WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed its reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Act today, legislation which oversees and regulates the airline industry and aviation technology, including for aviation labor standards and airline consumer protections.

Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement:

“The Federal Aviation Act reauthorization is an opportunity to improve working conditions and increase competition in an industry that is one of the primary engines of our economy. There are some important wins for labor and communities in this legislation, including provisions that would help protect flight crews from assault, prevent foreign airlines who undermine fair labor standards from operating in the U.S., provide postpartum flight crewmembers time to pump during flights, increase and improve mandatory pilot training, and strengthen safety standards. 

“However, MAGA Republicans once again warped the legislative process for a bipartisan bill into a means to their own partisan ends. In particular, they inserted an egregious provision to raise the pilot retirement age from age 65 to 67, a move opposed by both pilots associations and the Department of Transportation. This terrible policy puts us completely out of sync with our partners in Europe and would cause myriad issues for training, scheduling, and could even require reopening pilot contracts. The harmful amendment was only retained after the Republican majority blocked a bipartisan effort to remove it. Aviation policy should be determined by what is best for the workers and consumers, not pandering to MAGA Republicans. The Republican majority also denied debates and votes on critical amendments offered by Progressive Caucus members to advance strong, binding policies that would protect the environment, public safety, airport service workers, and customers’ rights and competition, and were also supported by the Biden administration. 

“We strongly urge our Senate colleagues to consider incorporating these policies and strip the provision raising the pilot retirement age in order to get a strong vote in the House upon final passage and to pass the best version of this reauthorization that the American people will have to live with for the next five years. Fair competition and opportunity are fundamental American values, and they should be reflected in the FAA.”

The CPC FAA Task Force, chaired by Representative Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), led a process to develop and coordinate a list of amendments from Caucus members to the reauthorization bill that would advance key progressive priorities including workers’ rights, pro-competition reforms, environmental protection, and public safety. Below are a sample of those amendments.

Select amendments that were adopted in the FAA reauthorization:

  • #51 Deluzio (PA), Garcia (IL): Directs GAO to conduct a report on the effect of airline mergers for consumers.

  • #102 Hoyle (OR), Van Orden (WI): Requires the FAA to develop and publish safety training materials for airport ground crew workers (including supervisory employees) to help prevent accidents involving aircraft engine ingestion and jet blast hazards.

  • #132 Brown (OH): Requires air carriers and foreign air carriers to provide complementary drinking water to all passengers on all domestic and international flights over 1 hour

  • #280 Espaillat (NY): Requires the FAA to consider vulnerabilities of in-flight wifi that may lead to the exposure of passenger data.

  • #17 Meng (NY), Norton (DC), Johnson (GA), Nadler (NY), Raskin (MD), Moulton (MA), Garcia (IL), Lieu (CA): Clarifies that as part of the Part 150 Noise Standard Update, feedback should be solicited from individuals living in overflight communities.

  • #310 Pressley (MA): Requires GAO study on transit access to airports 

  • #92 Garcia (IL): Include report language requesting the FAA assess performance of its passenger facility charges program and make recommendations for improvement.

Key amendments blocked from consideration in the House-passed bill:

  • #285 Escobar (TX): Remove the funding ceiling for small airport fund.

  • #12 Garamendi (CA), Deluzio (PA): Aligns the Buy America requirements for FAA-funded projects with the new government-wide “Build American, Buy America” requirements under Section 70914 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

  • #16 Garamendi (CA), Lofgren (CA), Khanna (CA), Moulton (MA), Nadler (NY): Directs FAA to promulgate rule phasing out leaded aviation fuel if and when USEPA finalizes the October 2022 endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act.

  • #20 Garcia (IL): Directs USDOT to submit a report to Congress assessing the transparency of slot processes applied to airports.

  • #58 Garcia (IL): To establish a minimum wage and benefit standard for such airport service workers at large, medium, and small hub airports, and to prohibit these airports from accessing federal funds for airport development projects unless the airports certify that such airport service workers are paid no less than the higher of $15 per hour, the applicable state or local minimum wage and fringe benefits, or the prevailing wage and fringe benefits required under the Service Contract Act as established by the Department of Labor.

  • #186 Garcia (IL): Directs FAA to submit progress report on the transition of PFAS to fluorine free foam.

  • #278 Jayapal (WA), Garcia (IL): Requires airports to be available for public use on reasonable conditions and without unjust discrimination, require the FAA to prioritize future federal funding for airports maintaining some minimum level of available common use gate capacity, and require any airport serving 0.25 percent or more of the nation’s total annual enplanements and with more than 50 percent of passengers handled by one or two air carriers to submit any proposed lease, lease amendment, or lease extension to the FAA for advance approval.

  • #124 Brown (OH): Add additional union representation to the Federal Aerospace Management Advisory Council.

  • #75 Jacobs (CA): Inserts language to Sec. 1006, 1007, 1008, 1009 that the gives the Administrator authority to enforce a mask mandate in the case of an infectious disease emergency if the infectious disease emergency (1) is declared by the HHS Secretary under section 319 of the PHS Act to be a public health emergency; or (2) as determined by the Secretary, has significant potential to imminently occur and potential, on occurrence, to affect national security or the health and security of United States citizens, domestically or internationally

  • #140 Jayapal (WA): Bars the federal government from contracting with firms with two or more willful or repeated violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Establishes a $50,000 penalty for failing to disclose such violations to the contracting agency.

  • #172 Jayapal (WA): Prohibits the Federal Aviation Administration from engaging in investigations or lawsuits against states, counties or local jurisdictions that limit or ban the use or sale of leaded aviation fuel.

  • #194 Jayapal (WA): Prohibits the sale or use of leaded aviation gasoline at all airports receiving federal funds by no later than Dec. 31, 2030.

  • #220 Jayapal (WA): Airport Improvement Program funds shall be made eligible for any standalone projects designed to improve energy efficiency.

  • #289 Jayapal (WA): Directs carriers to provide, in the event of a departure delayed 3 hours or more due to a controllable flight disruption: rebooking; a meal or meal reimbursement; a hotel room and transportation to and from the hotel; and cash compensation in an amount commensurate with the inconvenience experienced to the individual.

  • #195 Jayapal (WA), Schakowsky (IL): Requires the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that any prime contractor or subcontractor at any level of a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration remains neutral with respect to efforts to form a labor organization. Furthermore, any prime contractor or subcontractor contracted with the FAA is required to commit not to hire employees to replace any employee engaged in any strike, picketing, or other concerted refusal to work, or to close a business in response to such a strike, picketing, or other refusal to work.

  • #109 Lofgren (CA), Khanna (CA), DeSaulnier (CA), Pettersen (CO), Garamendi (CA): Revises Sec. 431 to facilitate sale of unleaded aviation fuel.

  • #31 Porter (CA): Require the FAA Administrator to prohibit air carriers from reducing the size of passenger seats on air carriers until the Administrator issues a final rule establishing minimum dimensions for passenger seats, as required under section 577 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (PL 115-254).

  • #35 Porter (CA): Requires air carriers to provide passengers experiencing a controllable significant delay or cancellation with an alternative flight, including on another air carrier if necessary, and codifies the existing requirement for airlines to provide a full cash refund if the passenger chooses not to travel after experiencing such a delay or cancellation.

  • #169 Schakowsky (IL), Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Deluzio (PA): Strikes Section 701 to maintain existing requirements that the full price of airfare must be shown upfront to consumers online and in advertising.

  • #7 Bergman (MI), Garcia (IL), Fitzpatrick (PA), Ross (NC), Molinaro (NY), Kildee (MI), Ellzey (TX), Carson (IN), Ferguson (GA), Pascrell (NJ) : Strikes section 330 to prevent raising the retirement age of pilots from 65 to 67.

  • #154 Menendez (NJ), Garbarino (NY), Garamendi (CA): Requires that airlines submit Employee Assault Prevention and Response plans to TSA so that airport based employees such as ticket agents are also covered by these plans.

  • #270 Beyer (VA), Bacon (NE), DeSaulnier (CA): Provides paid leave to FAA employees. Allows military service to count towards the 12 month time requirement for FMLA eligibility.

  • #161 Cherfilus-McCormick (FL), Johnson (GA), Molinaro (NY), Tokuda (HI), Norton (DC), Watson Coleman (NJ), Chavez-DeRemer (OR), Fitzpatrick (PA), Allred (TX): Directs the FAA to establish an interagency task force with DHS and HHS to develop and implement a strategy to identify and advance research on communicable diseases during the entire air travel experience.

  • #261 Williams (GA), Lynch (MA), DelBene (WA): Sets standards and increases grant funding opportunities for projects that support the production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) or the development of low-emission aviation technologies.

  • #141 Jayapal (WA): Requires DOT to set minimum and maximum cabin temperatures for the health and safety of crew passengers.

  • #143 Meng (NY): Directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to revise its regulations to decrease the threshold for the day-night average sound level that constitutes significant noise from 65 decibels to 60 decibels and adjust relative ranges of day-night average sound level accordingly. The Amendment also directs the FAA to issue a report on their plan to further lower the metric to 55 DNL.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), and Representative Barbara Lee (CA-12), Chair of Emeritus of the CPC and Chair of the Caucus Peace and Security Task Force, issued the following statement upon passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the House of Representatives:

“The bill MAGA House Republicans passed today allocates the single largest funding total the Pentagon has ever received from Congress and actively blocks the Biden administration from retiring obsolete, costly, and unnecessary weapons systems. It follows the end of a 20-year war, and the fifth time the Defense Department has failed an audit.

“The American people would be forgiven for believing this record-high funding is actually going to support service members or veterans. However, a significant percentage goes to pad the profits of the war industry. Since 2001, Pentagon spending has totaled more than $14 trillion, with between one-third and one-half going to military contractors — and much of it to just five major Pentagon firms. Weapons manufacturers have spent $2.5 billion on lobbying over the past two decades, employing more than one lobbyist for every member of Congress. Those contractors and lobbyists stand to make even more off of taxpayers this year.

“Meanwhile, investments in domestic priorities, from education to housing to health care, are squeezed more than ever after Republicans forced draconian spending caps in exchange for not defaulting on the country’s debt. Our constituents are consistently told it costs too much to continue the Child Tax Credit to support families climbing out of poverty, to provide universal health care so people don’t continue to go bankrupt if they get sick, or to provide paid sick leave for every worker like the rest of our peer countries do.

“The funding level is far from the only problem with this NDAA. MAGA Republicans conducted an unprecedented and unrecognizable process, refusing to even allow debate on amendments that have been made in order for years. They even robbed a Progressive Caucus member of her amendment to ban the transfer of cluster munitions and handed it to one of the most extreme MAGA members, who weakened its provisions. The result is a bill that goes out of its way to attack abortion, immigrants, and LBGTQ rights and efforts to make the military more inclusive and reflective of America; reverses progress on climate action; and hobbles our ability to combat extremism in the military. Thanks to MAGA House Republicans, this bill excludes progressives’ provisions to protect the human rights of civilians abroad, reassert congressional war powers, or strengthen labor and civil rights for service members. 

“Progressives in Congress have long fought to take on waste, fraud, and abuse in the Pentagon budget and rebalance the federal government’s spending priorities away from excessive militarism and toward investments in working families, both at home and abroad. The MAGA agenda could not be more fundamentally different — a politics dictated by bigotry, fear, and xenophobia. Progressives know that we do not have to choose between a strategic military and foreign policy that achieves our national security goals and one that is rooted in justice and humanity, committed both to diplomacy with our adversaries and cooperation with our allies. The American people deserve no less, and progressives will not give up our fight to make it a reality.”

Amendments by CPC Members Included in the Final Bill:

  • #302 Garamendi (CA): Fixes loopholes in existing requirements for pricing data by clarifying when cost or pricing data is required. Makes clear that requirements to provide cost or pricing information can only be waived when there is a price competition that results in at least two responsive and viable offers.

  • #1375 Davidson (OH), Jacobs (CA), Mace (SC), Jayapal (WA), Biggs (AZ), Lofgren (CA), Tenney (NY), Hoyle (OR): The amendment would prevent DOD from purchasing data that would otherwise require a warrant, court order, or subpoena. This applies to data inside the United States.

  • #1270 Pocan (WI), Lee (CA), Jayapal (WA): Requires a report on DoD's progress made and remaining challenges to achieving an unqualified audit opinion.

Sampling of Progressive Amendments by CPC Members Blocked or Ruled Out of Order:

  • #658 Tlaib (MI): Strikes the prohibition on the reduction of the total number of nuclear armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) deployed in the United States in Sec. 1638. Prohibition on reduction of the intercontinental ballistic missiles of the United States. (Received floor vote)

  • #276 Blumenauer (OR), McGovern (MA), Garamendi (CA):  Strikes Section 1639 and prohibits the use of funds for the sustainment of the B83-1 bomb. This amendment reflects the 2022 Nuclear Posture Review, which declared the B83-1 "will be retired."(Received floor vote) 

  • #31 Lee (CA), Roy (TX), Spanberger (VA), Hageman (WY), McGovern (MA), Donalds (FL), Hoyle (OR), Bishop (NC), Meeks (NY): Repeals the 2002 and 1991 Authorizations for Use of Military Force for Iraq. (Identical text to HR 932 and S 316).

  • #49 Lieu (CA), Meeks (NY), Khanna (CA), Titus (NV): 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.

  • #161 Bowman (NY), Bush (MO), Schakowsky (IL), Tlaib (MI), Khanna (CA): Prohibits U.S. military presence in Syria without Congressional approval within one year of enactment.

  • #478 Jacobs (CA): Requires recipients of Section 127e and Section 1202 programs to undergo vetting for gross human rights violations.

  • #1473 Jacobs (CA), Omar (MN), Jayapal (WA), McGovern (MA): Prohibits the transfer of cluster munitions.

  • #576 McGovern (MA), Pocan (WI), Schakowsky (IL), Johnson (GA), Blumenauer (OR), Huffman (CA), Doggett (TX): Calls for an annual report from State to Congress, in consultation with DOD, that assesses the status of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

  • #651 Tlaib (MI): Directs Secretary of State to submit 502B(c) reports on any country receiving Foreign Military Financing (FMF) or Foreign Military Sales (FMS) where the Secretary has credible information that state security forces were involved in the killing of a journalist in the last 5 years.

  • #1171 Hoyle (OR), Khanna (CA), Jayapal (WA): Revised Prohibits U.S. funding from being used for unauthorized U.S. military involvement in the war in Yemen if the Saudi-led coalition resumes aerial hostilities against the Houthis in Yemen. This includes prohibiting funds from being used for military logistical support or intelligence sharing that enables offensive strikes.

  • #1179 Ocasio-Cortez (NY): Directs the Department of State to submit to Congress a report documenting knowledge from 1980-2010 regarding Colombian military involvement in assassinations, disappearances, collaboration in paramilitary offensives, military conduct in the false positives initiative from 2002-2008, and any gross violations of human rights.

  • #1241 Bush (MO): Expands transparency and congressional oversight of arms exports by eliminating the thresholds for congressional reporting requirements in the Arms Export Control Act.

  • #1258 Bush (MO): Prohibits funds from being made available to carry out armed unilateral or multilateral intervention in Haiti, unless Congress first enacts a joint resolution authorizing the specific use of such funds.

  • #1293 Casar (TX): Provide the Secretary of Defense with the authority to transfer funds in excess of the amount requested for weapons purchases in the President's budget to DoD child care programs.

  • #1309 Garcia (IL): Before enforcing sectoral or broad-based sanctions, requires the Secretaries of Treasury and State to certify that such sanctions will not result in civilian death.

  • #1360 Ocasio-Cortez (NY): Requires the Secretary of the Department of Defense to submit a certification addressing human and civil rights violations in Peru before continuing certain cooperation with the government of Peru.

  • #1375 Davidson (OH), Jacobs (CA), Mace (SC), Jayapal (WA), Armstrong (ND), Lofgren (CA), Cline (VA), Escobar (TX): Late Establishes warrant requirements for web browsing history, Internet search history, and Fourth Amendment-protected information of United States persons or persons inside the United States

  • #1378 Grijalva (AZ): Prohibits the amounts authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this act be used to establish or maintain any relationship between the Department of Defense and the Government of Ecuador, including any office or agent of such government, in order to provide, authorize, or assist in any way in the transfer of weapons, military equipment, crowd control supplies, or any other supplies, to such government or to coordinate joint exercises with the military and police forces of such government until certain criteria is met.

  • #1453 Omar (MN), Jayapal (WA): Directs the Secretary of Defense to develop a process within 180 days of this bill’s enactment to inform host country governments within 30 days of PFAS contamination and possible health hazards surrounding overseas U.S. military facilities and develop a remediation strategy that considers input from affected communities and in communication with the host-country government.

  • #435 Jayapal (WA), McClintock (CA), Davidson (OH): Repeals the statutory requirement that the Department of Defense submit unfunded priorities lists to Congress outside the formal budget request process.

  • #218 Jayapal (WA): Grants authority to the Secretary of Defense to produce insulin to be sold with no additional upcharges for use in federal healthcare programs.

  • #636 Jayapal (WA): Requires that any COVID-19 vaccines or treatments developed by the Department of Defense be, to the greatest extent practicable, non-exclusively licensed, added to the WHO technology access pool, and publicly produced through a government-owned contractor-operated facility.

  • #440 Jayapal (WA): Bars the federal government from contracting with firms with two or more willful or repeated violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Establishes a $50,000 penalty for failing to disclose such violations to the contracting agency.

  • #242 Jacobs (CA), Schakowsky (IL), Garcia (TX), Tokuda (HI), Bonamici (OR), Dean (PA), Casten (IL), Escobar (TX), Johnson (GA), Takano (CA): Prohibits discrimination in the military and ensures that standards for eligibility for service and equality of treatment and opportunity in service may not include any criteria relating to protected categories and gender.

  • #391 Garcia, Robert (CA), Balint (VT), Tokuda (HI), Omar (MN), Norton (DC), Schakowsky (IL), Titus (NV): Restricts security assistance to Uganda until the Secretary of State certifies that the Government of Uganda is upholding basic human rights standards including protections for LGBTQI+ rights.

  • #587 Schakowsky (IL): Establishes a preference for Department of Defense offerors that meet certain requirements pertaining to labor relations.

  • #892 Blumenauer (OR), Nunn (IA), Crow (CO), Miller-Meeks (IA), Schakowsky (IL), Ciscomani (AZ), Norton (DC), Sherrill (NJ), Swalwell (CA), Crockett (TX), Bera (CA), Tlaib (MI), Johnson (GA), Goldman (NY), Peters (CA), Kim (NJ), Keating (MA), Spanberger (VA), Jayapal (WA), Moulton (MA), Nadler (NY), Matsui (CA), Foster (IL), Correa (CA), Porter (CA), Stanton (AZ), Case (HI), Larsen (WA): Authorizes 4,000 additional visas for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program.

  • #46 Lee (CA), Pocan (WI), Espaillat (NY), Raskin (MD), Grijalva (AZ), Huffman (CA): Reduces the NDAA top line by $100 billion and holds harmless all accounts that support pay and benefits for personnel and dependents.

  • #260 Sherman (CA): Prohibits the transfer of U.S.-origin nuclear reactors, equipment, or technology to Saudi Arabia until Saudi Arabia signs an Additional Protocol to its nuclear safeguards agreement with the IAEA, and certifies that it is not building or acquiring nuclear enrichment or reprocessing facilities.

  • #710 Jayapal (WA): Authorizes $20 million in funding for the US Army Medical Research and Development Command and any of its subordinate entities to conduct two phase-III clinical trials, one for the vaccine and another for a booster, for the patent-free and openly licensed Corbevax vaccine to gauge its effectiveness and suitability in reducing hospitalization and transmission rates of COVID19. Offset from Defense-wide operations and maintenance.

  • #1460 Carson (IN): To require a report to Congress on the death of American citizen, Shireen Abu Akleh.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) announced the formation of the CPC Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Task Force. The task force, chaired by Representative García, member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, also includes Representatives André Carson (IN-07), Chris Deluzio (PA-17), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Hank Johnson (GA-04), and Grace Meng (NY-06). 

The task force will advocate for FAA policies rooted in equity, sustainability, and fairness for all, including increasing the pay of airport service workers, cracking down on junk fees and cancellations, foster competition among airlines, ensuring fair retirements for pilots and other air personnel, increasing consumer options and lowering fares, and adopting emissions- and noise-reducing measures in the industry to fight climate change and protect public health. In addition, the group will host discussions on policies that strengthen the workforce, expand consumer protections, and tackle corporate greed in the aviation industry.

“Recent years have underscored the urgent need for reform in our national air travel industry, and the FAA reauthorization is our chance to implement that reform,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “The CPC, under the leadership of Rep. García and this new task force, plans to take full advantage of this opportunity to improve conditions and wages for workers, bring down costs and barriers for consumers, and hold the airlines accountable for misconduct. We look forward to bringing that experience and commitment to the final version of the FAA reauthorization.” 

“As the busy summer travel season is underway, the challenges our aviation system faces are more evident. We have staffing challenges, essential airport workers need better wages and benefits, and consumers need better protections,” said Rep. García. “Our task force is committed to build a fairer, more resilient aviation system for workers and consumers alike.”

The task force looks forward to pushing provisions on workforce development, consumer protections, and environmental protections as the final FAA reauthorization makes its way through the legislative process.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

View the full press conference here

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

Click here to view the press conference.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The letter can be viewed here.

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

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

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

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

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

The letter reads in part:

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

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

The full text of the letter can be found here.

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