Commentary: WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Congressional Progressive Caucus, led by Co-Chairs Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) along with other Members of the CPC, released the annual People’s Budget today. The Congressional Progressive Caucus’ People’s Budget: A Roadmap for the Resistance reinvests in American families, prioritizing funding for education, health care, jobs, clean air, and water. The People’s Budget puts political and economic power back in the hands of the people.
The Executive Summary of The People’s Budget: A Roadmap for the Resistance can be found here. The full text can be found here. A list of organizations supporting this year’s budget can be found here. The Economic Policy Institute released an analysis of The People’s Budget, which can be found here.
Members of the CPC including Rep. Pocan, Rep. Ellison, Rep. Grijalva, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Rep. André Carson (D-IL), and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) made the following statements about the Fiscal Year 2018 The People’s Budget:
“It’s one thing to oppose President Trump and expose his broken promises to workers, but it’s also important to lay out a positive path forward,” said Rep. Pocan. “The Congressional Progressive Caucus’s budget is a plan to actually help working Americans who have felt left behind by an economy rigged against them. Our budget is a roadmap for the resistance, investing in the progressive priorities and economic, kitchen table issues that matter to real people: infrastructure to create jobs; education to help our kids reach their full potential; and access to affordable health care.”
“As the Trump Administration attempts to gut the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, the Labor Department, and countless other essential services, the Progressive Caucus is providing an alternative vision – one that will help working families,” Rep. Ellison said. “The People’s Budget creates jobs by spending $2 trillion on infrastructure, makes debt free college a reality, ensures equal pay for equal work, expands Social Security, and fights to reverse climate change by investing in clean energy. It also helps millions of American families by funding universal childcare. Right now, full-time childcare for a 4-year-old is more expensive than in-state public college tuition in 23 states. With the People’s Budget, we will invest $1 trillion in high quality childcare and make sure childcare workers earn a living wage.
“When we invest in the American people, they have enough for retirement, can pay for their kids to go to college, and can own a home. That means our economy will grow and the next generation will be better off. That’s what the People’s Budget offers, and it’s what our country needs.”
“The People’s Budget is a commitment to our communities and the progressive values we fight for,” Rep. Grijalva said. “It’s a long overdue, smart and necessary investment in our infrastructure, our overcrowded and underfunded classrooms, and jobs practical for a 21st century economy. Unlike the Republican alternatives that prioritize corporations and the wealthy, the People’s Budget focuses on working families and lifting them up from socio-economic inequalities. It calls for tax reform so corporations can’t continue exploiting working people here and abroad. It signals a robust $2 trillion dollar response to upgrading our infrastructure to ensure our children have safe schools, clean air and water. And it ensures that working class Americans are provided with the opportunities and tools they need in order to get ahead. The People’s Budget is a stark contrast to the corporate-influenced Republican budgets that place profits over people.”
“The People’s Budget is a forward-looking blueprint for rebuilding our country, putting money back in the pockets of families, and reigning in our unchecked military spending,” Rep. Lee said. “For years, Republicans in Congress have given massive handouts to Wall Street executives and defense contractors, while working families struggle to pay the bills. The People’s Budget takes back the power from special interests and invests in good-paying jobs, long-overdue infrastructure improvements, education from pre-K to debt-free college, and pathways out of poverty. In stark contrast to President Trump’s cruel poverty budget, our progressive proposal is a plan for resistance and a roadmap to a safer, healthier and more prosperous America for all.”
"Budgets reflect priorities, and the contrast between the People’s Budget and President Trump’s priorities could not be clearer," said Rep. Schakowsky. "While the President gives massive tax cuts to millionaires, billionaires and large corporations, our budget asks the wealthiest Americans and most profitable companies to contribute their fair share to invest in the future of middle-class families and those who aspire to be middle class. While Trumpcare would rip coverage away from millions of people and increase out-of-pocket costs, our budget calls for Medicare to negotiate drug prices and drive health care costs down. This is not just an alternative budget; it’s a roadmap for the resistance."
"The budget released today by the Congressional Progressive Caucus would set the stage for broad-based economic growth by investing in working families, expanding access to affordable health care and good-paying jobs, and restoring fairness to our tax code,” Rep. Takano said. “While the president and his party focus on building a monument to ignorance along our Southern border, Democrats are focused on fixing crumbling bridges, repairing our roads, and building a modern broadband network that provides economic opportunity to Americans across the country.”
"The People’s Budget is a progressive vision for this country that emphasizes economic mobility, strengthens our communities, and reflects the values that make America great. I am proud to stand behind this document and I look forward to the day when it can be put into action."
“I am proud to join my CPC colleagues to unveil the People’s Budget as a practical, progressive vision that better reflects the priorities of our nation and puts working families first,” Rep. Espaillat said. “Our budget plan takes steps to deny funding for the divisive border wall, and instead strengthens healthcare for all Americans by keeping health protections afforded by the ACA, implements comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship, ensures funding for affordable housing, and guarantees educational opportunities for students by providing access to early education and educational attainment for all.”
“The People’s Budget is a true reflection of our values. I’m proud that our proposal prioritizes public investments in infrastructure, quality and affordable healthcare, abundant resources for our public schools, and protections for the environment - each of which will directly contribute to economic prosperity for all Americans in generations to come.”
“A budget is, above all, an ethical document. The Trump budget would rip gaping holes in the fabric of social life in America while driving the militarism of the Bannon wing of the Trump White House,” Rep. Raskin said. “The Progressive Caucus budget is the answer to the moral chaos of the administration. It reflects a serious commitment to the needs and priorities of the American people.”
“At a time when Republicans are working to give massive tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, the People’s Budget presents a viable path forward to improving the lives of everyday Americans,” Rep. Clarke said. “This comprehensive proposal would provide working families with quality education, affordable healthcare, humane immigration policies, and a sustainable defense strategy while making sure that the rich pay their fair share. I applaud my colleagues in the Congressional Progressive Caucus for creating such a well-thought-out proposal and look forward to working with them to advocate for its adoption in the 115th Congress.”
“The People’s Budget is a true reflection of our values. I’m proud that our proposal prioritizes public investments in infrastructure, quality and affordable healthcare, abundant resources for our public schools, and protections for the environment - each of which will directly contribute to economic prosperity for all Americans in generations to come," Rep. Watson Coleman said.
"In contrast, President Trump’s disgraceful budget and unworkable tax proposals are merely a handout to the wealthy at the expense of hardworking families and vulnerable communities. Our nation cannot succumb to such dangerous and divisive ideals. As bad as it may be, the Trump budget did not develop in a vacuum; it ultimately reflects a failed and untenable conservative vision for the nation that has only succeeded in widening economic inequality, stagnating wages for American workers, and cutting social safety net programs. The refusal from this Administration and Republicans in Congress to stand up for the very people they swore to represent is a green light for what can only be characterized as attacks on what truly makes America great.
“Americans deserve a budget that promotes their values- not a slash and burn approach to governing based on ideological extremism,” said Rep. Carson. “The People’s Budget focuses on the needs of hardworking Americans, investing in infrastructure, targeting wage growth, guaranteeing civil rights, and supporting education to give every American family a fair shot. The People’s Budget is a good alternative that achieves these priorities for all Americans.”
“The priorities and policies expressed in The People’s Budget are values we can truly all be proud of,” Rep. Chu said. “More, they are policies that will bring real benefits to our whole country, not just those at the top. As opposed to Trump’s cruel budget which abandons Americans, our budget helps people succeed at every stage in their life, from pre-natal care to retirement. It also includes much needed comprehensive immigration reform which economics have said will raise wages and grow our economy. This isn’t just the morally right thing to do, it’s the economically right thing to do. I’m proud to be supporting this budget and thank Reps. Ellison, Grijalva, and Pocan for their work on it.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 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 promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.