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Press Release

Congressional Progressive Caucus on the Path Forward to Building Back Better

WASHINGTON -

Following a meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Executive Board, Chair Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) issued the following statement outlining the Caucus’ approach to moving the Build Back Better agenda forward:

“Nearly a year ago, President Biden laid out a vision for America: one aimed at addressing crises facing the American people that were both created and exposed by the COVID pandemic. These included but were not limited to: a lack of access to health care, inequalities in the care economy, urgency in housing needs, the rapidly escalating climate crisis, the hypocrisy of relying on immigrant essential workers while denying them the dignity of citizenship, and the precarity of working and poor families’ lack of economic security.

“That vision is just as urgently needed today as it was when he introduced it, if not more so. The Omicron variant now accounts for 73 percent of the known new COVID cases in the U.S., and cases are doubling every 1.5 to 3 days. This surge is only compounding the immense pain and strain Americans were already feeling: workers who have not been able to return to their full hours, people with disabilities and long COVID sufferers who have been neglected by the medical establishment, parents trying to work without any child care support, seniors once again faced with the untenable choice between risking COVID exposure in congregate care settings or isolating at home without support. Meanwhile, people are still living in poverty, the eviction moratorium has expired, and without immediate action from the administration, the student loan pause is due to end on February 1.

“We were sent to Congress to govern, not watch our communities fall deeper into crisis. We must use every tool at our disposal, and we must do so now.

“Today, the elected leadership of the Congressional Progressive Caucus is calling on the President and all Democrats who believe in the need to Build Back Better for climate, care, immigrants, and those seeking economic dignity and opportunity to come together and deliver for the American people. That means a whole-of-government approach. In Congress, we will continue to prioritize a legislative path for Build Back Better, focused on taking the current text of the legislation passed by the House, keeping as much of it as possible — but no less than the elements contained in the framework negotiated by the President and committed to by Senators Manchin and Sinema some months ago. We have worked too long and too hard to give up now, and we have no intention of doing so.

“In the meantime, the White House must continue to act on a parallel track by using the President’s incredibly powerful tool of executive action. The legislative approach, while essential, has no certainty of timing or results — and we simply cannot wait to deliver tangible relief to people that they can feel and will make a difference in their lives and livelihoods. We also believe that executive action will make it clear to those who oppose the legislative path, and continue to put hurdles in its way, that the White House and Democrats will ensure we deliver relief for people now. The Progressive Caucus will soon release a comprehensive vision for this plan of action, which will include immediate focus on actions that lower costs, protect the health of every family who calls America home in this time of surging Omicron cases, and show the world that America is serious about our leadership on climate action.

“A whole-of-government approach to the crises facing the American people must also include taking federal action to protect the right to vote. Just as we cannot wait for a few Senators to deliver economic relief to our communities, we cannot wait for them to deliver relief from the rampant voter suppression and denial of the people’s constitutional rights. We are encouraged by the dogged determination of our Senate colleagues to achieve this top priority, and Progressives in the House remain committed to seeing it through.

“Progressive Caucus members stand ready to work with our colleagues in both chambers of Congress and our partners at the White House to get these priorities done. Build Back Better and voting rights are more than just legislation — they are an agenda, a vision, and a mandate. We will not rest until we have delivered for the American people.”

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties.

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