We must never repeat the NAFTA mistake of allowing the desire for a speedy resolution, or the interests of multinational corporations, to supersede careful oversight and thorough debate by the elected representatives of the American people.
Keystone is about more than one pipeline. It is about establishing once and for all whether we have moved on from the disastrous Bush-Cheney view of environmental policy. President Obama's own Environmental Protection Agency has said in no uncertain terms that the pipeline will contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. That should be the end of the conversation. The fact that it isn't – that we're left hanging and hoping – is more than disappointing. It is a very troubling sign for the future.
The recent Memorial Day holiday marked the start of vacation season for many American families. Unfortunately, a favorite pastime for Americans and international tourists - visiting our country's beloved national parks - will feel different this year.
Increasing transparency makes it easier for workers to know if they're underpaid. These two orders give more power to the hard-working people who serve the federal government in contract positions. We applaud the president's leadership and we urge the Senate to build on it by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act tomorrow. The private sector should follow the government's example and close the pay gap for all workers.
Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raśl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), along with Progressive Caucus Members Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Reps. Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Steve Cohen (D-TN), John Conyers (D-MI), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Sam Farr (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Mike Honda (D-CA), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Hank Johnson (D-GA), Barbara Lee (D-CA) Gwen Moore (D-WI), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Mark Takano (D-CA) applauded the passage of an extension of emergency unemployment insurance by the Senate and called on Speaker Boehner to put the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives as soon as possible.
Yesterday's decision, like Citizens United before it, hands more political power to the highest bidders. Instead of strengthening our democracy, Chief Justice Roberts and the conservative wing of the Court continue to chip away its foundations. Our democracy doesn't work when a small minority makes it impossible for the majority to participate, but that's what McCutcheon and Citizens United have done.
Next week, Members of Congress will choose between a budget that creates 8.8 million jobs and a budget that cuts 3 million jobs. We don't think it's a tough decision.
CPC In the News
To hear the rhetoric these days, you'd think faster job creation was impossible–we're stuck with structural unemployment, depressed labor force participation, and weak wage growth. You'd think growth deficits and debt were inevitable unless we're willing to sacrifice our social insurance programs and our safety net. You'd think investment in opportunity and mobility targeted at the least advantaged among us had to be sacrificed in order to achieve fiscal balance. You'd think we have to disinvest in our children today in order to save them from inheriting "mountains of debt" tomorrow. Nope.
There is another way forward, one that has received far too little attention in discussions of budgetary options. Last month the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) released its "Better Off Budget," a sort of mirror image of the Ryan plan that invests in new infrastructure, protects the social safety net, closes corporate tax loopholes, and reduces Pentagon spending by $255 billion over the next decade. Most importantly, it would end war funding -- known in Washington-ese as spending for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) -- in the FY 2015 budget, providing enough money to wind down the Afghan war, but no more. It would not allow OCO funding to serve as an ongoing slush fund for the Pentagon.
The best way to respond to potential output lost to economic slack is to rebuild it through a period of rapid economic growth–and the CPC budget not only provides for this period of rapid growth, it does it through public investments that are likely to be extraordinarily productive given the long period of comparative neglect of key infrastructure.
Our national security would be stronger with international standards regarding the use of drones. No country has a monopoly on armed drone technology. As of 2011, 76 nations had drone technology of some kind. It is clearly in our interest to help establish the norms and rules that will govern the use of drones by all nations in the future.
House Republicans have proven once again that they can't be trusted when it comes to Medicare. Instead of taking this opportunity to pass a bipartisan agreement that finally fixes Medicare physician payments, Republicans decided to attack the Affordable Care Act and leave seniors wondering if this problem will ever be solved.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus' Better Off Budget reverses the damage their austerity agenda has inflicted on hard-working families and restores our economy to its full potential by creating 8.8 million jobs by 2017.