WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, responded to an announcement from the Federal Reserve that interest rates would be raised 0.75 percent:

“With the Federal Reserve’s pace of monetary tightening now the fastest in decades, I have serious concerns that President Biden’s promise to ‘grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out’ is now at risk. We are all concerned about the impact of inflation and rising costs, but today’s decision to raise interest rates will do nothing to address their primary causes. Chairman Powell himself has rightly pointed out that these are in fact related to the pandemic, supply-chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine — that supply constraints, not excess demand, are responsible for persistent inflation.

“By hiking interest rates to deliberately slow the economy, the Fed could cause hardship to millions of Americans by unnecessarily increasing joblessness, while failing to significantly reduce the price of essential goods and services. These rate hikes also threaten to deter companies from making the investments needed to expand the economy’s productive capacity. At a time when the Biden administration has been working to reach full employment — creating nearly 9 million jobs and decreasing unemployment to among its lowest levels in 50 years — raising interest rates risks reversing that trend, and could force employers to lay off employees who just got back to work, or slow hiring altogether. Just as the burden of high costs is not borne equally, so is the impact of interest rate hikes. Full employment allows for much-needed income gains, particularly within the bottom spectrum of wage earners — and during high unemployment, disadvantaged, lower-paid, and Black and Latino workers are disproportionately harmed. 

“As Congressional Democrats work to lower drug prices and health care premiums for Americans, I urge the Federal Reserve to exercise the utmost caution going forward and resist the urge to further raise interest rates. With wage growth declining in recent months, our country’s lowest-paid, most vulnerable workers have endured too much already to be sacrificed in pursuit of severe rate hikes that have far too often triggered recessions.”

WASHINGTON — Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Board called on Majority Leader Schumer to bring two antitrust bills, S. 2992 the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, and S. 2710 the Open App Markets Act, to a vote before August recess.

The two bipartisan bills take on abusive and anti-competitive practices by dominant online platforms that harm small businesses, consumers, and innovation. The bills would prohibit dominant online platforms from arbitrarily discriminating against competitors, rein in self-promotion of platforms’ own products over those of competitors, and ensure that consumers have access to competitive, fair app ecosystems.

The letter cites polling that found “that 76%-to-80% of voters in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire support” the Senate bills. “71% of voters in those states want their Senator to vote for this legislation. Polling of Republican primary voters…found that 73% of respondents believe Big Tech companies are not regulated enough…and between 81% and 85% support S. 2992 and S. 2710.”

The Senate bills are companions to House antitrust measures, which emerged as a result of a 16-month, bipartisan investigation by the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law. The investigation found clear regulatory gaps and a need for congressional intervention. As the lawmakers write: “A handful of dominant online platforms have become gatekeepers over digital markets, controlling other businesses’ access to customers and the tools that those businesses use to serve their customers…[T]hese platforms routinely abuse their gatekeeper power to hurt rivals and destroy competition.”

While the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights has similarly looked into these issues and “held numerous hearings in recent years on abuses by online gatekeepers,” the legislative solutions continue to languish in the Senate. The antitrust bills also represent a chance to advance an agenda supported by the Biden administration, with both the Departments of Justice and Commerce in support — critical at a time much of the President’s legislative priorities have been blocked.

“Regardless of ideology or party affiliation,” the lawmakers write, “Americans are concerned with the dominance and power of the largest technology companies, and they want Congress to act.” They emphasize “that each of these bills should be enacted as they address persistent and problematic conduct that harms consumers, competition, and innovation,” and urge Leader Schumer to schedule them for a vote before the Senate ends its legislative session in August.

Signatories of the letter are all members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Board: Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45), and Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05); Chairs Emeriti Barbara Lee (CA-13), Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03); Executive Board Member At-Large Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Vice Chairs Joe Neguse (CO-02), Marie Newman (IL-03), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), David Cicilline (RI-01), Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12); and Deputy Whips Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Andy Levin (MI-09), and Mark Takano (CA-41).

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement upon passage of H.R. 8404, the Respect for Marriage Act:

“Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were thrilled to help pass the Respect for Marriage Act on the floor of the House today. The legislation, introduced by Representatives Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and David Cicilline (RI-01), two CPC members, enshrines the right to marry for same-sex and interracial couples in federal law, repeals the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and provides additional legal protections against states who would seek to invalidate these marriages or the benefits they offer. This bill responds directly to the threats posed by the justices’ opinions in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is why the CPC included it in our post-ruling action agenda, and why we applaud House Leadership for prioritizing its passage.

“As Democrats continue to respond to the wreckage of the Dobbs decision, we look forward to addressing another item on our agenda and voting to pass the complimentary Right to Contraception Act and Protecting Access to Contraception Act, my legislation with Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05). We must also continue to press for passage of the Equality Act, because even if same-sex marriage is enshrined in law, the LGBTQ+ community — particularly transgender people — will remain under attack. 

“But let’s be clear: these rights should never have been at risk from the Supreme Court in the first place. The Senate’s refusal to end or reform the filibuster and codify essential rights has created a vacuum of leadership — and the Supreme Court has stepped into that vacuum, with this 6-3 majority all too eager to capitalize on decades of Senate inaction and act against the will of the American people. Our Senate colleagues have an obligation to send this legislation, and the many bills House Democrats pass to secure Americans’ fundamental freedoms, to the President’s desk, and protect the lives and livelihoods of families across the country. This arcane Jim Crow procedure cannot once again stand in the way of the people’s civil rights.”

WASHINGTON — Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released an agenda for executive and legislative action to address the crisis of abortion access, reproductive freedom, and other rights threatened by the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The call to action from the 100-member caucus comes upon House of Representatives passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation led by CPC member Representative Judy Chu (CA-27) to codify the right to abortion in federal law for the second time this Congress, and legislation to protect the right to travel for abortion care, as the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the constitutional protection for abortion ripples across the country.

In the weeks since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ending constitutional protections for abortion, Congress and the Biden administration have taken essential steps to respond. In addition to the two bills passed in the House today, President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and Secretary Becerra have taken action on a number of fronts. The Department of Justice issued guidance that states cannot ban medication abortion in contradiction to the FDA’s expert opinion, and designated a reproductive rights task force headed by Assistant Attorney General Gupta. The Department of Health and Human Services clarified that retail pharmacies cannot refuse patients reproductive health care medications, is convening volunteer lawyers to provide legal services to patients and providers seeking or performing abortion care, and issued guidance to ensure no one experiencing pregnancy complications is turned away from lifesaving emergency medical treatment.

The CPC’s new Reproductive Freedom Action Agenda presents a roadmap for the work ahead. It calls for specific action to protect existing access to abortion and to expand it to residents of states that have already or will soon ban care: allowing doctors to prescribe medication abortion via telehealth across state lines, protecting the safety and security of abortion providers, and lifting the ban on military facilities providing abortion. The Caucus pushes for Congress to shore up rights and protections that have been threatened by the decision: codifying the right to contraception, same-sex marriage, and same-sex intimacy. It also calls for the Biden administration to declare a public health emergency on abortion access.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said: “The consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision to end the constitutional right to abortion have been immediate and widespread: abortion clinics have been forced to close, patients made to cross state lines for care, and the health and safety of pregnant people facing miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies has been threatened. Millions across the country are facing fear and uncertainty. Access to abortion has reached crisis level — and it demands a response from Congress and the Biden administration that meets this moment.

“We were proud to help the House pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, legislation led by progressives, for the second time today to enshrine the right to abortion in federal law, and to protect the right to travel for abortion care. We commend the President, Attorney General Garland, and Secretary Becerra for the steps they have taken thus far. Now, the Progressive Caucus is releasing an agenda for the work ahead. These concrete steps constitute a whole-of-government response to expand access to essential health care, operationalize the administration’s key regulatory and other authorities, and protect the fundamental rights threatened by the Dobbs opinions — including reforming the filibuster, the only way to ensure we enshrine abortion and other rights into law. The fight to guarantee freedom, dignity, and human rights for all will, and must, continue.”

The Progressive Caucus agenda was developed in consultation with movement partners, and includes three areas of policymaking:

Abortion Access Executive Actions:

  1. Declare a public health emergency for reproductive health care access

  2. Allow licensed health providers to practice interstate telehealth for the prescription of medication abortion

  3. Ensure readiness of providers and pharmacies to dispense medication abortion after FDA removal of restrictions is finalized

  4. Ensure no one is denied contraception or other medications that are inaccurrately portrayed as abortion-inducing

  5. Aid individuals accessing abortion care across state lines by providing funds to pay for  transportation, lodging, child care, and other costs associated with travel 

  6. Explore the use of federal property and resources to expand abortion access while ensuring the safety of patients and providers

  7. Assert the supremacy of federal law where states try to restrict ability to travel for reproductive care, access to medication abortion, and to criminalize pregnancy related complications such as miscarriage

  8. Ensure undocumented people and those assisting them can travel to access abortion care without risk of detention and deportation

  9. Protect the right to abortion care without delay of those held in federal custody — no matter the state — including by ICE, Customs and Border Protection, Office of Refugee Resettlement, and the Bureau of Prisons 

  10. Require the provision of abortion care as a condition of participation for hospitals in Medicare

Abortion Access Legislative Actions

  1. End the Hyde Amendment and bans on federal spending and insurance coverage for abortion care 

  2. Increase Funding for Title X clinics to expand access to family planning care 

  3. Protect the right to interstate travel for abortion care

  4. Protect the privacy and security of personal reproductive health data

  5. Support the safety and security needs of reproductive health care providers and support staff

  6. Lift the ban on the use of military facilities and funding for abortion care 

  7. Protect organizations and individuals who help people afford and access abortions from civil or criminal actions, including for out-of-state care.

Legislative Actions in Response to Dobbs and the Supreme Court

  1. End or reform the filibuster to ensure reproductive rights legislation becomes law

  2. Enshrine the right to contraception in federal law

  3. Enshrine the right to same-sex marriage in federal law

  4. Codify the right to privacy and same-Sex intimacy in federal law

  5. Institute key ethics reforms for the Supreme Court 

The Progressive Caucus also called for continued work to advance reproductive justice and protect health care. It named congressional action to address in the maternal health and mortality crisis and end disparities by passing the Black Maternal Health MOMNIBUS Act, secure Medicaid for postpartum parents, protect pregnant workers by passing the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act, finally deliver paid leave for all, and protect health care for transgender individuals as key to that mission.

This new slate builds on the broader slate of executive action agenda of policies designed to raise wages, lower costs, and advance equity and justice the Progressive Caucus released in March. The Biden administration has already made progress on a number of those asks, including on renewable energy production, health care, policing, environmental justice, and more.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after news reports that there will not be a 50th Senate vote for climate action in reconciliation:

“Progressives have fought tooth and nail for the President’s and the Democratic Party’s agenda. Unfortunately, the Senator from West Virginia has consistently worked to undermine it, blocking action on a number of priorities from child care, to housing, and now climate change.

“His latest comments highlight the consequences of not taking climate action — and they are nothing short of catastrophic. Already, this single biggest crisis of our time is having devastating impacts on frontline communities, with West Virginia at the greatest risk of flooding of any other state in the country. The data continues to pile up: we are quickly running out of time to avert climate disaster.

“It is simply untenable that one senator can dictate the course for the entire country, condemn future generations to life on a warming planet, and rob the United States of a chance to act as a climate leader on the world stage. We need institutional, systemic reform to break us out of this cycle, specifically on two fronts. First, we need two more Democratic senators so we can break the stranglehold of the Jim Crow filibuster, pass legislation that will deliver for the working people of this country, and meet the existential urgency of addressing climate change. Second, we need to institute ethics and transparency reform, like my bill with Senator Warren, to ensure that every member of Congress is working for the people, and not their own personal interests.”

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Progressive Caucus advanced key priorities throughout the House Fiscal Year 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) process. The CPC secured debates and votes on dozens of amendments that strengthen labor and civil rights for service members, minimize civilian harm abroad, reassert congressional war powers, reduce wasteful Pentagon spending, reduce costly and unnecessary nuclear weapons programs, and advance innovative approaches to public health, including authorizing low-cost federal production of insulin for the first time.

The amendments build on longstanding progressive advocacy, including repealing the 2002 Authorization of Use of Military Force against Iraq, divesting from excess militarism and endless wars to invest in American communities, and prohibiting the unauthorized military presence in Syria, as well as addressing new and urgent crises including conducting critical oversight over the conflict in Ukraine.

The CPC also worked to ensure that the Democratic House uses this governing moment to advance just and progressives priorities in the NDAA including: requiring detailed evaluation on the benefits of nonexclusive licensing for an eventual vaccine emerging from taxpayer-financed COVID19 research, preferencing contractors that respect the rights of workers, preventing forced arbitration of contracts involving servicemembers, prohibiting stock holding and trading by senior Pentagon officials, allowing state-legal cannabis businesses to access the banking system, and increasing wages for lower-paid servicemembers.

CPC Chair Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) said: “This year’s House NDAA process has included robust debate and votes on key progressive priorities that advance peace, reduce waste, promote transparency, and restore Congress’s authority over war. For too long, Congress has allowed the Pentagon and its contractors to operate without sufficient oversight and accountability. Far too often, our brave servicemembers have been directed to participate in conflicts that neither further vital national security interests nor have the congressional authorization as the Constitution requires. I thank House leadership, including Chairs Smith, McGovern and Meeks, for their collaboration and support in this remarkably open process that welcomed the vital policies proposed by our Progressive Caucus members to tackle some of the most urgent crises facing the world today.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus amendments debated and voted on in the National Defense Authorization Act include:

  • Amendment #2 by Mondaire Jones (NY-17): Prohibits Department of Defense from contracting with any employer found to have engaged in an unfair labor practice, defined by Section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), in the three years preceding a contract award date. Includes an exception for employers who have remedied unfair labor practice violations

  • Amendment #3 by Jan Schakowsky (IL-09): Establishes a preference for Department of Defense contractors that respect workers’ right to organize

  • Amendment #4 by Andy Kim (NJ-03): Establishes a preference for construction firms that hire locally

  • Amendment #8 by Veronica Escobar (TX-16): Requires harassment or discrimination complaints be completed within 180 days, and allows servicemembers to seek review or appeal in a U.S. court afterward

  • Amendment #12 by Ro Khanna (CA-17): Authorizes up to $5 million per year to advance civilian harm mitigation at the Defense Department

  • Amendment #13 by Barbara Lee (CA-13), Mark Pocan (WI-02): Reduces the FY23 NDAA topline by $100 billion, leaving health, pay and benefits untouched, citing a Congressional Budget Office study determining the feasibility of such a cut.

  • Amendment #14 by Barbara Lee (CA-13), Mark Pocan (WI-02): Reverses the $36.987 billion increase made at committee mark-up and restores the FY23 topline to the amount requested by the President

  • Amendment #15 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Eliminates budgetary waste by repealing the requirement for the Defense Department to submit unfunded priorities lists to Congress

  • Amendment #16 by Adam Smith (WA-09): Allows the Navy to retire nine Littoral Combat Ships

  • Amendment #19 by John Garamendi (CA-03), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Don Beyer (VA-08): Prevents testing and development of the new, unnecessary Sentinel (GBSD) nuclear missile and instead extends the existing program through 2040

  • Amendment #20 by Rashida Tlaib (MI-13): Strikes the prohibition on the reduction of the total number of nuclear-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) deployed in the United States

  • Amendment #25 by Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC): Gives the Mayor of the District of Columbia the same authority over the D.C. National Guard that the governors of states and territories have over their National Guards 

  • Amendment #384 by Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Cori Bush (MO-01), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Mondaire Jones (NY-17): Prohibits U.S. military presence in Syria without Congressional approval

  • Amendment #392 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Establishes an Office of Climate Resilience

Congressional Progressive Caucus amendments included en bloc for NDAA consideration include:

  • Amendment #22 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14): Adds MDMA and psilocybin as substances authorized for a study on the use of therapies alternative to prescription opioids in the treatment of members of the Armed Forces

  • Amendment #35 by Sara Jacobs (CA-53): Require the Secretary of Defense to report on Department of Defense purchase and use of location data generated by Americans’ phones and their internet metadata

  • Amendment #36 by Ted Lieu (CA-33): Requires the Secretary of State to develop guidance for investigating indications that U.S.-origin defense articles have been used in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition in substantial violation of relevant agreements with countries participating in the coalition and to report to Congress, consistent with GAO recommendations

  • Amendment #37 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Requires a report on the feasibility, change in price, and equitable access of non-exclusive licensing and government-owned contractor-operated manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines or medical interventions developed by the Department of Defense, including the COVID-19 vaccine under development at the Walter Reed Army Institute for Research.

  • Amendment #47 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Directs the Department of Defense to report knowledge from 1980-2010 regarding Colombian military involvement in assassinations, disappearances, collaboration in paramilitary offensives, military conduct, and any gross violations of human rights

  • Amendment #203 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09): Authorizes the Department of Defense to engage in public manufacturing of insulin to meet the needs of military health programs

  • Amendment #204 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03): Directs the Defense Department to provide a report on a risk assessment regarding likelihood of use of a nuclear weapon as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and whether such risk increases as the war continues

  • Amendment #205 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Directs the Defense Department to provide a report on distribution and use of U.S. weaponry provided to Ukraine, including compliance with relevant laws and its efforts to prevent such arms from being sold on the black market or obtained by extremist groups

  • Amendment #104 by Jamaal Bowman (NY-16):  Grants the Secretary of Defense authority to increase the inflation bonus pay above 2.4 percent for servicemembers and DOD civilian employees who make $45,000 or less annually in order to respond to the ongoing economic impact of inflation.

  • Amendment #34 by Sara Jacobs (CA-53) and David Cicilline (RI-01): Requires human rights vetting on U.S. military training and cooperation with foreign forces.

  • Amendment #293 by Katie Porter (CA-45): Prohibits the ownership or trading of stocks by senior officials at the Department of Defense for any company that received over $1 billion in revenue from the Department of Defense during the preceding calendar year.

  • Amendment #383 by Barbara Lee (CA-13): Repeals the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq

  • Amendment #413 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Requires that federal agencies begin debarment proceedings against federal contractors that have committed two or more violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act within the past five years. Directs the Department of Labor to establish a database of covered entities that have been suspended or debarred for violations of federal labor law

  • Amendment #415 by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14): Allows the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs at the Department of Labor to establish compliance procedures for the prohibition on criminal history inquiries by Federal contractors and allows the Department of Labor to investigate compliance by a contractor by conducting a compliance evaluation

  • Amendment #431 by David Cicilline (RI-01): Prevents the enforcement of predispute forced arbitration clauses in any dispute covered under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

  • Amendment #452 by Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04): Requires a report on the humanitarian impacts of U.S. sanctions

  • Amendment #462 by Katherine Clark (MA-05): Adds the President, Vice President, and any Cabinet member to the current statutory prohibition on members of Congress contracting with the Federal Government

  • Amendment #473 by Earl Blumenauer (OR-03): Authorizes Department of Veterans Affairs providers to assist veterans in providing recommendations, opinions, and completion of the forms reflecting these recommendations or opinions in compliance with state-legal medical cannabis programs

  • Amendment #508 by Adriano Espaillat (NY-13): Requires the Department of Homeland Security to issue a report on cases involving noncitizen service members, veterans and immediate family members of service members in order to connect them with services and resources to assist military members, veterans, and their families

  • Amendment #517 by Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04): Directs the Treasury Department to support a one-year review and suspension of the International Monetary Fund’s surcharge policy, which requires developing countries to pay onerous fees to the IMF besides principal and interest of loans.

  • Amendment #540 by Pramila Jayapal (WA-07): Requires the State Department to prepare a report to Congress analyzing the effects of government-ordered internet or telecommunications shutdowns on human rights and global security.

  • Amendment #557 by Andy Levin (MI-09): Sense of Congress that it is the policy of the United States to support a Haitian-led solution to the current crisis and that the Haitian people must be empowered to choose their leaders and govern Haiti free from foreign interference.

  • Amendment #578 James McGovern (MA-02): Requires the State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights include a list of reports published by U.S. government agencies on the status of internationally recognized human rights in the United States.

  • Amendment #248 James McGovern (MA-02): Requires the Department of Defense, in coordination with USDA, to collect data on food insecurity and usage of federal anti-hunger programs among active duty servicemembers and their families, and to report to Congress on their findings.The amendment also requires DOD to train and designate a point person at military installations on where to refer servicemembers seeking food assistance.

  • Amendment #581 James McGovern (MA-02): Strengthens monitoring, reporting, oversight, and determinations on arms sales and human rights.

  • Amendment #509 by Adriano Espaillat (NY-13): “requires that Veterans Affairs Hospitals submit a Locality Pay Survey to ensure that VA nurse pay stays competitive. This amendment also requires that the Secretary submit a report on the pay rates at VA hospitals to the Committees on Veterans Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives”.

  • Amendment #429 by Carolyn Maloney (NY-12): Strengthens the ability of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to provide meaningful oversight of artificial intelligence for counterterrorism purposes.

  • Amendment #576 by Carolyn Maloney (NY-12): Requires federal financial regulatory agencies to adopt specified data standards with respect to format, searchability, and transparency. All data would be made available in an open-source format that is electronically searchable, downloadable in bulk and without license restrictions.

  • Amendment #576 by Carolyn Maloney (NY-12): Requires federal financial regulatory agencies to adopt specified data standards with respect to format, searchability, and transparency. All data would be made available in an open-source format that is electronically searchable, downloadable in bulk and without license restrictions.

  • Amendment #585 by Grace Meng (NY-06): Requires that menstrual products are stocked in and made available free of charge in all restrooms in public buildings, including the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, and the U.S. Capitol.

  • Amendment #586 by Grace Meng (NY-06): Urges the U.S. Secretary of State to consult with South Korean officials on potential opportunities to reunite Korean Americans with family members in North Korea, including by video. Encourages the Special Envoy on North Korean Human Rights Issues to work with the Korean American community to identify those same opportunities.

  • Amendment #588 by Grace Meng (NY-06): Ensures recipients of U.S. aid provide safe and secure access to sanitation facilities, with a special emphasis on women and girls, and vulnerable populations.

WASHINGTON — Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Vice Chair Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) led 31 House members and 13 U.S. Senators in calling on the Biden Administration to “immediately support” the issuance of at least $650 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), a cost-free reserve asset distributed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A new SDR issuance would provide urgently needed resources for developing countries to address the “combined international crises” of an ongoing pandemic and alarming increases in food insecurity and poverty, while providing a critical infusion of immediate financial support to Ukraine.

In a letter to President Biden and Treasury Secretary Yellen, the lawmakers cite a doubling of those facing acute food insecurity globally, billions who remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, emerging debt crises, and declining economic growth in the developing world. They cite the success of last year’s SDR issuance, which allowed at least 99 developing countries “to stabilize their currencies, shore up reserves, pay off debts, and finance health care, such as vaccinations, and other urgent needs.” 

The urgency for a new issuance of SDRs has only increased since Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, the lawmakers argue, noting that the Ukrainian government used the entirety of its holdings. Ukraine’s Finance Minister Sergii Marchenko has described the need for additional SDRs as “a question of the survival of our country,” in light of estimates that the country’s GDP will contract by 45 percent. Ukraine’s economic crisis has disrupted the global food supply, increasing developing countries' need for funding that can stave off life-threatening hunger. A new SDR issuance “would provide the Ukrainian government with an immediate and vital $2.75 billion boost in its reserves,” they note.

Support for an even larger issuance of SDRs enjoys broad support in Congress, with the House  having voted in favor of authorizing nearly $1 trillion in new SDRs for developing countries last year, with the advocacy of the chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Asian Pacific American Caucus. Through unilateral action, the Biden Administration can support an issuance of an additional $275 billion for developing countries, a key demand among the Progressive Caucus’s executive action recommendations. The UN Global Crisis Response Group recently echoed congressional support, arguing that “all available rapid disbursement mechanisms at international finance institutions must be reactivated, and a new emission of Special Drawing Rights must be pursued.”

“The United States has demonstrated its leadership and the value of the existing multilateral financial system and we ask that it do so once again,” the lawmakers conclude. “It is currently in the power of the administration to immediately act in support of a new $650 billion new SDR issuance for global relief.” 

Signatories on the letter include: Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Karen Bass (CA-37), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Ro Khanna (CA-17), Andy Levin (MI-09), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Stephen Lynch (MA-08), James McGovern (MA-02), Grace Meng (NY-06), Marie Newman (IL-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-45), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Michael San Nicolas (GU), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Juan Vargas (CA-51), and Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Cory A. Booker (NJ), Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (OH), Benjamin L. Cardin (MD), Robert P. Casey Jr. (PA), Senate Appropriations Chair Patrick J. Leahy (VT), Edward J. Markey (MA), Jeffrey A. Merkley (OR), Alex Padilla (CA), Bernard Sanders (VT), Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden (OR), and Christopher Van Hollen (MD). 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after the close of the 2021 Supreme Court term year:

“Last week, the Supreme Court finished one of the most consequential and destructive terms in recent decades. The Senate created a vacuum by upholding the filibuster and allowing the minority to block necessary legislation — and this radical Supreme Court has stepped into that vacuum, overturning long-settled precedents, wreaking havoc on our country, and increasingly losing legitimacy.

“The list of precedents nullified and democratic institutions and principles this Supreme Court gutted or fully overturned this term is horrifying: the separation of church and state, constitutional protections in the 100-mile border zone, the rights of those convicted on death row, state-level conceal carry laws, Miranda rights, the power of federal agencies tasked with protecting our health and the environment, and the legal right to abortion. The court denied Social Security benefits to the residents of Puerto Rico, blocked a federal vaccine-or-test requirement, denied detained immigrants bond hearings, undermined tribal sovereignty, allowed the CIA to withhold information about torture at black sites, and entrenched Louisiana’s racially gerrymandered electoral maps. They won’t stop here: the justices have already agreed to hear cases next term that could weaken our electoral process, allow discrimination against same-sex couples, and end affirmative action.

“These extreme decisions are the result of a decades-long project to stack the bench with adherents to a right-wing agenda and overrule precedent and the will of the American people. The majority has made clear it has no concern for ethics; there is evidence that a sitting justice’s wife was involved in efforts to overturn a free and fair presidential election, and when legal challenges on that very issue came before the court, the justice did not recuse himself. Three others appear to have misled the Senate Judiciary Committee about Roe v. Wade being settled precedent. The Supreme Court has overreached its authority and destroyed its legitimacy. 

“We do not have to simply accept the devastation of these rulings. The constitution created three co-equal branches of government, vesting the people’s elected representatives with the broad authority to check and balance a judiciary that oversteps its mandate. That’s why Congress has an obligation to respond, and do so quickly. We must pass Representatives Jerry Nadler (NY-10), Hank Johnson (GA-04), and Mondaire Jones (NY-17)’s Judiciary Act to add justices and expand the Supreme Court, and their Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act to institute a Supreme Court ethics and recusal standard and require disclosure of lobbying and dark money interests. We must pass the Judicial Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act, my bill with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to overhaul our nation’s judicial ethics laws and restore public faith in our court system. In the Judiciary Committee, we must continue our critical oversight obligations and hold additional hearings on the violations of ethics and transparency the Supreme Court has committed. We must hold these rogue justices to account.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“Today, the Supreme Court has issued yet another blow to our democracy and the rights of future generations. With this decision, the Court once again overturned a significant precedent, this time from Massachusetts v. EPA, gutting the administration’s regulatory authority and cutting it off from the most powerful tools it needs to combat climate change. 

“The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated. Already, the United States is behind schedule when it comes to lowering emissions and deploying renewable energy due to the policies of former President Trump and decades of Republican obstructionism in Congress. But now that the EPA cannot enforce the Clean Air Act, our already narrow path to meeting President Biden’s goal of halving carbon emissions by 2030 is even narrower. Polluters will be able to destroy our lands and waters and poison our communities with impunity. Without federal regulation and enforcement, we cannot ensure that environmental justice communities — those living on the frontlines of the climate crisis, disproportionately Black, Brown, Indigenous, and low-income neighborhoods — will experience further harm. This opinion will also have ramifications beyond the EPA, hobbling the regulatory power of agencies across the federal government. From today, the duly elected presidential administration can no longer actually use the tools of the executive to enact the agenda the people voted for.

“We cannot accept defeat. The administration has taken steps to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to speed the production of renewable energy technologies, and we need them to double down on climate action. In our Progressive Caucus agenda, we have identified a number of actions that can, and must, be pursued in light of this decision: ending fossil fuel subsidies, ending financing for fossil fuel infrastructure overseas, and declaring a national emergency to put the full power of the administration behind renewable energy. Congress must also meet this moment with a renewed sense of urgency. There is broad consensus among Democrats in both chambers for climate action, and we are running out of time to pass it. We must pass legislation clarifying the EPA’s authority to regulate emissions, the Stop Corporate Capture Act to improve the regulatory process and ensure it works for the American people, and we must finalize a reconciliation bill with clean energy investments this month.”

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

“Today, a decades-long project of the extreme right-wing has come to fruition: the Supreme Court has overturned the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade. As one of the one in four women in this country who has had an abortion, I am outraged for what this will mean for those who need abortion care — particularly those who will be most harmed by this decision: Black and Brown women, those who live in rural areas or have lower incomes and can’t afford to cross state lines for care, young people and LGBTQ people, and women in abusive relationships. The Supreme Court has now mandated forced pregnancy, taking away an intensely personal freedom for pregnant people to make decisions about our own bodies with a doctor or loved one, and instead bringing politicians into your decision and your bedroom. Every woman, every family, every pregnant person should fear what this means for their futures. 

“As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I am furious that right-wing extremists and Republican Senators have warped the Supreme Court into a partisan political body that does not respect decades of precedent or the fundamental freedoms of millions of Americans. These five justices were appointed by two presidents who lost the popular vote, yet have overturned what was a 7-2 decision in 1973, a decision that 69 percent of Americans across the political spectrum support today and that Americans have considered settled for half a century. This decision makes it clear that this Supreme Court is far out of step with the American people and taking us backwards, not forward.

“It is important that Americans understand that this Supreme Court and Republicans in Congress will not stop here. In Justice Thomas' concurrence, he says explicitly that the Court should reconsider ‘all substantive due process precedents,’ including right to contraception, to same-sex marriage, and to same-sex relationships. It is clear he and the Court's majority have no respect for other precedents that have been won in recent decades.  This Supreme Court is out of touch with the American people and increasingly suffers a legitimacy crisis.

“House Democrats have passed bills to protect LGBTQ rights and abortion rights, as well as to end discriminatory insurance coverage bans on abortion to expand access — but all have been blocked by Republicans in the Senate. Those Senators who voted no have an obligation to reconsider their decision — and the devastation facing this country if they don’t. But we also clearly need not just a Democratic majority, but a clear pro-choice majority in the Senate, as we do in the House. But most immediately, all of us must continue to take this righteous anger to the streets and to the voting booths.