Progressive Groups’ Statement On President Biden’s American Jobs Plan

Today, Battle Born Collective, Data For Progress, Justice Democrats, and Sunrise Movement put out the following statement in response to President Biden’s announcement of the American Jobs Plan:

“President Biden and his allies successfully led the charge to pass the massively popular American Rescue Plan. His success hinged on prioritizing delivering concrete results that improve people’s lives over futile attempts to work with Senate Republicans. Engaging in negotiations with Mitch McConnell and Republicans does not put dollars in people’s pockets or food on their tables. It doesn’t even guarantee that a single Republican will vote for a proposal. Moreover, the ARP’s popularity makes clear that the public cares about results and relief, not process. People care about how the sausage tastes, not how it’s made.  

“Using reconciliation to pass an infrastructure package while letting the filibuster kill other critical policies privileges a Jim Crow relic over delivering results, and misreads the lessons of the ARP. It also produces the risk that many elements of the American Jobs Plan will be stripped out by the Senate parliamentarian for not complying with arcane budgetary rules. Moving forward with filibuster reform now will allow the proposal to pass through regular order, while also clearing the way for the passage of other critical policies like the For the People Act. By contrast, using reconciliation could delay filibuster reform—and therefore any action on voting rights—until the fall or winter, by which time it will be too late to implement many vital democracy reforms in time to combat gerrymandering or the massive wave of voter suppression Republicans are planning for the 2022 midterms. Continuing to use reconciliation also creates two classes of legislation, with voting rights and other important matters relegated to second-class status. 

“President Biden should be guided by his clear desire to deliver material gains to people fast. It’s also critical that this bill meet the scale of the crises we face—we encourage the president to expand the scope and size of this package to ensure America is set on a path for sustainability and prosperity in the years to come. It’s clear Republicans in Congress don’t want to help pass policies that improve people’s lives, rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, and meet the scale of the crises we face. Democrats have a mandate from voters to move forward on their own. There’s no reason to delay abolishing the Senate filibuster. Delay carries enormous risk, just as it did in 2009. Starting right now, Democrats have a once in a generation opportunity to go big and renew faith in the government’s ability to get real things done. What are they waiting for?”