As the Republican Party and President Donald Trump gear up to slash over five trillion dollars from crucial safety net programs in order ram through exorbitant tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, a majority of House Democrats on Wednesday voted in favor of the People’s Budget (pdf), an ambitious alternative to GOP’s “pathetic” proposals that would invest trillions in education, infrastructure, and healthcare while cutting the nation’s out-of-control military spending.
“It’s one thing to oppose President Trump and expose his broken promises to workers, but it’s also important to lay out a positive path forward.”
—Rep. Mark Pocan
“Today’s vote on the People’s Budget marks the closest Congress has come to passing a budget that was truly designed to represent the values and needs of the American people,” Paul Kawika Martin, senior director for policy and political affairs at Peace Action, said in a statement following Wednesday’s vote. “With over half the Democrats voting for the People’s Budget it’s clear the party supports smart reductions in Pentagon bloat and wise investments in diplomacy which will make Americans safer.All members of Congress who voted for the People’s Budget deserve the thanks of their constituents.”
First introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) in May, the current version of the People’s Budget was conceived as an attempt by progressive Democrats to move beyond their defensive posture and offer a positive vision of the future—one they hope can translate into electoral victories in 2018 and beyond.
Among the People’s Budget’s aims are:
- A $2 trillion investment in America’s energy, water, and transportation systems.
- Higher taxes on Wall Street firms and corporations that offshore jobs.
- A minimum wage hike and stronger union rights.
- Expansion of mental health treatment and lower prescription drug costs.
- Public funding of campaigns to curb corporate influence in elections.
- Rein in “excessive CEO pay for defense contractors.”
- Audit the Pentagon budget.
- Make debt free college “a reality for all students.”
“It’s one thing to oppose President Trump and expose his broken promises to workers, but it’s also important to lay out a positive path forward,” said CPC co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) after the People’s Budget was introduced earlier this year. “The CPC’s budget is a plan to actually help working Americans who have felt left behind by an economy rigged against them.”
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