List of other Progressive Legislation supported by PDA and introduced at the CPCC Movement Table
By Alan Minsky, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America
Special Guest Representative Mark Takano
Congressman Mark Takano joined the call to discuss the Equality Act, a bill being considered by the House this week to give members of the LGBTQ community greater legal protections against discrimination. He also spoke about the COVID relief package and progressive priorities included in the House version of the bill, including survival checks, extending unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and housing relief, among others.
Special Guest Representative Marie Newman
Congresswoman Marie Newman joined the call to discuss her work as Vice Chair of Communications for the Congressional Progressive Caucus as well as the prospect of an infrastructure package being included in the next COVID relief bill and priorities she would like to see as part of that legislation including promoting green jobs and materials and ensuring passengers can once again travel safely on public transit.
State of Play
Matt Hayward, Congressional Progressive Caucus Center (CPCC)
Matt Hayward from the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center (CPCC) joined the call yesterday to provide updates on the state of play of the COVID-19 relief package.
On Monday, the House Budget Committee reported out their combined package putting together bills that were marked up by 9 committees over the last couple weeks. On Tuesday, the Rules Committee posted a Manager’s Amendment with technical changes to the bill alongside provisions from 3 additional committees (Natural Resources, Science, Space, and Technology and Foreign Affairs).
The American Rescue Plan Act is expected to pass the House by the end of the week. The House Rules Committee will meet on Friday morning to set the rules for debate during the floor consideration of the COVID package. Debate is expected to begin Friday afternoon/evening.
There are not many anticipated House changes, but the question remains how the Senate Parliamentarian will rule on whether the minimum wage can meet the Byrd Rule. A decision is expected soon. If the Parliamentarian rules against the minimum wage, the House doesn’t necessarily have to remove the provision, but it would face a challenge from Republicans and require 60 votes to stay in (assuming the Presiding Officer follows the Parliamentarian’s decision).
Matt explained that regardless of the Parliamentarian’s decisions, the American Rescue Plan faces challenges in the Senate where a limitless number of amendments can be considered. Next week will require defensive work but also presents an opportunity to extend the duration of unemployment insurance provisions.
After the Senate passes its version, Congress must reconcile differences between the House and Senate before sending the final bill to President Biden’s desk. This grueling process is expected to be wrapped up before March 14th, the date when unemployment insurance provisions expire.
- For an explanation of the reconciliation instructions process, view Reconciliation Instructions in the FY 2021 Budget Resolution explainer by the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center.
- For an explanation of the budget reconciliation process, read Overcoming the Filibuster Through Budget Reconciliation explainer by the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center.
Brencia Barry, PL + US
Brencia Barry from PL+US joined the call to provide updates on campaigns for paid leave.
PL+US is building momentum for comprehensive paid leave both in the recovery package and for permanent policies that would protect all workers. PL+US is working with Congressional offices and elevating the voices of workers and those in the business community to show that quality paid leave is critical.
PL+US is willing to share the following resources or partner with you in any way to amplify the issue so please reach out to Brencia@paidleave.us for more information:
- Stories of impacted workers and business owners
- 1 pagers on the impacts of paid leave on communities of colors and low wage workers
- Social media toolkits on paid leave
- Assistance with talking points
Support the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act
Please reach out to Michelle McGrain (email@example.com) for more information.
Adam Smith, End Citizens United
Adam Smith from End Citizens United joined the call to share updates on the HR 1, the For the People Act.
HR 1 is a comprehensive suite of reforms that strengthen American democracy by addressing money in politics, ethics, voter suppression. HR 1 sets common standards for early voting, vote by mail, online voter registration, includes the John Lewis Voter Empowerment Act, and creates a small donor matching program to increase the ability of folks without extensive financial resources to run for elected office. The For the People Act has been cosponsored by every House Democrat.
Adam argued that HR 1 is the best tool to counter escalating voter suppression tactics. While HR 1 has broad support, there is also opposition and misinformation. Please let Adam know if you encounter any questions or misinformation from Congressional offices.
As for the state of play, House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer announced that HR 1 would receive a floor vote next week. Additionally, the House Administration Committee discusses HR 1 today in the Strengthening American Democracy hearing.
Fighting voter suppression will require support for HR 1 from as many organizations and activists as possible.
Here are some ways to help:
- View the organizational sign-on letter for HR 1 to Congress
- If you already sent it, consider re-sending it. Paperwork gives members of Congress proof of support.
- Activate grassroots activists next week
- Send thank you messages to frontline districts for their support
- View the policy factsheet on HR 1 by Declaration for American Democracy
- View the section-by-section on HR 1 by the Declaration for American Democracy Coalition
Please reach out to Adam Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Sharita Gruberg, Center for American Progress (CAP)
Sharita Gruberg from the Center for American Progress (CAP) joined the share about the Equality Act
The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of “sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation” and affirm the rights of people who are LGBTQ+ to be treated equally under the law while preserving existing religious exemptions. Sharita explained that the Equality Act is necessary to fully ensure protections for LGBTQ+ people despite the Bostock v. Clayton County ruling. While over half of discrimination is experienced in public spaces, public accommodations are not included in the Bostock ruling and the definition of public accommodations itself requires updates. Finally, new data shows that discrimination is worsening: 1 in 3 LBGTQ+ Americans faced discrimination compared to 1 in 4 in 2017.
There is broad support for the Equality Act. Yesterday, the Center for American Progress held a Faith for Equality press conference with over 100 faith-based organizations across the country and across faith traditions endorsing the Equality Act. Sharita shared data demonstrating bipartisan support for laws protecting LGBTQ+ individuals from discrimination.
The House passed the Equality Act today! The House passed the Equality Act in 2019 but stalled. Recently, President Biden issued a statement supporting passage of the Equality Act and hopes to sign it into law with Democratic control of the Senate.
- Amplify the Faith for Equality coalition letter endorsing the Equality Act.
- Subscribe for updates on the Equality Act from the Center for American Progress
- Visit the Center for American Progress website for more information on the Equality Act.
Please reach out to Sharita Gruberg (email@example.com) for more information.
Wealth Tax Bill
Frank Clemente, Americans for Tax Fairness
Frank Clemente from Americans for Tax Fairness joined the call to share updates on the Wealth Tax bill. Senator Elizabeth Warren is expected to introduce wealth tax legislation early next week. In the House, the bill will be sponsored by Representative Pramila Jayapal and Representative Brendan Boyle. The bill is expected to hew similar to Senator Warren’s presidential campaign proposal which featured a 2% tax on wealth above $50 million and 3% tax on wealth above $1 billion dollars.
Frank shared estimates from economists that these wealth taxes would raise $3 trillion over a decade and added that an estimated $10 trillion is necessary for new investments (not counting the Green New Deal and Medicare for All) over the next decade.
Stay tuned for the bill’s introduction, organizational sign-on letter, social media toolkits and information on how to join a digital day of action early next week.
If you would like to get involved in the digital advocacy around the wealth tax bill, please reach out to Andrea Haverdink firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please reach out to Frank Clemente (email@example.com) for more information.
AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day
Phoebe Suva, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
Phoebe Suva from the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) joined the call to share about AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day. Currently, Asian and Pacific Islander women earn on average $0.85 for every dollar a non-Hispanic white man makes for the same work. When data is disaggregated, the pay gap widens significantly, particularly for Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander women who earn only $0.52 on the dollar for equal work. In order to address these pay gaps, NAPAWF is asking the White House to direct the Office of Management and Budget to collect, analyze, and publish racially disaggregated data.
Read below to join NAPAWF on AAPI Equal Pay Day:
March 9th, 2021 is AAPI Equal Pay Day, when Asian American and Pacific Islander women’s average earnings will finally catch up to what white, non-Hispanic men made in 2020 for doing the same work.
Join the Tweetstorm! On March 9, 2-3pm ET, @NAPAWF will lead a tweetstorm about #AAPIEqualPay. We will be highlighting how fair and equal wages touch on every part of a person’s life, including their ability to weather the pandemic. Stay tuned for a toolkit and details on how you can participate.
Join us from 6:30pm -7:30 pm EST to hear from a virtual panel of experts on AAPI women and economic justice. Please Register here.
To cosponsor AAPI Equal Pay Day and join the Tweetstorm, please fill out this form. A social media toolkit will be circulated, and organizational cosponsors will be listed on our landing page.
If you have any questions or need accommodations, please reach out to Phoebe Suva at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try our best to meet your needs!
Elena Lopez, Communication Workers of America (CWA)
Elena Lopez from the Communication Workers of America (CWA) joined the call to provide updates on the recently reintroduced Protecting Right to Organize (PRO) Act.
The PRO Act gives working people a voice on the job to negotiate higher wages, obtain better benefits, and fight for safer workplaces free from discrimination and has united support from the labor movement. Elena explained that the PRO Act would 1) introduce meaningful and enforceable penalties for companies that violate workers’ rights, 2) expand workers’ bargaining rights by closing loopholes often exploited by companies, and 3) strengthen fair union elections and require corporations to respect the results of union elections.
H.R. 842 was introduced on February 4th by Education & Labor Committee Chair, Representative Bobby Scott. The House bill currently has 200 cosponsors, including 2 Republicans, and the Senate bill is expected to be introduced soon. While there is strong support, some members have raised the same concerns as last year regarding the ABC test and Prop 22.
Supporters are working on adding new cosponsors to the PRO Act, which signal support for the bill. Elena explained hopes to advance the PRO Act in April in order to preserve the second reconciliation bill as an vehicle for certain provisions of the PRO Act should filibuster elimination fail.
- Learn more and get involved in the Pass the PRO Act Campaign
- Read Why workers need the Protecting the Right to Organize Act by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) for background on the bill and why it is important
- View the PRO Act factsheet by House sponsor Representative Bobby Scott
If you have any questions about the PRO Act, including on timelines, strategy, or targets, please reach out to Elena Lopez (email@example.com) for more information.
Special Guest Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, CPC Vice Chair for Inter-Caucus Relations
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee joined the call to discuss the historic 2nd impeachment trial against former President Trump for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th, progressive priorities in the next COVID-19 legislative package, her work on the Judiciary Committee to combat the threats of white supremacy and white nationalism, and her legislation, H.R. 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.
Ross Brennan, Congressional Progressive Caucus Center (CPCC)
Committees have until February 16 to submit legislation for the COVID-19 reconciliation bill. The Education and Labor Committee wrapped their 13.5-hour markup early on Wednesday. Five more committees met on Wednesday. The provision gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour is on its way to the House floor. However, it will still be an uphill climb for raising the minimum wage in the Senate.
Please reach out to Ross (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Michelle McGrain, National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF)
Michelle from the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF) joined the call to provide updates on the status of paid leave in the COVID-19 relief reconciliation process.
Last year as part of Families First Act, Congress passed the first paid sick days and paid leave standard. Qualifying employees could get 10 days of paid sick leave to care for a child and 12 weeks for child care if their child care provider closed. However, this expired in December leaving only a reimbursable tax credit for businesses who were providing leave.
While paid sick leave cannot be included in the budget reconciliation process, the House Ways and Means Committee has significantly improved tax credits for businesses who provide the paid leave benefit on their own. This proposal increases wages employers can claim for employees and expands longer term paid leave to cover childcare or care for yourself or a family member with COVID-19. In contrast, last year’s provision allotted only 10 days that could be claimed regardless of the actual number of quarantines or COVID illnesses. Additionally, this proposal “resets the clock” on March 31st, allowing workers to claim paid leave this year even if they claimed it last year. Another key provision prevents employers from claiming the tax credit if they discriminatorily make paid leave available only to their employees who work full-time, are highly compensated, or have tenure.
Although the Ways & Means Committee vastly improved paid leave, the fight for paid leave is not over. This tax credit expires on September 30th and without a mandate and right for employees to take it, many employees will be left out. NPWF will continue fighting for paid leave outside of the reconciliation process.
Please reach out to Michelle McGrain (email@example.com) for more information.
Rachel Deutsch, Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)
Rachel Deutsch from the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) joined the call to provide updates on the status of unemployment insurance in the COVID-19 relief reconciliation process.
The Center for Popular Democracy and many of its affiliates are organizing for unemployment insurance. Due to the delays in the December relief bill, many people are experiencing a significant gap in benefits. Additionally, there are long delays in processing relief applications, making it difficult for people to receive benefits again. A key priority for CPD is that the relief package is signed quickly enough to prevent such a lapse in benefits when the current provisions expire on March 14th.
The proposal coming out of the House Ways and Means Committee would improve the federal supplement from $300 to $400 but only through August. Rachel shared concerns that with Congress in August recess it would be difficult to avoid another gap in relief. Rachel cited evidence that such benefits have been life-saving for states with a high proportion of Black workers and rebutted the argument that unemployment insurance discourages people from working. CPD will continue to fight for $600 unemployment insurance tied to external indicators of the economy for as long as the crisis continues.
Please reach out to Rachel Deutsch (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Child Tax Credit (CTC) Expansion
Elisa Minoff Center, the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and Emma Mehrabi, Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)
Elisa Minoff from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) and Emma Mehrabi from the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) joined the call to provide updates on Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion and share about Child Allowance, a new coalition convened by CSSP and the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF).
Recently, Child Allowance sent a letter to House leadership calling for CTC expansion to live up to the promise of a child allowance that is available to all kids who need it. The current Child Tax Credit leaves behind 30% of children who are disproportionately Black and Latinx kids because the CTC is not fully refundable as they earn too little to receive the full credit.
The letter underscores that it is critical for families to get access to benefit easily and that it will take work to ensure that all eligible kids receive the benefit and are treated equally. Newly eligible families are often not connected to the tax code and need help to understand how they can apply it. This is especially true for immigrant kids, kids in U.S. territories, and kids who are hard to reach because they have a non-relative caregiver, are unhoused, or are in the child welfare or juvenile justice system.
Child Allowance was pleased to see Biden’s commitment to making the CTC fully refundable for one year (not tied to a family’s earnings), expanding eligibility (17 years old now qualify for the CTC), and raising the benefit levels to what has been the standard in the American Family Act ($3,600/year for children under 6 years old, $3,000/year for children ages 6-17). Payments would be dispersed monthly and begin this tax year.
However, Emma and Elisa also noted issues with the CTC expansion including a continued ID requirement for children, a need for more robust language regarding safe harbors based on MAGI (modified adjusted gross income), and little to encourage data sharing for children who are involved in other public programs (e.g, SNAP, MEDICAID, TANF).
- Read the CTC factsheet (February 2021) by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
- Read Why The Child Tax Credit Must Be Expanded to Fight Child Poverty During and Beyond This Pandemic (May 8, 2020) by CDF
- Read this factsheet on CTC expansion (May 8, 2020) by CDF
Stimulus Checks for ITIN filers
AnneRose Menachery, Community Change
AnneRose Menachery from Community Change joined the call to provide a brief update on efforts to ensure non-citizens with ITINs (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) receive stimulus checks and other COVID-19 relief measures.
AnneRose shared that the current COVID-19 proposal includes more than the CARES Act. Children with Social Security numbers and non-citizen parents are eligible for payments in this proposal. AnneRose encouraged all on the call to continue to fight for all ITIN filers to be included in stimulus checks, and explained that this fight for inclusion is also long overdue for tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
Please reach out to AnneRose Menachery (email@example.com) for more information.
Gun Violence Prevention
Igor Volsky, Guns Down America
Igor Volsky from Guns Down America joined the call to discuss the gun violence crisis in the United States. Igor shared sobering statistics demonstrating how the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic, food, and housing insecurity have exacerbated gun violence. Despite school closures decreasing the incidence of school shootings, 2020 saw a 47% increase in mass shootings compared to 2019. The attacks on the Capitol on January 6th, reports of increased threats of right-wing extremism and militia organizations in all 50 states, and armed rallies protesting economic shutdowns throughout 2020 highlight the need for national discussions on gun violence and prevention.
Igor argued that taking a proactive approach to discussing gun violence prevention includes linking gun violence to ongoing discussions around COVID-19 relief, racial equity, and economic insecurity. Another way to decrease gun violence is by advocating for community-based violence intervention programs, which have been successful in reducing 30-60% of homicides in cities with high rates of homicide.
Please reach out to Igor Volsky (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Visa Reform Process
Reshma Shamasunder, Value Our Families Coalition
Reshma Shamasunder from the Value Our Families coalition joined the call to provide updates on the campaign for immigration visa reform and the Reuniting Families Act.
While the Biden administration has signalled through the US Citizenship Act that providing a path to legalization for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. is a key priority, Reshma explained that the immigration visa process is often overlooked. Although the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) of 1965 created a family-based immigration system recognizing the importance of families, an outdated visa system and backlogs have kept families separated for decades.
The Value Our Families coalition is building support for the introduction of the Reuniting Families Act which would revitalize family based immigration, promote family unity and access to citizenship. Among other things, the Act would add green cards to decrease wait times for sponsorship, add green cards to current backlogs so that H1B visa workers do not have to live in perpetual temporary status and ensure the children of H1B visa holders do not lose status at 21. The Act would repeal the 3 and 10 year bars, offer deportees relief, expand diversity visas, and create equality for LGBTQ+ immigrants by creating permanent partner processes for same-sex couples.
Reshma shared that ways to support the visa reform campaign include thanking Representative Judy Chu and Senator Sanchez for their leadership and support of this bill, and contacting members of Congress to add cosponsors after the bill’s introduction.
- Read a summary of the Reuniting Our Families Act by Value Our Families
- Get involved with the Value Our Families coalition.
Please reach out to Reshma Shamasunder (email@example.com) for more information on these legislative or administrative advocacy efforts.
Public Health Jobs Corp
Justin Mendoza, Public Health Jobs Now Coalition
Justin Mendoza from Partners in Health (PIH) joined the call to share about the Coalition for Public Health Jobs Now. 25 member organizations, including Partners in Health, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), Services Employees International Union (SEIU), and the National Employment Law Project (NELP), formed the Coalition for Public Health Jobs Now to push for real, permanent, good-paying public health jobs with the right to organize across the country. The public health jobs corp would include positions in community-based organizations, in local health departments, and other public service jobs in agencies that include nursing, social work, and within schools and other centers.
Introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Representative Jason Crow, the Supporting Health Force, Resilience Force, Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act (S.32, H.R.460) is the biggest step to restart public infrastructure and jobs all across the country to get health equity and re-employ hundreds of thousands of folks to fight against unemployment and boost economic recovery. The Coalition is working with the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) and the House Energy and Commerce committees and recently put out a letter of support for public health infrastructure that targets medically underserved communities.
- View a press release by Senator Gillibrand on the Supporting Health Force, Resilience Force, Jobs to Fight COVID-19 Act
- View a one-pager on the bill by Senator Gillibrand’s office
Please reach out to Justin Mendoza (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information or to join the coalition.
Roadmap to Freedom resolution and the We Are Home Campaign
AnneRose Menachery, Community Change
AnneRose Menachery from Community Change and FIRM Action joined the call yesterday to provide updates on the Roadmap to Freedom resolution and the new We Are Home Campaign.
Recently, FIRM Action and many other partners joined for a rally in front of the Washington monument emphasizing that immigration reform must be inclusive of all immigrants.
On Wednesday, there was a press conference for the Roadmap to Freedom resolution introduced by Rep. Jayapal, Rep. Chuy Garcia, Rep. Escobar, Rep. Occasio-Cortez, Rep. Clarke, and Rep. Chu. The Roadmap to Freedom resolution is a values-based blueprint for the immigration system and is the result of work by many CPC members.
We Are Home is a new nationwide campaign to transform the immigration system into a functional, fair humane immigration system centered in racial justice that respects all people regardless of race, religion, or birthplace. The We Are Home campaign has outlined 3 major policy goals: 1) a roadmap to citizenship, 2) moratorium and overhaul of interior enforcement via executive action, and 3) a broad affirmative relief program (like DACA, TPS, and/or Parole in Place).
Please reach out to AnneRose Menachery at email@example.com for more information.
Raise the Wage Act
Judy Conti, NELP
Judy Conti from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) joined the call yesterday to provide updates on the recent introduction of the Raise the Wage Act, which would establish a $15 hourly federal minimum wage.
The bill was unveiled on Tuesday. Currently, there are over 180 original cosponsors in the House of Representatives, close to the goal of 190. In the Senate, there are 38 original cosponsors. Judy shared that increasing the minimum wage has growing support with moderates, citing a number of new original cosponsors and strong support among the freshman Democrats. Judy explained that they hoped to push the bill to the Senate before the end of March.
The coalition is working on every available avenue to make the case for the Raise the Wage Act and is seeking to get it done by any means necessary. Judy shared that gaining the support of small and large restaurants in key districts in order to provide cover for members of Congress has been a particularly successful strategy. Preliminary results from polling on raising the minimum wage in 67 swing Congressional Districts are promising, and the full results will be completed soon.
- View the press release by the House Committee on Education and Labor Chair Robert C. “Bobby” Scott on the introduction of the Raise the Wage Act
Please reach out to Judy Conti at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Katrina Gamble, Economic Security Project
Katrina Gamble from the Economic Security Project joined the call to share more about the Emergency Money to the People campaign for recurring paychecks.
There is a growing coalition including labor groups, small businesses, mayors, economists, and faith leaders that support recurring paychecks as a major relief effort in addition to the expansion of unemployment insurance and increased state and local aid. Currently, the crisis has led to an income recession where 55% of adults have stated that their income has been disrupted, and even people with jobs have lost income due to the crisis.
In addition, recurring paychecks are an important racial equity issue. Black and Latinx families have not regained their income at the same rate and over half are having trouble meeting their daily expenses.
Representative Ilhan Omar (MN-05) has been circulating a Dear Colleague letter making the case for recurring cash payments. Organizations are invited to endorse the letter. Katrina also shared about an upcoming Day of Action on February 4 where the Economic Security Project will deliver over 2 million petition signatures in support of recurring paychecks to members of Congress.
If you are interested in joining the Recurring Paychecks listserv or your organization would like to endorse Rep. Omar’s Dear Colleague letter, please reach out to Katrina Gamble at email@example.com for more information.
Other Action Items
51 for 51 project
Jen Mandelblatt, The Hub Project
Jennifer Mandelblatt from The Hub Project joined the call to share about the campaign for DC Statehood. From Jennifer:
“This morning, Senator Carper introduced the Senate companion to The Washington, D.C. Admission Act. 51 for 51 knows that the 700,000+ mostly Black and Brown residents of D.C. have waited long enough for statehood and now we have a rare opportunity to correct this moral stain on our democracy. We are calling on the Senate to pass this legislation with 51 votes, bypassing the Jim Crow-relic that is the filibuster. Please find our statement on the bill introduction and call to action here.
“We’re also excited to share that today, after a five-month journey, Washington Post Magazine released a full feature telling the story of the centuries-old movement for statehood and our 51 for 51 advocates’ contributions to guide it forward.
“As I mentioned on the call, D.C. statehood is a multi-issue fight and we hope to work with you to make this a vision realized. Please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org”