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House Progressives Unveil 2025 Agenda to Inspire Action for a More Equitable Nation

With more than 100 members, the Congressional Progressive Caucus has a track record of pushing the policy debate towards bold solutions.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Photo courtesy of Rep. Brad Sherman (CA-30).

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has released a sweeping domestic agenda for 2025. Why pay attention to the policy platform of a Caucus that represents a little less than half of House Democrats?

Even without a majority, the Progressive Caucus has flexed considerable muscle on Capitol Hill and in the White House. To mention just a few examples: 

They’ve demonstrated the power to block votes on bipartisan bills until they win concessions – as they did twice in 2021 on the infrastructure bill

Their doggedness on taxation contributed to progressive provisions in the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, including a corporate minimum tax and the first tax on CEO pay-inflating stock buybacks

Their longstanding vocal support for student debt cancellation contributed to White House efforts that have relieved debts for 4.3 million Americans.

Caucus leaders, many of whom are former community organizers, amplify their power through effective inside-outside strategies with progressive movement and policy groups. As with all of their key platform documents, they solicited input on this one, released on April 18, from a broad range of organizations. 

Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal says the focus with this new agenda is on “popular, populist, and possible solutions” that could become law in the short term if Democrats win a trifecta in November. That, of course, is a big “if.” But in Jayapal’s view, the way to motivate people is to offer a positive vision of what they’re fighting for. And in this case, the vision is of a dramatically more equitable nation.

With a huge tax fight looming in 2025, fair tax proposals are high on the Caucus wish list. Many of the tax cuts in the Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 are set to expire by the end of next year, setting up a major fight in 2025 – no matter who wins the White House. 

The Caucus would like to see the 2017 tax cuts for the rich and big corporations die a quiet death. To raise new – and hopefully more revenue than under the pre-2017 tax regime – they plug several of President Joe Biden’s favorite ideas, including a billionaire minimum tax and increased taxes on stock buybacks. 

READ: The Next Generation of Students Demanding Justice for Garment Workers

The House progressives’ agenda also touts increased taxes on corporations with “excessive CEO to worker pay gaps.” While the Biden administration has not yet jumped on board, three Senate committee chairs have expressed support for this idea. 

Budget Committee Chair Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Sen. Bernie Sanders have introduced bills tying the corporate tax rate to the size of a company’s CEO-worker pay gap, with House companion bills championed by Progressive Caucus members. Finance Committee Chair Sen. Ron Wyden floated the idea during the 2021 budget negotiations.

In a few other areas as well, the agenda promotes policy innovations the Biden administration has not yet embraced. For example, the Caucus calls for low-cost public banking options, including postal banking. This would address the high fees millions of American families now have to pay to access their own money for paying bills, cashing checks, remittances, rent, and ATM withdrawals. 

The U.S. Postal Service offered banking services for more than 30 years until private competitors squashed the program in 1967. With big Wall Street banks largely abandoning low-income communities, today’s vast postal network is still well-positioned to meet the need for affordable and trustworthy financial services. 

The Progressive Caucus agenda includes scores of additional proposals for reversing inequality, many of them aimed at building on the momentum of the successful union contract fights in 2023 and the recent UAW election win in Tennessee. For instance, they endorse the idea of offering unemployment insurance for striking workers, as well as labor law reforms to ensure that all U.S. workers have the right to unionize and bargain collectively. 

READ: Supreme Court Will Decide Whether Homeless People Should Be Treated Humanely, or Instead as a Criminal Menace

To combat corporate greed, the Caucus pushes numerous options, such as excess profits taxes on “Big Oil,” cracking down on private equity vultures in our health care system, and expanding the provisions they won in the Inflation Reduction Act to negotiate lower Medicare drug prices. 

“Progressives are proud to have been part of the most significant Democratic legislative accomplishments of this century” Jayapal said in a statement. “We have made real progress for everyday Americans — but there’s much more work to be done.” 

Japayal will be continuing that work, but not at the helm of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. After serving as chair since 2021 and as co-chair for the two prior years, she’ll be stepping down to make way for new leadership in 2025. 

This article was originally published at Inequality.org, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies. It is reprinted here via Creative Commons 3.0.

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Picture of Sarah Anderson, Inequality.org

Sarah Anderson, Inequality.org

Sarah Anderson directs the Global Economy Project and co-edits the Inequality.org website at the Institute for Policy Studies. This op-ed was adapted from Inequality.org and distributed for syndication by OtherWords.org.

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