New Dem Coalition Calls on Speaker Boehner to Address Bipartisan Priorities in Final Weeks as Speaker

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Washington, DC, October 7, 2015 | comments

Today, the New Democrat Coalition leadership sent a letter to Speaker Boehner urging him to work with leaders from both parties in the House and Senate to address bipartisan priorities with broad support that will grow the economy and help hardworking Americans.

This is the second letter the Coalition has sent to Speaker Boehner in recent weeks urging him to move forward with legislative priorities supported on both sides of the aisle. Now that a government shutdown has been averted until at least December, the letter calls on Boehner to use his final weeks as Speaker to complete work on key issues including raising the debt ceiling, passing a robust transportation package, and reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.

“While Republicans are preoccupied with petty internal politics, New Dems remain focused on advancing pragmatic ways to grow our economy and maintain our competitive edge internationally,”said Coalition Chairman Ron Kind. “The American people want Congress to focus on accelerating economic growth and creating jobs. Instead of spending time on partisan bickering and infighting, we look forward to forging commonsense compromises with Speaker Boehner and other leaders to complete work on many pressing issues.”

The letter also highlights replacing defense and non-defense sequester caps, enacting comprehensive immigration reform, and passing a bipartisan education bill that reauthorizes the Elementary & Secondary Education Act. The letter is the latest effort to build on the New Dem American Prosperity Agenda, which calls for governing responsibly and strengthening the middle class. To view a copy of the letter, see below or click here.

Dear Speaker Boehner,

As leaders of the New Democrat Coalition, we write to encourage you to continue working across the aisle to accomplish bipartisan priorities in the coming weeks.

As we wrote to you recently, we believe the American people want Congress to focus on strengthening our economy and fixing the way Congress works. As you remember from 2013, the government shutdown took $24 billion out of our economy and adversely affected millions of taxpayers and businesses. We are glad that we passed a continuing resolution to keep the government open and preserve a greater degree of certainty in the day-to-day operations of the government.

In the final weeks of your term as Speaker, we urge you to prioritize completing work on important bills that have broad support in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle. There are many important issues that Congress needs to address, but in particular we should prioritize:

1. Raising the debt ceiling to prevent the default on our nation’s obligations.

2. Passing a robust six-year transportation authorization.  As you know, the Senate has passed a long-term bill and both Chairman Shuster and Chairman Ryan have reiterated their commitment to completing a six-year bill. 

3. Reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.  As you know, the Senate voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank through an amendment to its transportation bill.  There is a clear majority of House Members ready to vote for a reauthorization in the House as part of transportation authorization or a standalone bill.

4. Replacing the upcoming defense and non-defense discretionary sequester cuts in a fiscally responsible manner. Doing so would allow us to adequately fund our national security needs and invest more in keeping the U.S. competitive.

5. Passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Last Congress, more than two-thirds of the Senate voted for a bipartisan package that would strengthen our economy and secure our border.

6. Passing a bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary & Secondary Education Act that builds on the Senate-passed bill.  As you know, the House and Senate have both passed bills and our education system badly needs a revamped education bill that invests in schools and improves accountability.

We stand ready to work with you and bipartisan leadership in the upcoming weeks to move bills that create certainty and continue to grow our economy.

Sincerely,

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