WNPJ Signed onto a Statement on the Need for a Bold Budget Resolution

The Poor People’s Campaign is joining with the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center, Institute for Policy Studies, and Economic Policy Institute in a statement calling for Congress to seize an historic opportunity to set a bold reconciliation package that meets all of our needs.  Forward together, not one step back!  Please read the full statement below.

 

Learn more at  https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/

****

STATEMENT ON THE NEED FOR A BOLD BUDGET RESOLUTION

$6 trillion should be the floor, not the ceiling, for a bold reconciliation package

The American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan are strong starting points as Congress seeks to address decades of inaction on infrastructure, poverty, the ongoing climate crisis, rising inequality, and a care economy that continues to support us as our country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 140 million poor and low-income people in this country, disproportionately people of color, have been hit hardest by the pandemic while billionaires have profited enormously. The recent bipartisan framework announced by the White House is insufficient to meet these challenges and must not advance on its own. In the coming weeks, Congress must seize the historic opportunity in the FY2022 budget resolution to build on the Biden Administration’s proposals and set the stage for a bold reconciliation package.

The draft budget from Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders represents the minimum scale necessary to tackle our nation’s most urgent challenges. This $6 trillion proposal should be the floor, not the ceiling, for the ultimate reconciliation bill. Over a ten-year period, it represents just over 1 percent of the U.S. GDP and less than half of Pentagon spending given current trends. The proposal is reported to improve on the Biden Administration’s proposals by allowing Congress to expand Medicare, a policy supported by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Senator Sanders also proposes increased funding to address climate change and provides a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

To advance equity, we need big investments, and they need to be targeted at marginalized communities for the greatest impact. For example, Congress should make the American Rescue Plan’s expansion of the Child Tax Credit permanent, with critical improvements so it functions more like a true child allowance program that is accessible and available to all children. Closing the Medicaid coverage gap would provide health coverage for 2.2 million more Americans, 60 percent of whom are Black or Latinx. Expanded paid leave would make sure that everyone has time to care for themselves, their families and loved ones.

An equitable economic recovery effort, one that will not further exacerbate inequities by race and gender or further entrench occupational segregation and wage disparities, requires that Congress invest at least $700 billion in direct spending for child care and early learning. To achieve President Biden’s goal of cutting climate pollution in half by 2030, we need $1.1 trillion in public investments over a decade for clean energy and hundreds of billions of dollars more to expand and electrify public transit and retrofit our schools and homes. To build a more just economy, these investments must include high-road labor, environmental, and equity standards while supporting the right of Indigenous people to free, prior, and informed consent.

An equitable budget must require the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share to create a fairer tax system as demanded by the public, reduce inequality and help sustain funding for critical programs. President Biden has proposed sensible and very popular tax reforms that can raise about $3.8 trillion exclusively from the rich and corporations. Congress should, at a minimum, enact those measures alongside the $600 billion in savings that Chair Sanders proposes from allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which is also very popular with the public.

Budgets are moral statements. Right now, too many families continue to struggle to balance childcare, family and work, and millions struggle just to make ends meet, all while the ultra-wealthy continue to reap billions without paying their fair share. Communities across the country are demanding a budget resolution that meets the scope and scale of this moment. We urge Congress to adopt an FY2022 budget that allows for at least $6 trillion in new spending through budget reconciliation to deliver for our families, communities, and our nation."