This morning, Blue America was one of over 150 progressive groups to send a letter to every single Democrat in the House-- from Pramila, AOC and Ro Khanna who support the Build Back Better agenda, to Kurt Schrader, Lou Correa and Josh Gottheimer who have been working to undermine it. This is the letter:
As progressive organizations, labor unions, and advocates representing millions of members across the country we stand united in our commitment to deliver President Biden’s full Build Back Better agenda-- including both the Build Back Better Act using the reconciliation process as well as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Together these two legislative packages will make essential investments in infrastructure, jobs, care, climate and a path to citizenship, and would put our country on a path to real, equitable recovery-- and to deliver on the commitments that secured a Democratic House, Senate and White House in the last elections.
As the House approaches potential votes, we stand united with members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and urge all House members to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill (IIJA) only after the Build Back Better Act is passed and sent to the President’s desk.
The House candidates endorsed by Blue America have all expressed support for this path forward as well. Mike Ortega, who's in a hot primary battle with one of the Build Back Batter opponents in Orange County, corrupt Blue Dog Lou Correa, told us this morning that "This is a critical moment for the changes that working people need. It’s great to see progressives holding the line here. I stand behind the Progressive Caucus in hopes they will continue. When I knock my district’s Blue Dog Democrat (that has fought to water down the bill in favor of Big Pharma) out of office, I’ll be right alongside anyone in Congress willing to take on this fight."
When Mike talks about conservatives "watering down" the legislation, he's talking about a broad attack by Republicans and the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- the Blue Dogs and New Dems and No Labels shills-- who are following Manchin and Sinema. Late yesterday, for instance, Bloomberg News reported that Manchin opposes expanding Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing, a wildly popular key plank in the program (backed by 84% of Americans according to a June poll, including 89% of Democrats and even 79% of Republicans). Manchin and other conservatives do not care what voters want, That's because Manchin and other conservatives have an overriding fear: making the top 1% pay their fair share of taxes, something the vast majority of Americans are demanding, not just Democrats and independents, but even 37% of Republican voters!
Bernie has already cut the costs of the legislation from its original $6 trillion price tag to $3.5 trillion. Now the conservatives-- in both parties-- are demanding slashing it in half again. In a floor speech yesterday, Bernie made the case for why Americans need "every penny" of the $3.5 trillion and that there is no waste or fat in the bill. "The question we face right now is: at this moment, do we have the courage to keep faith with the American people and show them that their democracy in fact can work for them, and not just powerful special interests?" said Bernie... This legislation takes an important step forward. It doesn't go as far as it should, but it is a major step forward in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy." That's exactly what Manchin and Sinema don't want. This is from a floor speech yesterday in which Bernie eschewed talking about process and insisted on talking about what is in the bill and why these things are so important:
In a tweet yesterday, western Pennsylvania progressive Democrat Chris Deluzio pointed out that "Big bipartisan majorities were fine with spending trillions to send us off to 20 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan-- so spare us the objection now that it’s time to spend (less!) to rebuild our infrastructure and invest here at home in the American people." If you'd like to contribute to challengers like Chris, Mike Ortega, Jason Call and other 2022 congressional challengers who make this kind of sense, please click the ActBlue thermometer below and give what you can.
Jason Call is a progressive leader in northwest Washington running for a congressional seat held by a former medical lobbyist, New Dem Rick Larsen. "This is a moment of great anticipation," said Jason this morning. "We have yet to see the Progressive Caucus act as a voting bloc with the express purpose of demanding that the needs of the American people be met. In years past we have watched Republicans and right wing Democrats act in small concerted groups to demand concessions, but this is a first for progressives and it’s about time. But this is why they were elected. There will be heat if they are successful and there will be heat should they fail. Either way, what happens here will be consequential to the future of the progressive movement. Success will bolster efforts to elect more progressives; failure will diminish those efforts. We wait with bated breath."