Tuesday, 24 July 2018 20:14

The People's Budget: A Progressive Path Forward FY 2019

Written by
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Mark Takano and Hunter Blair Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Mark Takano and Hunter Blair

President Trump and Congressional Republicans want Americans to believe that we must slash funding for vital cornerstones of our society, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, to pay for their tax handout to corporations and the extremely wealthy.  The Congressional Progressive Caucus knows that this is a false choice, and recognize a path forward for our country that will put workers and everyday families first. 

The Fiscal Year 2019 Congressional Progressive Caucus’s People’s Budget: A Progressive Path Forward, builds bridges of opportunity, starting with the most vulnerable communities. The People’s Budget creates millions of jobs and increases wages for those who continue to be on the sidelines of our economy. It invests in our neglected infrastructure, ends the systematic inequality in our tax system by making corporations pay their fair share, and stops the rising cost of prescription drugs. The People’s Budget provides a progressive pathway to building a strong economy so working families can prosper.

The People’s Budget invests $2trillion to eliminate our lead-contaminated water system, address our overburdened mass transit system, and rebuild our schools, crumbling roads, and bridges. This budget transforms our fossil-fuel energy system to ensure our children have an inhabitable planet, and provides funding for worker re-training and apprenticeship programs.

The People’s Budget takes a family first approach to budgeting.  It cuts funding for the cruel immigration policies under the Trump Administration and adopts comprehensive immigration reform to strengthen our economy. The budget invests $1 trillion for universal childcare, increases access to SNAP benefits, and expands the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax credit.

Access to affordable health care remains one of our greatest challenges, especially in light of Republican attacks on the Affordable Care ActThe People’s Budget supports immediate improvements to the ACA, provides $12 billion in funding for states to transition to a single payer system, and addresses the rising cost of prescription drugs. 

In order to give everyday families, the future they deserve, we must close the tax loopholes that the Trump tax scam left in place and rewrite the rules of a rigged economy that puts the interests of billionaires and big corporations over everyday families. The People’s Budget protects Medicare's integrity and improves its long-term solvency, and ensures that Veterans Affairs will not be privatized and receives the necessary funding so that our veterans can access the best care and full benefits they deserve.

The Trump agenda drastically cuts programs supporting working families, the environment, and our health care, while giving massive tax cuts to big corporations and bloating the military budget beyond belief. The People’s Budget takes a very different path, reinvests in American families, and prioritizes funding for education, health care, jobs and clean air and water. The Congressional Progressive Caucus’s People’s Budget: A Progressive Path Forward puts political and economic power back in the hands of the people.

Invest In America

  • Invests $2 trillion to transition to a 21st Century infrastructure to transform our water, transportation, and energy systems
  • Prioritizes “Made in America” policies across government agencies and contractors
  • Expands our commitment to efficient renewable energy and green jobs
  • Invests $100 billion to increase access to reliable, high-speed internet

Affordable Health Care

  • Allows states to transition to single-payer health care systems
  • Improves the Affordable Care Act
  • Protects Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP
  • Lowers costs of prescription drugs
  • Expands access to mental health care and treatments for opioid and heroin addiction
  • Repeals excise tax on high-priced health care plans for workers and replaces with public option

Fair Tax System for Working Families

  • Closes wasteful corporate tax loopholes that cost billions of dollars
  • Taxes Wall Street to fund Main Street
  • Ensures profits from investments are finally taxed at the same rate as income taxes
  • Raises revenue from the wealthiest few who can afford to pay more
  • Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Care Credit

Comprehensive and Just Immigration Reform

  • Implements comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship and clearing the family- and employment-based immigration backlogs
  • Scales back exorbitant funding for immigration detention and enforcement, creating due process, fairness, and accountability in the system and eliminating the profit motive in immigration detention
  • Ends Family detention, prohibits family separation at our borders and provides funding for Family Case Management Programs.
  • Prohibits funding for construction of any border wall and any immigration policies which seek to ban people from entering the U.S. because of their religion or targeting individuals for exercising their First Amendment rights
  • Supports continued funding to sanctuary cities
  • Supports U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) mission to timely process immigration benefits in keeping with our history as a nation of immigrants

Justice and Fair Elections

  • Ensures the justice system is fair and effective for all Americans by increasing funding for voter protection and legal assistance programs
  • Rebuilds trust in the justice system by developing community oriented policing reforms
  • Protects American election systems from any interference and increases protections for voting rights by strengthening key election reforms
  • Funds public financing of campaigns to curb special interest influence in politics
  • Supports policies and initiatives to significantly reduce gun violence

Educational Opportunities for Every Student

  • Delivers on the promise of lifting working families up by investing $1 trillion in effective early learning opportunities and for a child care for all program
  • Makes college free of debt a reality for all students
  • Greater investments in K-12 education
  • Increases computer science opportunities for all students
  • Allows refinancing of student loans
  • Fully funds IDEA and provides Pre-K for all

Pathways Out of Poverty and Empowering the Middle Class

  • Supports a minimum wage increase and collective bargaining rights
  • Provides a plan to reduce poverty by half in ten years
  • Increases discretionary funding to invest in women, communities of color and their families
  • Provides an increase in Trade Adjustment Assistance for workers
  • Strengthens the Small Business Administration’s ability to provide support to America’s small business owners
  • Addresses the pay equity gap

Access to Housing

  • Fully funds programs to make housing affordable and accessible for all Americans
  • Invests $12.8 billion to end family homelessness

Protecting our Environment

  • Closes tax loopholes and ends subsidies provided to oil, gas and coal companies
  • Identifies a price on corporate carbon pollution
  • Invests in clean, renewable, and efficient energy and green manufacturing, while prioritizing a just transition for workers

Protecting Our Veterans

  • Eliminates veterans’ homelessness
  • Increases access to mental health care for all veteran and service members
  • Invests in job training opportunities for transitioning service members and veterans

Sustainable Defense: Promoting Peace And Security 

  • Modernizes our defense system to create sustainable baseline defense spending
  • Ends emergency funding for Overseas Contingency Operations
  • Increases funding for diplomacy and strategic humanitarian aid
  • Adds robust funding for refugee resettlement programs
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