savings.

“While it’s important that survival checks and enhanced unemployment were included in this deal at the insistence of the Progressive Caucus, a one-time check of $600 is a Band-Aid for struggling families who are months behind on their rent, utilities, and car payments. It’s a disgrace that in the richest nation on Earth, millions of people will be spending this holiday season wondering if they will be able to keep a roof over their heads or pay for groceries in 2021.

“Families deserve better than the insufficient aid provided so far. This bill is a stopgap measure that includes many important provisions, including ensuring that survival checks are available to mixed-status families – including retroactively, so these families can also finally benefit from the $1200 checks from this spring – as well as critical funding for SNAP, rental assistance, and enhanced unemployment. But we will need to go far bigger and bolder to rescue our economy and help the American people. We must listen to the experts and economists who have told us that the dangers of going too small far outweigh the risk of going too big. In the coming months, Congress must pass a comprehensive package that meets the scale of the crisis, prevents this economic crisis from worsening, and brings real, substantial relief to the millions of individuals and families living on the brink.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement applauding the selection of Michael Regan to serve as EPA Administrator:

“Michael Regan is an excellent choice for EPA Administrator. Throughout his career, including most recently as the secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Michael Regan has shown a deep and abiding commitment to environmental justice and protecting our planet. And as our nation reckons with generations of systemic racial oppression – and the unequal burden of pollution and climate change on communities of color – Michael Regan’s perspective and voice as the first Black man to serve as EPA Administrator will be essential in furthering environmental justice.

“Our planet is at the brink of catastrophe. We will need bold, urgent action to undo the damage wreaked by the Trump Administration and address the looming climate crisis. Michael Regan’s leadership at EPA will be critical in delivering on our promise to save our planet, create good-paying green jobs, and fight environmental racism.”

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement applauding the historic selection of Congresswoman Deb Haaland to serve as Secretary of the Interior:

“Congresswoman Deb Haaland will bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and talent to the Interior Department. Her selection is not only history-making – it’s also a fitting recognition of her expertise and passion for our public lands, environment, and tribal communities. And as the first Native American woman selected to serve as Secretary of the Interior, her appointment marks a profound and historic opportunity to begin to correct centuries of injustice and mistreatment of tribal communities by our federal government.

“There’s no question that Congresswoman Haaland will continue her exemplary public service as Secretary of Interior and will be an advocate for every person, just as she has been in Congress. We applaud President-elect Biden for this excellent, groundbreaking selection, and congratulate our Progressive Caucus colleague and friend Congresswoman Haaland on her exciting new leadership role.”

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Washington, D.C. – Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), led by CPC Chairwoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), incoming Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45) and incoming Deputy Whip Ro Khanna (CA-17), sent a letter to House and Senate leadership on Friday, December 12th, calling for the inclusion of expanded Unemployment Insurance and other direct cash payments in any COVID stimulus deal. Direct cash assistance has been shown to be far more effective in delivering critically-needed aid to communities and stimulating our economy, compared to other programs like the Paycheck Protection Program. The letter, which was signed by seventeen members of the CPC Executive Board, can be accessed here.

“Initial research into the impact of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act shows an overwhelming advantage to each dollar spent on UI,” the letter notes. “While the CARES Act committed only about half of the $510 billion it included for the Payment Protection Program (PPP), increasing UI had a far greater and more equitable impact on the U.S. economic recovery than PPP did.”

“Enhanced UI benefits and direct payments are a crucial part of any COVID relief package, and should be included alongside housing and homelessness assistance, expanded SNAP benefits, and increased funding for state and local aid,” the letter continues. “All pandemic UI benefits and bonus payments for all UI beneficiaries should be fully funded for at a minimum of six months. The next COVID relief package should build on the successes rather than repeat the shortcoming of the CARES Act. Accordingly, we strongly encourage increased investment into enhanced UI and direct payments, while capping PPP loans to target relief toward small businesses.”

Read the full letter here.

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released this statement following a CPC-wide meeting on the urgent need for including enhanced unemployment insurance and direct cash payments in a COVID relief package before the end of the year:

“Faced with the twin crises of an escalating pandemic and a spiraling economy, families across the nation are screaming for help. The thing our constituents are asking us the most is: Will this package put money in our pockets? Will it help keep me in my home? Will I be able to feed my kids? Congress must respond at the scale necessary and ensure that we get direct relief to people across our country. That is why the Progressive Caucus is united in our position: any package must include direct survival checks and enhanced unemployment assistance, the two most effective ways to get money directly to people.

“We have been working directly with Speaker Pelosi on this priority, and we’re committed to working with members of both parties to ensure that the people are prioritized in this stimulus package.”

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Washington, D.C. – Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced its senior leadership – known as the CPC Executive Board – for the 117th Congress. The incoming Executive Board is made up of twenty-six members – one Chair, one Deputy Chair, one Whip, two Chair Emeriti, two Special Order Hour Conveners, ten Vice Chairs, one Executive Board Member At-Large and eight Deputy Whips.The CPC Executive Board is representative of the diversity within the caucus – more than half of Executive Board members are people of color and more than half are women.

“As a lifelong organizer, I am honored that my colleagues have elected me to lead the Congressional Progressive Caucus at this pivotal moment. We have massive crises knocking at our nation’s door, and the work of the Progressive Caucus has never been more important. The American people need Congress to lead with vision, conviction, empathy, and dedication to people and families in every community who are struggling right now,” said CPC Chair Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “It’s time for Congress to act boldly, restoring power to where it belongs — with the people. I am confident that with this talented leadership team and the expertise and passion of our entire caucus, we can deliver progressive policies that bring real relief to families, advance racial justice, tackle poverty and inequality of any kind, strengthen worker power, advance climate justice, break up monopolies, bring humanity to our immigration system, and help transform this country so working people finally get ahead.”

“I’m deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve in the new role of Deputy Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” said incoming CPC Deputy Chair Congresswoman Katie Porter. “In 2018, many of my Democratic colleagues and I successfully ran campaigns rooted in progressive values. Rather than shying away from our core principles, we embraced them—making it clear that a progressive agenda is not only the right policy for America, but also a winning political message. I’m eager to continue fighting for progressive ideals, and I look forward to working with Chair Jayapal, Whip Omar, and our newly elected Vice Chairs to push the CPC agenda and make the Progressive Caucus a more unified, effective, and powerful force for progress in Congress.”

“I am honored to be reelected Whip of the Progressive Caucus. We have a unique opportunity to fight for transformative change in the 117th Congress—whether that is addressing the coronavirus pandemic, passing universal healthcare, tackling the climate crisis or reorienting our foreign policy,” said CPC Whip Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. “I look forward to continuing to represent my colleagues in building an effect progressive voting bloc in Congress alongside fearless leaders like Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Katie Porter.”

The full CPC Executive Board for the 117th Congress will be:

• Chair: Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07)

• Deputy Chair: Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45)

• Whip: Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-05)

• Chair Emeriti: Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ-03)

• Vice Chair for Policy: Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08)

• Vice Chair for Communications: Congresswoman-elect Marie Newman (IL-03)

• Vice Chair for New Members: Congressman Joe Neguse (CO-02)

• Vice Chair for Inter-Caucus Relations: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)

• Vice Chair for Labor: Congressman Don Norcross (NJ-01)

• Vice Chair for Member Services: Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13)

• Vice Chairs At-Large: Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01), Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García (IL-04), Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01), and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)

• Deputy Whips: Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), Congressman Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Congressman Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09), Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush (MO-01)

• Executive Board Member At-Large: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)

• Special Order Hour Conveners: Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) and Congresswoman-elect Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03)

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Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement celebrating the passage of the MORE Act:

“It is a historic day for Congress and the nation. After decades of the failed, racist War on Drugs, Congress has finally voted to legalize marijuana at the federal level and end the senseless policy of prohibition that has destroyed so many lives.

“Passage of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment & Expungement (MORE) Act is critical to beginning to repair the damage caused by decades of prohibition and criminalization. While this bill cannot turn back the clock or heal the pain caused by these racist policies, it is an important step for racial justice and begins the work of building a safe and equitable industry. Moving forward, we must also direct dedicated federal resources to reinvest in the communities hollowed out by the War on Drugs and give people the opportunity and resources they need to rebuild their lives. Already, 31 states and D.C. have either legalized or decriminalized recreational marijuana use – including four new states in 2020 alone. With today’s vote, Congress is sending a message loud and clear that the days of marijuana prohibition are numbered.”

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Washington, D.C. – This week, the leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi on the urgent need for the issuance of at least $2 trillion in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide direct economic support to the developing world. The letter urged Speaker Pelosi to support these provisions in any year-end legislation expected to be enacted into law, including a domestic COVID relief package, year-end Appropriations deal or the conference report for the annual National Defense Authorization Act.

“More countries are experiencing economic recessions than ever recorded since 1870. There is no telling when the pandemic that is driving this unprecedented world recession will be over. These grim circumstances mean that millions of people could die, not only from COVID-19 itself, but from the pandemic’s impact on the world economy—and most of these lives could be saved,” the letter from CPC Co-Chairs Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), CBC Chair Congressmember Karen Bass (CA-37), CHC Chair Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), and CAPAC Chair Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) notes. “SDRs and debt relief will not only prevent needless poverty, hunger, death, and disease abroad, but strengthen our economy at home, creating jobs by increasing demand for America’s agriculture industry and U.S. exporters. SDRs would allow private businesses in developing countries to quickly acquire U.S. dollars in order to buy U.S. exports.”

“SDRs, the IMF’s internal currency, would be distributed for free to low-income countries, which would then be available to be exchanged for hard currency such as U.S. dollars. This would help many countries avoid balance-of-payments crises, debt crises, and critical shortages of imports, such as food, medicine, and medical equipment,” continues the letter. “In countries already suffering from economic downturns, it would help them—and the world economy—recover more quickly. House Democrats’ support for this issuance is consistent with what the Fund’s leadership has itself proposed, and with the wishes of nearly all of the IMF’s 189 member countries.”

In addition to the broad support from the House Democratic Caucus and IMF member countries, the issuance of SDRs is broadly supported by NGOs and advocacy organizations dedicated to civil society and international economic development.

“As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc in Latin America, South Asia and Africa, we need a global response to the global economic crisis,” said Didier Jacobs, the Senior Policy Advisor for Oxfam America. “A major allocation of Special Drawing Rights by the IMF is a critical complement to more debt relief and more aid.”

“The unanimous support from the Democratic Party for the Special Drawing Rights legislation, which would enable trillions of dollars in relief from the International Monetary Fund, creates a unique opportunity,” noted Sarah Margon, the Foreign Policy Director for the Open Society Policy Center. “If passed, this measure would not only benefit millions of people around the world who have been impacted by COVID and the economic crisis, but would do so without costing Americans a dime.”

"A major allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights can jump start the global economy and help save millions of lives, without costing US taxpayers anything,” said Alex Main, the Director of International Policy for the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “It’s heartening to see such strong Congressional support for this measure at a time when it is so critically needed, not just for developing countries but for the U.S. economy, which stands to benefit from an SDR-fueled surge in global demand."

“We applaud the leadership of Chairs Jayapal, Pocan, Castro, Bass, and Chu for bringing together the diverse Democratic caucuses around this initiative to save millions of lives abroad and strengthen the economy here at home, recognizing that this opportunity to provide costless global pandemic relief is a racial-justice imperative,” said David Segal, the Executive Director of Demand Progress. “We urge House Democrats to insist on the inclusion of SDRs in any bill that will be enacted by the end of the year to protect the world's poor from unimaginable suffering.”

“I am delighted to see this letter to Speaker Pelosi,” noted Mark Harrison, the Peace with Justice Program Director for the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society. “IMF debt relief and emergency financial resources are an innovative and noncontroversial solution. This will help countries prevent the spread of COVID and resulting hunger ? without costing U.S. taxpayers a single penny.”

“While the G20 have been able to stimulate their economies during this unprecedented crisis, poor countries don’t have this possibility,” said Michael Sheldrick, the Chief Policy Officer for Global Citizen. “Many of them are crushed by debt on top of dealing with COVID. Now is the time for a new issue of IMF special drawing rights to assist poorer nations respond to the crisis.“

“Fiscal crises in developing countries threaten an even more severe global economic collapse than we have seen so far this year, which would then cause further unemployment and suffering for millions of American workers,” said Tobita Chow, the Director of Justice Is Global, a project of People's Action / People's Action Institute. “To support the wellbeing of billions of people in developing countries with SDRs and debt relief is to protect the American people as well. To do otherwise is not only cruel and racist but also self-destructive.”

“This coronavirus pandemic has caused a global health and economic crisis that is affecting millions of people around the word,” added Hassan El-Tayyab, Legislative Manager for Middle East Policy, Friends Committee on National Legislation. “Through the IMF, the U.S. has the power to assist with the coordinated international response and provide countries the economic and humanitarian relief they need to survive this pandemic. It's critical Congress and the Administration support calling for the issuance of special drawing rights in the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act.”

“The U.S. Congress must show compassion and help save lives globally at $0 cost to the U.S. taxpayers. The issuance of special drawing rights at the IMF will help countries globally to protect their people from COVID-19, hunger, and economic devastation,” said Dr. Pauline Muchina, Policy, Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Africa, American Friends Service Committee. “Like many globally, African countries need these resources to survive COVID-19 and its economic downturn. It is our moral obligation to show compassion and save lives.”

“Now more than ever, debt means death. Maryknoll missioners see this in poor countries like Kenya and Ecuador where governments spend more on servicing debt than on health care. As the coronavirus hits, people fear unemployment and hunger as much as getting sick. If we don’t do what we can to shore up the global economy, we could see millions of people around the world destitute and dying,” said Susan Gunn, the Director of the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns. “We will all suffer because our economies are connected and this virus knows no borders. The House legislation, and its companion in the Senate, the Support for Global Financial Institution Pandemic Response Act, recognize these facts and that Special Drawing Rights were created for this kind of emergency. Just as the United States supported the IMF allocating SDRs in the financial crisis in 2009, it should support it now.”

The full letter to Speaker Pelosi is available here.

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Washington, D.C. – The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02), released the following statement on the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to serve as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):

“Alejandro Mayorkas is a strong choice to serve as the next DHS Secretary and begin to repair the damage of four years of abuse and cruelty under the Trump Administration. In particular, his impressive record at USCIS – including implementing the DACA program – will be essential to reforming this broken agency and ensuring that the U.S. government treats immigrants and refugees with dignity and respect.

“There is a great deal of work to be done, but Alejandro Mayorkas’s nomination is another promising sign that the Biden-Harris Administration intends to bring much-needed urgency and vision to fixing our inhumane immigration system and ending the egregious human rights abuses of the Trump era.”

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