Rhode Island’s entire congressional delegation supports Think Progress‘ new wish list of progressive policy proposals to get passed.
Gone from the list is the Violence Against Women Act, which Obama signed into law yesterday … thanks Sens. Reed and Whitehouse and Congressmen Cicilline and Langevin, for supporting it!
Here’s the newly revised list, in case you didn’t get this in your inbox last night:
- Raising the Minimum Wage: In his State of the Union speech, the president called for the minimum wage to be raised to $9.00 an hour. And just this week, two leading progressives, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), introduced legislation to raise it to $10.00 per hour. A poll out yesterday found that 71 percent of Americans back raising the minimum wage to $9.00.
- Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases: The Senate Judiciary Committee is working on gun violence prevention legislation as we speak and is expected to advance a universal background check bill to the full Senate as soon as tomorrow. This is a no brainer. Not only would this be the most effective policy to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, it’s supported by nearly everyone. The most recent poll, out just today, finds that 88 percent support universal background checks — including 85 percent of gun-owning households. Other polls have shown support of over 90 percent.
- Additional Revenues to Reduce the Deficit: A whopping 76 percent of Americans agree with the president that we need a balanced approach to reduce our deficit, one that includes both spending cuts and additional tax revenues. Just 19 percent back the Republican view that we should reduce the deficit through spending cuts alone.
- Job-Creating Infrastructure Investments: A majority of Americans support making investments to repair and replace our deteriorating national infrastructure — investments that could create hundreds of thousands of jobs. In fact, investmenting in our roads, bridges, airports, and other infrastructure was the most popular job creation policy. Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans have repeatedly voted down such proposals in recent years, citing their unwillingness to finance them using tax hikes on the wealthy and corporate special interests like Big Oil.
- Pathway to Earned Citizenship: A pathway to earned citizenship is an integral part of reforming our broken immigration system and bringing the 11 MILLION undocumented immigrants already here out of the shadows. Even 60 percent of Republicans support a pathway to earned citizenship, which receives the support of 70 percent of all Americans.
- Expanding the Medicaid Program: Two-thirds of Americans favor the part of ObamaCare that calls for expanding the Medicaid program. in order to insure millions of lower-income Americans. The Supreme Court made the expansion voluntary and, thankfully, even many conservative Republican governors are coming around and now support expanding the program in their states.
- Marriage Equality: Support for full marriage equality is now a mainstream, majority view. A study out today found that opposition to marriage equality is now concentrated “among a few narrow demographic groups.”
- Universal Access to Birth Control: ObamaCare requires health insurers to offer birth control at no additional cost, a policy supported by 70 percent of Americans. This policy is also supported by a majority of Catholics despite continuing opposition by Catholic bishops.
- Expanded Early Childhood Education: In his State of the Union speech, the president proposed universal pre-kindergarten for every four year-old and a significant expansion of other early childhood education programs. Unsurprisingly, two-thirds of Americans support making these kind of vital investments in our children — investments which come with significant returns.
BOTTOM LINE: Support for progressive ideas and values isn’t limited to Democrats or the left side of the political spectrum. Most progressive policies enjoy broad, bipartisan support and are simply mainstream views held by a majority of Americans. By contrast, conservatives are clinging to an ideology and views that are seen as extreme and out of touch by a majority of Americans.