The Congressional Progressive Caucus is asking President Biden to pass a series of executive orders to bypass GOP-controlled House opposition to far-left priorities, including access to abortion services and expanding protections for illegal immigrants.
The nearly 100-strong group released a 13-page wish list of executive orders for Mr. Biden to adopt immediately. MP Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the caucus, was optimistic, saying many of the proposed orders complement Mr Biden’s policies and public positions.
“Probably 90% of what’s on this executive branch action agenda are things that the White House shares our urgency and desire to get done,” said Pramila Jayapal, chair of the CPC, a Washington Democrat. “With a divided Congress, President Biden must exercise his full executive powers to continue working for working families.”
Republicans say the proposed agenda is extreme and would never garner enough support from voters.
High on the list of priorities is expanding access to abortion nationwide. Progressives want Mr. Biden to declare a public health emergency so the federal government can mobilize funds and resources to make abortions easier.
Along those lines, progressives want taxpayers’ money to subsidize transportation, housing and childcare costs for people traveling abroad for an abortion. They also want the Justice Department to expand abortion services to federal prisoners and illegal immigrants who are being held for deportation.
To circumvent state laws banning abortions, progressives say the Justice Department should grant civil immunity to licensed abortion providers who travel to jurisdictions that don’t recognize their license to perform the procedure.
Lawmakers also want the White House to allow licensed health care providers to practice telemedicine nationwide to prescribe abortion drugs.
Progressives say executive action is needed because legislative efforts on abortion and other issues are unlikely to get anywhere as Congress is split between Democrats and Republicans.
“The President has the authority under applicable law to take action to enact safe and humane policy,” said Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar. “We have a duty as Democrats to keep our promise to fight for equality, justice and a better life for our voters.”
Outside of abortion, progressives want Mr. Biden to set up a national commission to study reparations for slavery, end all fossil fuel subsidies and expand protections for illegal migrants.
The progressive agenda also calls for stricter guidelines and requirements for federal contractors. For example, Progressives want to force government contractors to remain neutral in union organizing campaigns and cut funding for companies that buy back shares.
Progressives also want government contractors to disclose any labor or environmental violations and reveal their recent political contributions.
Source : www.washingtontimes.com