WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement on President Biden’s executive order canceling of $20,000 of federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 of federal debt for other borrowers, reaching a total of 43 million borrowers:

“President Biden’s action today on student debt cancellation that will bring relief to 43 million people is a massive step in the right direction. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has made this one of our top priorities for executive action and we have been doggedly pursuing this, including a detailed discussion with the President on the need for debt cancellation on March 30 of this year, where the President indicated his support for some action directly to CPC Executive Board members.

“While not as high as we called for, this crucial step from the President goes beyond his campaign promise and responds to calls from the CPC, the Black Caucus, the Hispanic Caucus, and millions across the country to address the crippling issue of student debt, now totaling approximately $1.7 trillion — more than even credit card debt in this country. With the President’s action, approximately 20 million people will see their loans fully canceled, and an additional 23 million will see relief with a portion of their debt canceled. In addition, the President’s order will cap interest for current and future loans at 5 percent of income, half of the current rate. This means that those who still have a balance on their loan after today’s forgiveness will be able to lower their average annual payment by more than $1,000 for current and future borrowers. 

“Student debt cancellation is a racial justice issue. 90 percent of Black students and 72 percent of Latino students have loans, they borrow at higher rates to attend college, and are more likely than white borrowers to owe more debt 12 years later. By canceling $10,000 of debt and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients, the administration is making real progress toward closing the racial wealth gap.

“Canceling student loan debt is also essential to lowering monthly costs for Americans across the country who are struggling to keep up with rising prices of housing and food. This action demonstrates the President’s commitment to using executive powers to fight for working families and increase opportunity for all. The impact of this cannot be understated: 97 percent of people with federal student loans are low- and middle-income, and 40 percent of them never were able to finish their degree. These loans are holding people back from buying homes, investing in their communities, and starting businesses. They are following millions of seniors into retirement and weighing down our economy.  

“The President has already canceled $10 billion in student debt through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and today’s order also seeks to expand that successful program further.  We are also pleased to see the pause on payments extended through December 2022, but we encourage the White House to ensure that repayments do not begin until debt cancellation can reach the people who need it. Under President Biden, no one has had to make a payment on a federal student loan. If millions have to restart these payments before the forgiveness reaches them, it would only increase the anxiety and hardship Americans are feeling amid other rising costs.  

“We applaud the President for this critically necessary and unprecedented action that lifts up working people. We look forward to working closely with the White House to ensure quick relief to 43 million people through this Executive Order.”

Progressive Caucus members have led the congressional advocacy to cancel student debt, including naming it as one of the key priorities in the CPC’s Executive Action Agenda

  • CPC members Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43), Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12), andCPC Whip Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05) introduced a resolution urging President Biden to cancel $50,000 in student loan debt per borrower.

  • In March, Rep. Jayapal, CPC Whip Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Rep. Pressley, and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), (D-Calif.), and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), led nearly 100 colleagues in calling on President Biden urging the administration to extend the pause on federally-held student loan payments until at least the end of the year and to provide meaningful student debt cancellation.

  • On the 30th of same month, Rep. Jayapal, CPC Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45), Rep. Omar, and CPC Chairs Emeritus Mark Pocan (WI-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), met with President Biden to discuss the CPC’s executive action agenda, including pressing for debt cancellation.

  • This followed additional advocacy from Rep. Jayapal, CPC Deputy Whip Rep. Mark Takano (CA-41) and Senators Senator Warren, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), urging Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, urging the Department of Education to swiftly discharge the loans of borrowers defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges and universities. 

  • Reps. Jayapal, Pressley, Omar, Porter, Sens. Warren and Schumer called in a letter to the Department of Education calling for it to release the memo outlining the Biden administration’s legal authority to cancel federal student loan debt and immediately cancel up to $50,000 of debt for Federal student loan borrowers. 

  • Rep. Pressley, and Sens. Warren and Schumer released new analysis showing that resuming student loan payments would strip $85 billion every year from the economy.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement upon House passage of the Inflation Reduction Act:

“Today, Democrats are keeping our promises to the American people and advancing key progressive priorities. After more than a year of negotiations and even longer campaigning on these issues, the Democratic majority in Congress has [unanimously] sent a sweeping bill to tackle climate action, tax fairness, and lower drug costs to the President’s desk. Like their Senate colleagues, not a single House Republican voted for this legislation, despite its popularity with the majority of Americans across the political spectrum.

“I’m incredibly proud of the role our Progressive Caucus played in getting us here. From the very beginning, progressives have fought tooth and nail to advance the full scope of the President’s economic agenda. We would not be passing this bill today had the CPC not insisted we move that agenda from a promise to legislative text that passed the House. Together with movements, activists, and volunteers from across the country, we insisted this Democratic majority deliver. In its major provisions, the Inflation Reduction Act draws on the House-passed Build Back Better Act. Essentially, it also achieves our shared goals in a progressive way: lowering costs of necessities, creating good jobs, and attacking climate change, while raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. 

“The Inflation Reduction Act contains a hugely important set of investments to lower prescription drug costs, extend health coverage for millions, act on climate change while creating millions of jobs, and finally start to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes. This bill will put the United States on a path to reduce our carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030, investing in renewable energy technologies that will drive down energy costs and accelerate our transition away from fossil fuels. It will cap seniors’ annual drug costs and their cost of insulin, and institute a 15 percent minimum tax on large corporations. 

“We will remain vigilant as we begin the process of implementing this bill to ensure the funding is delivered in an equitable way — particularly when it comes to investing in frontline communities and advancing environmental justice. We also look forward to ensuring that upcoming discussions around permitting reform protect communities and further the underlying goals of this bill. Progressives will not stop fighting for the pieces left on the cutting room floor: Medicare expansion, home care, Pre-K, universal child care, housing, workers’ rights, immigration justice, and for affordable insulin for all, after Republicans outrageously stripped it from the bill. With our continued commitment, engaged movements across the country, and two more Democrats in the Senate, we can ensure the full agenda the American people voted for in 2020 is enacted into law.”

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement upon Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act:

“After more than a year of negotiations, we are thrilled the Senate has finally passed a reconciliation bill with every Democrat voting in support. The Inflation Reduction Act includes many pieces of the House-passed Build Back Better Act to make the largest-ever federal investment in tackling the existential threat of climate change, lower healthcare costs, and begin to ensure that corporations pay their fair share.  

“The Congressional Progressive Caucus was essential to ensuring that the President’s economic agenda was drafted and passed in the House. While we are heartbroken to see several essential pieces on the care economy, housing, and immigration left on the cutting room floor — as well as a successful Republican effort to remove insulin price caps for those with private insurance — we know that the Inflation Reduction Act takes real steps forward on key progressive priorities.

“The bill will cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030 through rapidly accelerating the adoption of renewable-energy technologies such as electric vehicles, heat pumps, and solar panels, saving the average family $1,025 a year in energy costs and creating millions of good jobs. It will immediately extend affordable health insurance coverage to 13 million people, cap seniors’ yearly drug costs at $2,000 per year, and cap insulin at $35 per month for seniors on Medicare. It takes on Big Pharma by, for the first time ever, allowing Medicare to begin negotiating prices for a small group of drugs that expands over time. The bill also imposes a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations, taxes corporations that inflate their share values through stock buybacks, and invests in the IRS to go after large corporations that evade taxes. As President Biden has promised, the bill won’t raise taxes on any family making less than $400,000 per year. 

“Let us be clear: we do not support the bill’s new provisions that expand fossil fuel leasing. However, independent analyses show that their limited impact will be far outweighed by the carbon emissions cuts this legislation accomplishes. 

“Progressives in Congress and in the movement held the line and demanded action on these priorities, ensuring that we got to where we are today.  Together with President Biden, progressives across the country and in Congress should take credit for the enormous progress made in this bill toward our movements’ long standing work: pushing the federal government to act on the climate crisis, taking on the greed of Big Pharma, lowering health care costs, and reining in the power of the wealthy and large corporations — passed in the Senate without a single Republican vote. We look forward to voting for this bill as it comes to the House and sending it to the President’s desk immediately.”

WASHINGTON — More than 75 members of Congress joined the Congressional Progressive, Black, Hispanic, and Asian Pacific American Caucuses to call on congressional leadership to include people without health insurance in any legislation that limits out-of-pocket costs for insulin. 

In their letter to Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, House Minority Leader McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader McConnell, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36), and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Judy Chu (CA-27) were joined by 73 colleagues to urge that a proposed $35 cap on a monthly supply of insulin be extended to those without health insurance. They write, “failure to do so will deepen health disparities and increase long-term healthcare costs.”

The lawmakers emphasize that, with the price of insulin having risen more than 1,000 percent since 1999, affordability is a crisis for the 37.3 million Americans who have diabetes — but it is especially dire for those without coverage. Two million people with diabetes don’t have insurance, and more than one in four of those who need insulin have experienced a lapse in insurance coverage for at least 30 days in the past three years. Uninsured people with diabetes often pay over $1,000 per month for their insulin, and are roughly twice as likely to report that they cannot afford their diabetes medications compared to those who have insurance. 

As the lawmakers write, the consequences are quite literally life and death:  “Whether without insurance for an extended period of time or for 30 days due to life events such as job transitions or marriage, uninsured people with diabetes often pay over $1,000 per month for their insulin…Sadly, there are many tragic accounts of uninsured people with diabetes who could not afford their insulin and died as a result of insulin rationing.” 

Excluding uninsured people from a cap on out-of-pocket costs would also worsen racial disparities in our healthcare system. Black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans have both higher rates of diabetes than white Americans, and are less likely to have health insurance. As the letter notes, “A 2021 study in the Lancet demonstrated that within the diabetes community, 2.2 percent of white people were uninsured compared to 6.4 percent of Black people, 32.6 percent of Hispanic people, and 15.3 percent of Native American and Alaskan Native people.” Extending the co-pay gap would also have significant savings for the healthcare system long term, since “patients with gaps in their health insurance in the past three years were five times more likely to end up in an emergency room or hospital while uninsured than while they were insured.”

The lawmakers make clear that a universal cap on insulin costs could be accomplished either by using existing Medicaid payment structures to reimburse pharmacies or by establishing a fund in HHS that reimburses insurance providers and pharmacies. They conclude, “inclusion of uninsured people in insulin pricing legislation will help prevent new racial health disparities resulting from this legislation, curb future deaths of Americans due to insulin rationing, and decrease the likelihood of diabetes complications.”

The letter can be found online here.

The signatories to this letter include: Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36), Judy Chu (CA-27), Nannette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Alma S. Adams, Ph.D (NC-12), Colin Allred (TX-32), Karen Bass (CA-37), Donald S. Beyer, Jr. (VA-08), Sandford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D (NY-16), Anthony G. Brown (MD) (MD-04), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Cori Bush (MO-01), Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Angie Craig (MN-02), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Peter A. DeFazio (OR-04), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Jesús G. "Chuy" García (IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Al Green (TX-9), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Jahana Hayes (CT-05), Steven Horsford (NV-04), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX) (TX-30), Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), Kai Kahele (HI-02), William R. Keating (MA-09), Barbara Lee (CA) (), Andy Levin (MI) (MI-09), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Carolyn B. Maloney (Carolyn) (NY-12), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), Grace Meng (NY-06), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Marie Newman (IL-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-at large), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Chris Pappas (NH-01), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Mark Pocan (WI-02), Katie Porter (CA-45), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jamie Raskin (MD-08), Michael F. Q. San Nicolas (GU-01), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Terri A. Sewell (AL-07), Adam Smith (WA-09), Haley Stevens (MI-11), Mark Takano (CA-41), Mike Thompson (CA-05), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), Ritchie Torres (NY) (NY-15), Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Peter Welch (VT-at large), Susan Wild (PA-07), Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24).

WASHINGTON — Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and David Cicilline (RI-01), vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statements after the House of Representatives passed the CPC-endorsed Assault Weapons Ban. This marked the first time since 1994 that a federal ban on assault weapons has passed the House. 

“Assault weapons are weapons of war. Their only purpose is to destroy. We have seen more than enough mass shootings — from Uvalde and Buffalo, to Tulsa, Las Vegas, and Sandy Hook — to know that they do not belong on our streets,” said Rep. Jayapal. “Today’s passage of Congressman Cicilline’s Assault Weapons Ban shows the continued commitment from House Democrats to saving lives from needless gun violence and protecting people’s right to exist safely and peacefully in our country. I thank Congressman Cicilline for his tremendous leadership on this bill and in the fight against gun violence. Now, the Senate must heed President Biden’s call to get this vital legislation to his desk, and take up this bill without delay.”

“There are more guns than people in this country — more mass shootings than days in the year. This is a uniquely American problem. In 2022 alone, more than 160 people have been killed by an assault weapon and more than 245 have been injured. This bill will not stop all gun violence, but it will effectively decrease it,” said Rep. Cicilline. “Researchers estimate that if we still had a federal assault weapons ban, we would see 70 percent fewer mass shooting deaths. And while nothing we can do can bring back 70 percent of these victims to their family and friends, we can honor their memories with action and prevent more carnage moving forward. I urge the Senate to pass this bill immediately and send it to the President for his signature.”

The last federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004. Since then, an assault weapon was used in eight out of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in America

The Assault Weapons Ban passed today would prohibit the sale, manufacture, transfer, and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement upon the announcement that the House of Representatives would hold a standalone vote on the Assault Weapons Ban:

“We applaud Speaker Pelosi and House Leadership for advancing the Assault Weapons Ban for a standalone vote today. This is a lifesaving bill, crucial to keeping our communities safe and preventing the next Uvalde, Pulse, Sandy Hook, Parkland, and too many other mass shootings in which assault weapons were used to devastate families across this country. This Progressive Caucus-endorsed bill, passed out of the Judiciary Committee, has the support of the majority of Americans and more than 200 cosponsors.

“We are also pleased that this bill, which reflects the consensus of the Democratic Caucus, will move expeditiously while a separate legislative package on public safety continues to be developed and revised. The Progressive Caucus will continue to work with our colleagues to help advance policies that unite all Democrats and provide our communities with the evidence-based tools, strategies, and resources they need — particularly essential legislation from CPC Deputy Chair Katie Porter (CA-45) and CPC member Steven Horsford (NV-04). As that process continues, the Assault Weapons Ban must pass without delay. We urge our House colleagues to join us in swiftly passing this legislation today so we can send it to the Senate and save lives. We urgently need to get these weapons of war off our streets."

WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement after a meeting the House of Representatives passed the CHIPS and Science Act: 

“Today, Progressives voted to pass the CHIPS and Science Act thanks to Secretary Raimondo’s partnership and transparency with our caucus throughout the legislative process. Over the past week, I engaged in deep and frequent negotiations and conversations with the Secretary to work to address our members’ concerns that this bill would expand domestic manufacturing capacity — and not be utilized as a subsidy for companies to engage in stock buybacks and dividend payouts to enrich wealthy shareholders and executives. As the Secretary made clear this week, ‘This CHIPS money is not a subsidy for companies to make them more profitable or so they have more cash for stock buybacks or to pad their bottom line or to invest in other countries.’

“In addition to the funding for semiconductors, which power everything from innovative technology to our phones and household appliances, this bill will also double the funding for the National Science Foundation, an investment that will make a tremendous difference for universities and research institutions across the country. I would like to thank the Secretary for her principled engagement with me to resolve our members' concerns, and to ensure the strongest implementation of this bill. With Secretary Raimondo’s commitment and continued partnership, we look forward to working together throughout the implementation process.”

As a result of these negotiations, the Commerce Department issued language clarifying the taxpayer protections it plans to institute as part of its implementation of the bill. Those protections include "Prioritizing selecting companies that are committed to investments in manufacturing, innovation, and workers...In selecting projects, the Department will give preference in awards to companies who commit to make future investments that grow the domestic semiconductor industry (such as through research and development, workforce training, or manufacturing investments) and not engage in stock buybacks."

The guidance continues, emphasizing that the Department will be "Strictly monitoring the use of funds to ensure companies are delivering on their promises and not abusing taxpayer resources. The CHIPS incentives are not a subsidy for companies to make them more profitable or enable them to have more cash for stock buybacks or to pad their bottom line...This includes strictly enforcing many important guardrails in the CHIPS Act—which cover appropriate uses of government funds, project delays, IP transactions that raise national security concerns, and investments in foreign countries of concern...The Department will not hesitate to clawback funds or pursue other remedies if companies misuse taxpayer dollars."

The language makes clear that "the Department will seek to make awards to applicants who demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to this vision."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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