Politics Congressional Black Caucus unveils '100 Day Plan'
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In the lead-up to the November presidential election, People’s Action, a grassroots coalition, hired a dozen former staffers from Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) campaign to discuss the merits of populist economic proposals with voters in conservative and swing states. The organizing network, overseen by Sanders alums, quickly ballooned to include some 30,000 volunteers eager to test how far President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress would be willing to go to make their pledge to raise the minimum wage a reality. For the first time in well over a decade, progressives believe it’s within striking distance.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) on Wednesday rolled out the group's "100 Day Plan," outlining the CBC's legislative priorities that it hopes to see come to fruition during the first months of President Biden's administration.
The virtual event began with a video introducing the caucus' new theme "our power, our message," featuring CBC members celebrating Black History Month and the caucus' 50th anniversary. Established in 1971, the caucus has a record 58 members, three more than the previous record set in the last Congress.
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The release of the caucus' "100 Day Plan" comes as Black activists and lawmakers have set high expectations for the Biden White House. In November, after becoming president-elect, Biden promised to have Black Americans' backs, a pledge that the caucus fully expects the president to keep.
Black voter turnout was up across the country, with record turnout occurring in Georgia, a traditionally Republican stronghold that Democrats were able to flip. Notably, Democrats swept the Peach State's Senate runoff races, giving the Democratic Party the majority.
Vice President Harris - a CBC alum - casts the tie-breaking vote on bills split along party lines, a slim advantage that could potentially give Democrats the ability to get certain legislation passed.
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To this point, part of the "100 Day Plan" includes the creation of an internal domestic policy leadership team headed by Beatty and co-chaired by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).
Other members of the leadership team include Reps. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.), Steven Horsford (D-Nev.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Anthony Brown (D-Md.), Colin Allred (D-Texas), Marilyn Strickland (D-Wash.), Andre Carson (D-Ind.) and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).
Under the leadership team are over a dozen policy co-chairs that will oversee committees on issues most important to Black communities.
Two pieces of legislation high on the caucus' priority list are the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. The bills passed the House in the last session of Congress, but never made it past then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) desk for introduction into the chamber.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has its own policy subcommittee; a separate policy panel is focused on civil and voting rights.
Another of the CBC policy committees is focused on COVID-19, which has disproportionately affected communities of color.
Members of the caucus have been vocal during the first month of the Biden administration about the need for greater COVID-19 vaccine distribution among communities of color which have been hardest hit by the pandemic. They have also stressed the need for greater vaccine education in Black communities that have a deep-rooted mistrust of the government.
Pro-Choice Caucus asks Biden to remove abortion fund restrictions from 2022 budget .
A coalition of pro-abortion-rights congressional Democrats er on Tuesday called on President Biden to remove restrictions on federal funding of abortion from the fiscal 2022 budget.Leaders of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and the Democratic Women's Caucus joined seven Democratic senators to ask Biden to eliminate several restrictions from the budget. The restrictions include the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding of abortions; the Helms Amendment, which limits foreign assistance funds for abortion; and the Weldon Amendment, which bars government entities from using federal money to penalize health care entities that do not cover abortion pr