WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and the Japanese parliament issued a joint letter today to call on President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida to support a declaration of a no-first-use nuclear weapons policy for the United States. Their advocacy to the executives comes following a Nuclear Posture Review from the Biden administration that clarifies the Pentagon’s nuclear capacity.

The 35 American and 39 Japanese lawmakers, representing the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and the Progressive Caucus of Japan (PCJ), encouraged both governments to clarify that they do not support the United States being the first nation to introduce the use of nuclear weapons in conflict. It was led by Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), CPC Chair, and Mark Takano (CA-41), Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ed Markey (D-MA), and Japanese Diet House of Representatives member and PCJ chair Masaharu Nakagawa.

While a no-first-use policy is the de facto position of both countries — a longstanding CPC priority — it is essential to clarify and strengthen that position in the wake of Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine and a moment of heightened nuclear tensions. The lawmakers write: “A U.S. declaration stating that it would never start a nuclear war, supported by Japan, would breathe new life into international efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate the danger of nuclear war. This is especially important at a time when tensions between the nuclear-weapons-possessing states, especially between the United States and China, are increasing.” 

Japan is part of a group of non-nuclear countries covered by the U.S. nuclear “umbrella,” which pledges the United States to retaliate if any of the included countries were attacked with nuclear weapons. Analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists found the Japanese government would accept a U.S. no-first-use declaration and is unlikely to develop its own nuclear weapons in response — and that the assurance to the umbrella countries would remain even with a no-first-use declaration. 

The letter concludes, “Though the U.S. has recently completed its Nuclear Posture Review, it is never too late to commit to a no-first-use policy. Making this sensible change to U.S. nuclear weapons policy enjoys overwhelming support, both in our respective legislatures as well as among the citizens we represent.”

The full list of American signatories includes: Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Mark Takano (CA-41), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Judy Chu (CA-27), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Lloyd Doggett (TX-35), John Garamendi, Jesús G. “Chuy” García (IL-04), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson Jr. (GA-04), Andy Levin (MI-09), Mike Levin (CA-49), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Carolyn B.  Maloney (NY-12), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after a meeting between Caucus leadership and President Biden:

“I want to thank President Biden for a very productive meeting on how to advance so many of our shared goals. We discussed progressive legislative priorities and our mutual commitment to delivering as much relief as possible for the American people. On executive action, we urged immediate movement on the agenda the Progressive Caucus released earlier this month which was centered around eight areas: lowering health care costs, canceling federal student loan debt, expanding worker power and raising wages, advancing immigrants’ rights including ending Title 42, delivering on the promise of equal justice under law, combating the climate crisis and reducing fossil fuel dependence, investing in care economy jobs and standards, and regulating for economic and tax fairness. 

“In particular, we encouraged the administration to quickly act on policies that will lower costs, raise wages, and put money back in working people’s pockets, including canceling student debt, raising the overtime threshold, lowering prescription drug costs, expanding renewable energy to decrease reliance on fossil fuels, and fixing the Affordable Care Act ‘family glitch’ to expand access to health care.  

“We look forward to continuing to work with the President and our colleagues in Congress to maximize Democrats’ governing opportunity and deliver the relief working families so desperately need.”

WASHINGTON — Today, on the occasion of the first hearing on universal health care coverage in the 117th Congress, the Congressional Progressive Caucus celebrated this historic moment for the Medicare For All movement.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has long championed health care as a right, not a privilege, with a history of members introducing single-payer legislation. Today’s Medicare For All Act, introduced by CPC chair Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12) in both the 116th and 117th Congress, is the most comprehensive Medicare for All bill yet, providing a clear roadmap to achieving single-payer healthcare. It is co-sponsored by 120 members of Congress in the House; similar legislation was introduced in the Senate last Congress by CPC co-founder Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).  

For its three decades, CPC members have consistently fought to expand Medicare and access to coverage, including health care benefits for immigrants, equitable gender and LGBTQ+ inclusive coverage, lower cost premiums and prescription drugs, and abortion and reproductive health coverage. In the 116th Congress, for the first time, three committees of jurisdiction held hearings on Medicare for All and the need to expand healthcare coverage. Today’s hearing, the first on the bill in the 117th Congress, continues to build necessary momentum and education on the need for Medicare for All. We applaud the House Oversight and Reform Committee for holding this hearing.

Representative Jayapal said:

“The pandemic has made it clear now more than ever that we must guarantee health care as a human right with no copays, no deductibles, and no premiums. We need Medicare for All now, when nearly 100 million people are uninsured or underinsured in the richest nation on the planet. There’s no excuse for this broken system — where parents have to choose between taking their kid to the doctor or paying rent. Today, we take a major step forward on this critical legislation in the House Oversight Committee. The path ahead is tough, but Medicare for All is necessary, popular, and most importantly will save thousands of lives. I’m going to continue fighting to make it the law of the land.”

Progressive Caucus members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee issued the following statements:

“Americans deserve a health care system that guarantees health and medical services to all,” said Representative Cori Bush (MO-01). “Congress must implement a system that prioritizes people over profits, humanity over greed, and compassion over exploitation. The systemic racism perpetuating health inequities cannot be overstated — Black women are 3-4 times more likely to die during childbirth. We are more likely to have rates of asthma and cancer from generations living next to pollution centers. We are more likely to have foregone routine screenings and medical appointments for a real fear of having our pain dismissed. That’s why my colleagues and I are coming through in force for our first Medicare for All hearing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy will save lives, I want to make that clear. I hope this hearing will be one more step forward in our commitment to ensuring everyone in this country, and particularly our Black, brown and Indigenous communities, have the medical care they need to thrive.”

“When I was a child, my hospital visits for pneumonia nearly bankrupted my parents who worked multiple jobs without health insurance. No family should ever face this situation,” said Representative Jimmy Gomez (CA-34). “The time has come when we as a nation guarantee access to quality, affordable healthcare. I’d like to thank Chairwoman Maloney for calling today’s hearing, and I thank my Congressional Progressive Caucus Colleagues for leading the charge on Medicare for All.” 

 “For decades, Democrats have fought to protect and expand access to health care, and at every step, Republicans try to gut our efforts,” said Representative Hank Johnson (GA-04). For us, health care is a human right. Democrats want to move towards expanding access to health care, which is essential to improving health equity. Medicare for All and Medicaid expansion are tools to help get us there. Republicans have made it clear – they want to take health care away from the millions benefitting from Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act to prioritize corporate profits over Americans’ health. Now is the time to expand access to healthcare, not cut it.”

“Universal health coverage is not optional: it’s urgent,” said Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17). “Private health insurance is a crushing tax on working families and businesses. Medicare for All would save an estimated 68,000 lives a year while reducing U.S. health care spending by billions of dollars. It’s good policy and the right thing to do."

“As Chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, I’m proud to convene today’s hearing and join with my colleagues in working to ensure that every person in the United States can access health care,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney (NY-12). “I have spent my career fighting to guarantee health care as a human right, and with Medicare for All, we have the opportunity to create a more equitable health care system that treats every person with empathy and dignity.”

“Healthcare is a fundamental human right and we must legislate accordingly,” said Representative Ayanna Pressley (MA-07). “For too long, our nation’s healthcare system, which puts profits over people, has threatened the very ability of poor, Black, brown, Indigenous, and disabled folks to live and survive in America—that must change. This historic hearing will move us one step closer to ensuring that every person has access to quality care when they need it and where they need it. We must enact Medicare for All and I am grateful to Congresswoman Maloney for holding this long overdue hearing and giving this critical legislation the attention it deserves.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need for a comprehensive health care system that makes public health paramount. Covid showed us that every person’s health is integrally connected to everyone else’s,” said Representative Jamie Raskin (MD-08). “In the richest society in the history of our species at its richest moment, to deny our fellow Americans universal health care is to deny our common humanity. As a proud founding member of the Medicare for All Caucus, I’m committed to securing health care as a right for every American. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses at this hearing, like my friend the incomparable Ady Barkan, whose passionate, unyielding activism has helped move the needle across the country on this fundamental imperative for our people.”

"This pandemic exposed just how broken the health care system is in our country,” said Representative Rashida Tlaib (MI-13). “Millions of people across the country know that passing Medicare for All is long overdue. In the richest country, our residents should not face financial ruin, continue to be sick, or even die because they lack adequate coverage and care. We need Medicare for All now and we will not stop fighting until we have it. This hearing ignites the reality that we must act now.”

Progressive Caucus members also testified before the hearing:

“As a Member of Congress, I am more than adequately covered, can get a checkup anytime I want, and if something’s wrong, I can get treated on the spot — so many  people in this country don’t have that privilege,” said Representative Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16). “Those of us who support Medicare for All believe that every single person who lives in this country should have that level of care. It’s very simple: if people knew they had exemplary health care, they would go to the doctor more. But as it stands, millions of people often skip preventive and routine care, instead waiting until they are severely ill to seek treatment. And as a Black man, I am acutely aware of the specific care needs that Black people have in our society. It is well-known, for example, that Black Americans have the highest rates of hypertension, and Black women are facing a Black maternal health crisis. Medicare for All is urgently needed and this hearing brings us one step closer toward making it a reality for all.”

WASHINGTON — Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Mark Pocan (WI-02), and Barbara Lee (CA-13), chairs emeriti of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and co-chairs of the Defense Spending Reduction Caucus, issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s FY2023 budget proposal:

“There is much to be applauded in the President’s budget today. We are particularly pleased to see an increase in non-defense discretionary spending to meet critical needs and funding to deliver the investments from the President’s economic agenda for working people. It also makes corporations and billionaires pay their fair share, including through a new tax on billionaires’ total incomes, a longstanding progressive priority supported by a significant majority of the American people. 

“But if budgets are value statements, today’s White House proposal for Pentagon spending shows that we have a lot of work to do. It is simply unacceptable that after the conclusion of our longest war and during a period of Democratic control of both chambers of Congress, the President is proposing record high military spending. 

“Last year, the President requested $753 billion for Pentagon spending, topping the Trump administration’s last enacted spending level of $740 billion. The U.S. House of Representatives more than doubled that desired increase, and Congress ultimately enacted the full amount of $782 billion in military spending for Fiscal Year 2022, totaling defense-related budgets across agencies. Still, the White House has requested yet more for Fiscal Year 2023, $813 billion — nearly half of which is likely to go to private military contractors. The Pentagon remains unable to pass an audit, and its history of waste, fraud, and abuse continues to misuse taxpayer dollars.

“As Pentagon spending has exploded, the federal government has been forced to pinch pennies for decades when it comes to investments in working families. Appropriators and advocates are constantly called to answer for how we will afford spending on lowering costs and expanding access to health care, housing, child care services, on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and on combating climate change — but such concerns evaporate when it comes to the Pentagon’s endlessly growing, unaudited budget.

“We will continue to vigorously advocate against this military spending proposal, as we have in years past. And we remain committed to our mission of working toward a federal budget that prioritizes peace, diplomacy, and American families’ needs over those of war.”

 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on the hearings of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for nomination to the Supreme Court:

“At the conclusion of the week of hearings, it could not be clearer why President Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court, and how deeply deserving she is of confirmation. Her knowledge, breadth of experience, and skill as a jurist were on full display under questioning. Her empathy, passion, and commitment to equal justice under law could not be dimmed, even with shameful attacks thrown at her. In the face of outrageous treatment from Republicans on the committee, she showed what can only be described as judicial temperament.

“But even as America applauds how Judge Jackson endured the hearings with fortitude and grace under fire, it demands to be said: she should not have been subjected to this treatment in the first place. The Republican party — from Senators on the committee, to members of the Caucus, to campaign arms on social media — have used this occasion not to undertake a serious constitutional obligation, but rather to berate, hector, and discredit the first Black woman nominated to the high court. The baseless and frankly racist attacks we have seen in recent days demean the Senate Judiciary Committee and these proceedings, and disparage the nominee to an unacceptable degree.

“Judge Jackson’s treatment will unfortunately be all too familiar to women, especially women of color and particularly Black women. We can recall every moment we’ve experienced what can at best be described as antagonizing and at worst as bullying. But of course, Judge Jackson responded as Black women and women of color will also recognize: with poise and unflappable dignity. I join millions around the country in applauding her nomination, her performance throughout these hearings, and look forward to recognizing her as Justice Jackson.”

WASHINGTON — On the seventh anniversary of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17) issued the following statement: 

“Seven years ago today, the United States began unauthorized military participation in Saudi Arabia’s devastating war in Yemen. In the time since, Saudi Arabia’s airstrikes and air-and-sea blockade have cost hundreds of thousands of lives and threatened millions more with famine, triggering the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. On this grim anniversary —  spanning seven years and three presidential administrations — we are calling for an immediate end to American involvement in the Saudi-led coalition’s brutal military campaign.  

“With each passing day, the crisis in Yemen intensifies. Saudi airstrikes have escalated in recent months, with a pace killing and injuring four times as many civilians as the previous year. The Saudi blockade has reportedly prevented all fuel from arriving at Yemen’s major port since January, causing massive shortages. And with 30 percent of Yemen’s wheat imports coming from Ukraine and food prices soaring, acute hunger is expected to increase five-fold 

Congress has repeatedly voted to end the United States’ unconstitutional participation in this conflict. This past fall, for the third time in as many years, a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives passed a measure in the National Defense Authorization Act to terminate ongoing military involvement. Still, the flow of U.S. logistics, spare parts, and maintenance essential to Saudi Arabia’s devastating bombings and aerial siege continue to this day.  

“We know that concern is not limited to Congress. In 2019, then-candidate Biden urged Congress to override Trump’s veto and pass a War Powers Resolution to end unconstitutional U.S. military involvement in Yemen. Last year, he announced a commitment to ending support for ‘offensive’ operations in Yemen. After Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman outrageously declined to take President Biden’s phone calls, reportedly demanding deeper U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, there is no better time for the President to fulfill his promise: ‘end U.S. support for the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen,’ and ‘make clear that America will never again check its principles at the door just to buy oil or sell weapons.’ 

“While the United States may not be able to unilaterally end all fighting in Yemen, we can stop participating in Saudi Arabia’s brutal campaign, and exert leverage to compel them to lift their blockade. Now, on this solemn anniversary, we urge the Biden administration to act. If not, we remain committed to invoking Congress’ constitutional authorities to pass a new Yemen War Powers Resolution to end unauthorized involvement in this conflict. American complicity in this humanitarian disaster has persisted for too long — and we will not allow it to continue.”

WASHINGTON– Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced today that the membership of the CPC voted to endorse the Environmental Justice For All Act. The bill was introduced in the House by CPC Chair Emeritus Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03) and Representative A. Donald McEachin (VA-04). 

The lawmakers introduced the Environmental Justice For All Act on March 18, 2021, the culmination of a years-long, inclusive, transparent community-led process to draft comprehensive environmental justice legislation based on public input.

“Progressives understand the demands of this moment in our country. We know that as we work to rebuild from the Trump years, the pandemic, and combat the climate crisis, we cannot continue to leave low-income communities and communities of color behind,” said Rep. Jayapal. “We have a special duty to those who’ve borne the brunt of pollution and environmental racism. Our work to transition to renewable energy, build and develop technologies that protect our clean air and water, and create good, union paying jobs, has presented us with an opportunity to address the cumulative impact of environmental and social injustice on Black, Brown, Indigenous, and economically deprived communities. The Progressive Caucus is thrilled to endorse the Environmental Justice For All Act, and join Chair Emeritus Grijalva and Rep. McEachin in the fight for this visionary legislation.”

The bill’s co-authors issued the following statements: 

“For too long, unjust federal policies have allowed major polluters, like power plants and manufacturing facilities, to concentrate in poor communities and communities of color, putting their health, safety, and quality of life on the line,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chair Grijalva. “The Environmental Justice For All Act reverses course on that history, ensuring that all communities have the right to clean air, clean water, and an environment that enriches their lives. I’m proud to have the support of the Progressive Caucus as we continue the fight to make environmental justice a reality for all Americans

“I thank the Congressional Progressive Caucus for endorsing the Environmental Justice for All Act,” said Rep. McEachin. “This legislation was developed through meaningful consultation with impacted communities, climate advocates, and other stakeholders to develop tailored, community-driven solutions to environmental injustice. The EJ For All Act will take comprehensive steps to combat generational inequities and empower vulnerable communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental injustice and degradation. This endorsement adds important momentum to our efforts to ensure a healthy, livable future for all Americans.”

Among other provisions, the Environmental Justice For All Act:

  • Strengthens environmental compliance and pollution standards by requiring the consideration of cumulative environmental impacts in permitting decisions under the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The bill ensures that permits will not be issued if projects are unable to show a reasonable certainty of no harm to human health after consideration of cumulative impacts. Currently, there is no federal limit on cumulative impact pollution for environmental justice communities that are already overburdened by industrial pollution. 

  • Provides new enforcement tools to counter environmental discrimination by strengthening the Civil Rights Act to allow citizens and communities to legally challenge prohibited discrimination in court, overturning the Alexander v. Sandoval ruling; and

  • Promotes more equitable access to environmental amenities, including through technical application assistance for federal grants, dedicated environmental justice community grants to support research, education, outreach, development, and implementation of projects to improve environmental conditions in environmental justice communities. 

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement in response to a new proposed rule from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would require greater disclosure from public companies when climate change is impacted.

“Just last week, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released an agenda of executive action for the Biden administration to address climate change, increase economic fairness, and much more. We are thrilled to see that today, we have the first movement on those priorities coming from the SEC — firmly in line with its mission to protect investors and create orderly, fair, and efficient markets.

“For years, investors have been asking for information regarding the climate impact of public companies’ activities in their decisions — but there was no requirement that such impact be disclosed. Instead, investors were made to rely on companies volunteering this information or following inconsistent disclosure laws. That is a problem for corporate transparency, for well-informed investment decisions, and for the federal government’s efforts to conduct fair and consistent regulation. Today, the SEC is fulfilling its goals as an institution and delivering for investors who have long needed this information to guide their choices. With the implementation of this new rule, companies will have clear and consistent guidance to follow, and investors can feel confident that firms will provide shareholders with the relevant information they need regarding climate impacts. It’s one more example of how the Biden administration is working to hold corporations accountable and create a fairer economy. We applaud the Commission for this proposed rule, and look forward to seeing it finalized quickly.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ executive action agenda, released Thursday last week, includes the following priority that would be met through the SEC rule:

“Advance corporate transparency through a Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose information about their exposure to climate-related risks, including: the company’s direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions; the total amount of fossil fuel-related assets the company owns or manages; the company’s expected valuation if climate change continues at its current pace or greenhouse gas emissions are restricted to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal; and the company’s risk management strategies related to the physical risks and transition risks posed by the climate crisis.”

The proposed executive actions would lower costs, raise workers’ wages, protect immigrant rights, advance racial equity, and combat the climate crisis

WASHINGTON — Today, the Congressional Progressive Caucus released its agenda for executive action from the Biden administration as part of its ongoing effort to deliver on the President’s agenda.

The slate covers eight policy areas that will activate agencies across the federal government to affect change for all families who call America home: lowering health care costs, canceling federal student loan debt, expanding worker power and raising wages, advancing immigrants’ rights, delivering on the promise of equal justice under law, combatting the climate crisis and reducing fossil fuel dependence, investing in care economy jobs and standards, and regulating for economic and tax fairness. If implemented, the agenda would lower prescription drug costs for 38 million people, relieve the burden of student debt for more than 43 million borrowers, give millions of workers a raise by increasing the overtime eligibility threshold to $83,000, and more.

“Over the past year, Democrats in Congress and the White House have worked to not only recover from the pandemic and Trump years, but to deliver greater equity and economic security for people across the country. Tremendous progress has been made, but that work is far from done,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus

“Congress continues to push for a robust reconciliation package that can pass both chambers, and the Progressive Caucus remains fully committed to delivering as much of the President’s agenda as we can through legislation. But we know working people can’t wait for relief from rising costs — and that Democrats must use all the tools available to provide it, quickly. That’s why today, the Progressive Caucus is releasing this slate of executive actions to address some of the most pressing concerns of the American people, and unfinished business of the Biden agenda. Taken together, these actions will have an immediate and meaningful impact on people’s lives: lowering costs and raising wages for working people to provide urgently needed economic relief, advancing racial and gender equity by investing in communities that have historically been neglected, and delivering on our promises. We look forward to working with the Biden administration to realize these ambitious, but highly achievable, goals.”

The agenda was developed by the 98-member Progressive Caucus, and with input from the progressive grassroots movements who were key to delivering Democrats the majorities in both chambers and the White House.

A summary of the agenda can be found here and the full policy list can be found here.

The CPC executive action agenda has been endorsed by: Be A Hero, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Care in Action, CASA, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Economic and Policy Research, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Communications Workers of America (CWA), Community Change Action, Detention Watch Network, Down Home North Carolina, Family Values @ Work, Green New Deal Network, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Immigration Hub, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indivisible, MoveOn, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Immigrant Justice Center, National Immigration Project (NIPNLG), OneAmerica, Our Revolution, Parents Together Action, People’s Action, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Public Citizen, Social Security Works, Sunrise Movement, Ultraviolet, United We Dream, and Working Families Party.

Progressive movement groups issued the following statements on the agenda:

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus members are doing everything they can to continue to lift up and advance policies that improve people’s lives,” said Lorella Praeli, co-president, Community Change Action. “President Biden has the authority to act on a number of priority areas, including supporting the care economy, expanding worker power, making life-saving medications affordable and ensuring access to healthcare for millions. He can also take action to protect immigrants by reducing detention and closing ICE jails, designating or redesignating Cameroon, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and other countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and finally ending Title 42 and providing access to a fair asylum process at the southern border. Black, brown, and immigrant communities are urging President Biden to take action to bring relief to our families.” 

“It is clear that the CPC and progressive organizations, like Indivisible, share in President Biden’s goals to address systemic economic injustice with common sense popular solutions, and to govern from a position of compassion. That’s been clear from the very start as we worked tirelessly — and continue to work — on passing his agenda,” said Mary Small, national advocacy director, Indivisible. “But it's also apparent that the power is in President Biden's hands. Even as we continue to push for Congress to end its political theater and finally deliver on his legislative agenda, our network is calling for simultaneous and complementary executive action. We've already been engaged in pushing for the administration to provide relief for those with student loan debt and to address the climate crisis. We echo the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s call: President Biden can and must use the full authority of his office to deliver change wherever possible, as soon as possible.”

 "Now is a critical time to start transitioning away from our destructive dependence on fossil fuels,” said Joseph Geevarghese, executive director, Our Revolution. “We support the CPC advocating the Biden administration end all new leasing of federal lands for fossil fuel extraction. Our federal lands produce nearly a quarter of our country’s total carbon dioxide emissions and thus have a terrible impact on our climate."

“These executive actions present an opportunity for President Biden to improve the lives of the people who put him in office so they can thrive, not just survive,” said Megan Essaheb, director of federal affairs, People’s Action. “President Biden needs to use his power to make good on his campaign promises and deliver for the multiracial poor and working class. People’s Action is ready to work alongside the Congressional Progressive Caucus to help him finish the job.” 

"Whether it's tackling the climate crisis, expanding worker power, or canceling student loans, there are a number of actions the Biden Administration can take right now to fulfill its promises to voters,” said Emma Lydon, Managing Director of P Street at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. “At a time when Republicans block any meaningful progress for working families, it's critical the Administration acts swiftly to protect our planet, hold billionaires and corporations accountable, reform our police and immigration systems, and empower workers to succeed."

"If President Biden acts on these orders, we could help millions of hard-working people make ends meet while addressing the threats of climate change and COVID-19,” said Maurice Mitchell, national director, Working Families Party. “Fully tackling these challenges will require Congressional action, but these executive orders are important steps the president can take right now to give working families much-needed relief. We're proud to stand alongside the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which once again is leading the fight to deliver for working people."

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ slate of proposed executive orders represents a positive, forward-looking agenda that centers and enacts the economic, health, and climate policies our communities need and have demanded. Women, and especially women of color, Black women, and indigenous women bear the brunt of legislative inaction in DC, and after turning out in record numbers to elect President Biden and delivering Congress to the Democrats — we want to see the President move forward policy however possible — including with the power of his pen,” explained Sonja Spoo, director of federal campaigns, UltraViolet, a leading national gender justice organization. “From lowering healthcare costs and canceling student loan debt, to strengthening worker protections and ensuring better pay for care workers, this agenda represents strategic actions the Biden Administration can immediately take to improve the lives and wellbeing of women, workers, and families. We are grateful for the advocacy of our champions in Congress under the leadership of Rep. Jayapal for putting together this slate of action — and continuing to fight to deliver for the communities that need and deserve the most support. This is the beginning but not the end of what our communities need. We will continue to advocate for decisive executive and legislative action on abortion rights, democracy reform, and investments in our families and communities."

"In order to secure clean air and safe drinking water, healthy communities, energy independence, and a livable climate for all of us, President Biden can and must use every tool available,” said Melinda Pierce, legislative director, Sierra Club. “Paired with urgently needed congressional action investing in our communities, bold executive action will help slash methane emissions and reduce air pollution that disproportionately causes cancer and respiratory diseases in Black and Latino communities due to decades of environmental injustice. The Biden administration also must leverage the government’s vast purchasing power and rulemaking authority to further expedite the transition from fossil fuel dependence to affordable and secure sources of clean energy."

"President Biden ran on a promise to lower drug prices,” said Alex Lawson, executive director, Social Security Works. “He doesn't need Congress to keep that promise. Biden must immediately lower drug prices with executive action. Every day of delay is a day that more Americans go bankrupt, get sick, and die due to pharma greed." 

“Young people mobilized and risked their lives through a pandemic to deliver Biden the presidency on his promises to stop the climate crisis, cancel student loan debt, and ensure real change for our communities,” said Lauren Maunus, advocacy director, Sunrise Movement. “But two years into his term, and two years further into the climate crisis, we have yet to see the type of bold action we were promised. As we face a historic crossroad in the fight to protect democracy and defeat white supremacy, it’s beyond time for Biden to use the full powers of the presidency to deliver for the people who elected him and address the interlocking crises of our times. If he doesn’t, Biden risks not only alienating his own base, but failing to stop the worst of the climate crisis while he had the chance.” 

Eileen Appelbaum, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, addressed one plank on the CPC slate that aims to protect the health and safety of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities: “Requiring greater transparency about ownership and financing of nursing homes is urgently needed. The heightened role of private equity firms in nursing homes and throughout the U.S. health care system should alarm consumers, policy makers, and really, everyone. Private Equity’s business model of buying out providers and loading them with excessive debt creates instability in nursing homes and throughout the health care system at a time when we most need increased capacity and stability.”

“The Family Values @ Work (FV@W) Network commends the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their push for expedited action on several key policy priorities through executive orders,” said Josephine Kalipeni, executive director of FV@W. “It is beyond time that this nation’s working families see the government take their side and enact critical legislation to improve their quality of life. Congress’ inaction on life-saving measures during this conjunction of crises is inexcusable and now it’s up to President Biden to take action. Investments in climate resilience, immigrant protections, access to healthcare and lower drug prices will give added security to families stretched thin — economically, physically, and mentally — due to the pandemic. And bolstering this nation’s care infrastructure, like paid family and medical leave and universal child care and preK, and establishing living wages for all workers will be a long-overdue step in ensuring that every working family has access to the shared prosperity they’ve earned.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Representative Barbara Lee (CA-13), chair of the Caucus Peace and Security Taskforce, issued the following statement in response to President Biden’s announcement he would ban imports of Russian oil, and the House passage of the Suspending Energy Imports from Russia Act:

“In close consultation with our European allies, the White House has imposed a ban on U.S. imports of Russian oil and gas as a further response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. We urge the administration to link this policy, along with other sanctions measures, to a clear diplomatic process for de-escalating the conflict, and incentivizing a ceasefire that includes a Russian military withdrawal from Ukraine.

“Now more than ever, we can see why it is so essential to double down on our transition to renewable energy and not be reliant on dictators for our energy needs. We applaud the President’s call for investing in renewable energy, not only to keep gas prices down, but also to increase America’s manufacturing power, and deny countries like Russia the means to leverage fossil fuel exports against other countries as it carries out wars of aggression. The House-passed climate agenda — investments in electric vehicles powered by clean energy, tax credits to winterize homes, and more — will save families hundreds of dollars in utility bills, protect working people from unpredictable price swings in a volatile global energy market, and keep us on the path to meet President Biden’s goal of halving American carbon emissions by 2030. We simply cannot drill or burn our way to that goal — and forgoing it in the name of short-term energy independence would cause irrevocable climate damage.

“As the President said in his remarks this week, gas prices will rise. That is why we also  must immediately take executive and legislative action to raise wages and lower other costs for  American families, including prescription drug prices, child care, and elder care.

"In addition, as the President also emphasized, this is ‘no time for profiteering or price gouging.’ Big Oil must not be allowed to shamelessly use a crisis to raise the prices of goods and services most in need. Fortunately, Congress has the tools to respond: we urge our colleagues to quickly move forward an expanded version of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)’s COVID-19 Price Gouging Prevention Act to include gas and energy prices, prohibiting corporations’ ability to squeeze families.

“We can, and must, hold Russia accountable while ensuring that our planet, our communities, and their economic security do not pay the price for Putin’s invasion. This is the moment to take decisive action that protects all three.”