House Progressives’ Infrastructure Priorities List Includes Bolstering Immigration, Housing, Medicaid

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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A group of nearly 100 House progressives compiled a list of infrastructure priorities that included a pathway to citizenship, affordable housing investments and Medicaid funding.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) announced its objectives in an internal memo obtained by Politico on Friday. The five priorities, which were compiled by surveying the caucus’ 95 members, represent major progressive demands that aren’t closely related to infrastructure.

“We agree that it’s time for transformative change and we look forward to working with the Biden Administration to expand on their proposal and ensure that the American Jobs Plan goes big to truly meet the needs of the public,” Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who chairs the caucus, told Politico in a statement. (RELATED: ‘The Definition Of A Corporate Democrat’: Cenk Uygur Says Progressives Must Push Biden To ‘A Halfway Decent Place’)

Rep. Pramila Jayapal holds a news conference on March 1. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. Pramila Jayapal holds a news conference on March 1. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The full list of priorities calls on Congress to strengthen the “care economy,” investing $450 billion in Medicaid, making access to child care universal and establishing permanent paid family leave. It also demands “bold investments” in affordable housing including $70 billion for public housing repairs and $26 billion for housing homeless people.

The caucus’ list also says Congress should mandate lower prescription drug prices, capping them at the average cost in comparable Western nations and expanding the number of drugs that are eligible for negotiation, according to Politico. The CPC list included a series of climate change proposals like creating a climate jobs program and establishing a national clean energy standard.

The CPC’s final infrastructure priority is that immigrant essential workers, who have temporary protected status or are Dreamers, are granted a pathway to citizenship, according to the memo obtained by Politico.

President Joe Biden announced his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, which included a series of provisions tangentially related to infrastructure last week. The White House said the plan will create millions of “good jobs” and rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

Democratic Reps. Katie Porter, Mark Pocan, Raul Grijalva, Barbara Lee and Ilhan Omar are prominent members of the CPC.

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