Sun. May 19th, 2024

House progressives release an agenda for 2025, with ideas for Biden to excite the base

By 37ci3 Apr18,2024

WASHINGTON — Progressive members of the top House of Representatives will unveil a broad agenda Thursday to set a marker for the policies they will advance next year if Democrats win. 2024 electionfrom a higher minimum wage and stronger antitrust laws to new federal benefits for seniors and single parents on Social Security.

The Agenda of the Congressional Progressive Caucusfirst shared with NBC News, doubles as a political advisory plan on how President Joe Biden believes he can win over progressive and young voters. was not encouraged by his bid for re-election before a rematch with former President Donald Trump.

“If the progressive base isn’t excited and passionate — and they don’t feel like we’re trying to win their votes and that they’re important — then I think the horrible idea of ​​a second Donald Trump presidency could become a reality,” he said. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chairwoman of the progressive group, in an interview. “We cannot allow this. We will not do it.”

The seven-point agenda focuses more on the economy, lighter on cultural issues, and echoes Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal. It begins with provisions to raise the federal minimum wage to $17 an hour 2028 and pass PRO Act other provisions such as strengthening unions as well as guaranteeing overtime pay. This includes policies to reduce the cost of living – by capping childcare costs at 7% of income for all families; expanding Social Security benefits by closing tax loopholes; adding dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare; and adopting a range of policies to protect tenants and make housing more affordable.

“It’s really about increasing the workforce and increasing wages and reducing costs for poor people, middle-class Americans and working people in this country,” Jayapal said.

The other five planks are investments in education, including universal preschool and kindergarten; aggressive clean energy standards to combat climate change; “making our democracy work” with federal voting rights mandates, Washington, DC, statehood, and eliminating the filibuster in the Senate; take over corporations and monopolies; and “advancement of justice” by setting abortion rights, pro-LGBTQ measures, pro-immigration policies, and national policing standards.

Those who are not included in the diary are also noticed. “Medicare for all” is the left’s rallying cry for years. There are foreign policy issues like Israel and Gaza led to ardent pro-Palestinian protests It is also kept outside the country. Jayapal said that’s partly because the caucus decided to make it a domestic-only plan and partly out of pragmatism — to focus more on issues that unite Democrats and away from those that divide them.

“The way we came up with this agenda is to say that we’re going to bring up this agenda that’s populist and possible … and it’s affected a lot of people,” he said. “We haven’t taken a position in the progressive caucus specifically on Israel and Gaza, and that’s not the case here.”

A majority of 103 deputies in the caucus entered the agenda and 98% supported it.

Unless Democrats take control of the White House, the House, and the Senate this fall, much of the agenda will have no real chance of passage. And Jayapal stressed that in addition, Democrats will need 50 senators willing to pierce the 60-vote filibuster rule to take on likely GOP opposition. That would be a daunting task, as Democrats face a daunting map in the 2024 Senate races, defending a large number of seats in purple and red states.

“We assume this is an agenda for a Democratic president with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House,” Jayapal said.

Progressives have had a rough two years since Republicans took control of the House and shifted the agenda to the right. Biden broke away from the left on issues like tougher asylum laws and crime. Some prominent Democrats, such as Sen. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, have avoided the “progressive” label because conservatives have succeeded in associating it with the left’s most divisive ideas. Gallego, who is a candidate for the Senate in a purple state, he quietly left his progressive couscous. The caucus recently missed an opportunity to elect one of its members to a rare open Senate seat in deep blue California, where two are running and to lose.

Still, Jayapal said he believes the progressive caucus will be well-positioned to advance ideas from his new agenda if Democrats win the 2024 election, as with the inaugural proposal that shaped Biden’s two signature pieces of legislation, the American Rescue Plan. and the Inflation Reduction Act. He tried to make changes to make the caucus more unified. It recently raised its membership fees.

Some of the provisions on the new agenda represent items from Biden’s “Rebuild Better” agenda that were left on the cutting room floor due to the lack of a majority. Others, including broad liberalization of the immigration system through citizenship for people in the United States illegally, could cause intra-party disagreements. Other pieces echo popular causes that progressives want Biden to get behind, like expanding Social Security and legalizing marijuana.

“We need to excite our base. We need to show them what the way forward is – not just saying, “This is the most important election of your life, and we expect you to vote.” I don’t think it’s going to put people off. And so I think this agenda really speaks to the needs of poor people, working people, progressive people across the country, they want us to reach out to them,” Jayapal said. “We’re not seeing the speed we want to see. A difficult election awaits us. … We know we will have to bring this progressive coalition together. “I think that’s what allows us to say, ‘Look, this is what we’re fighting for.'”

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By 37ci3

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