The New Democrat Coalition is made up of 68 forward-thinking Democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies. New Democrats are a solutions oriented coalition seeking to bridge the gap between left and right by challenging outmoded partisan approaches to governing. New Democrats believe the challenges ahead are too great for Members of Congress to refuse to cooperate purely out of partisanship.
Overview of the New Democrat Coalition in the 115th Congress:
On the Future of Work
This Congress, the Coalition established the Future of Work Task Force, which over the past year has convened forums on Capitol Hill to discuss the challenges that workers across America face today. The multiple forums and meetings with companies, labor unions, local organizations, and thought leaders over the last several months have helped create the Coalition’s policy solutions to address the opportunities and challenges related to the evolving nature of work in the changing economy.
Last month, at a press conference, Task Force Co-Chairs Bill Foster and Seth Moulton joined Chair Jim Himes and Task Force Members Lisa Blunt Rochester and Suzan DelBene in announcing the Economic Opportunity Agenda: A Future that Works. This agenda lays out policy priorities that will help make sure our workers are prepared for the jobs of the future. Within the first paper, Closing the Skills and Opportunity Gaps, are three principles for expanding opportunities in the changing economy:
- Give every American access to the tools to succeed in the 21st century economy
- Remove obstacles for Americans to access middle-skill jobs and close the opportunity gap
- Create a culture of lifelong learning and make it easier for workers to invest in their future
Read the full introduction, overview, and report:
This Congress, the Coalition established the Housing Task Force to look at the entire housing ecosystem and identify solutions to rising housing costs. It builds on previous New Dem efforts to devise reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but it covers the full scope of federal housing policy, including housing subsidies offered through HUD and incentives in the tax code. The Housing Task Force conducts its work through briefings and meetings with stakeholders, economists, academic experts and policymakers.
Earlier this month, the Housing Task Force Co-Chairs Reps. Denny Heck, Stephanie Murphy, Scott Peters, and Juan Vargas released a preliminary findings report on America’s Housing Crisis: Missing Millions of Homes.
New Democrats support a pro-growth, pro-worker, forward looking trade agenda where the U.S. sets the rules for the global economy, rather than have them set by others. We need to focus on winning the economy of the future, not the economy of 50 years ago. That means writing the rules of trade to elevate standards while leveling the playing field for American workers, businesses, and farmers. Over this past Congress, New Dems held several internal meetings with former and current officials and experts on trade relations with North America and the Asia Pacific region. New Dems issued a statement after President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and in response to the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) notification to Congress on its intent to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Key New Dems sent a bipartisan letter calling on President Trump to continue honoring the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) when it came under threat. Read the latest statements from the Coalition on trade.
On Tax Reform
New Dems have long supported comprehensive tax reform that will promote economic growth, is targeted towards our middle class, and is fiscally responsible. We believe tax reform done right is important for middle class families, American businesses, and keeping our national economy competitive. Early on in this Congress, New Dems met with Chairman Brady several times to discuss the potential for a truly bipartisan tax reform package. Despite New Dem Members’ willingness and openness to work across the aisle, Republicans charted a partisan path forward on tax reform. New Dem Members also urged the Conference Committee to abandon their partisan approach and instead pursue a true and serious bipartisan effort outlined in the New Dem tax reform principles: The Plan for Real Tax Reform.
On Health Care
From the beginning of this Congress, New Dems advocated for a legislative fix to stabilize health insurance markets and bring down the cost of healthcare for all Americans. Led by our Health Care Task Force, the Coalition released Solutions Over Politics: Stabilizing & Improving the Individual Market, which offered proposals to create a permanent reinsurance program, reduce healthcare costs for low-income Americans, promote greater insurance coverage, create a greater number of affordable insurance options, and improve the marketplaces. Members sent letters to Speaker Paul Ryan calling on him to lead in a bipartisan manner to stabilize and improve the individual health insurance market while protecting the Affordable Care Act. We also sent a letter to Senate HELP CommitteeChairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) calling for a bipartisan path forward on legislative solutions to reduce health care costs. More on how the New Dem principles catalyzed the bipartisan momentum in The Hill.
In Congress, our Members, led by Annie Kuster and Donald Norcross who are the Democratic Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan Heroin and Opioid Task Force, have been tackling our nation's opioid crisis head on, introducing important, often bipartisan legislation. From hosting roundtables and district events, to drafting bills and amendments, they are offering tangible policy solutions to this complex epidemic. Read more about a selection of actions New Dem Members have already taken this Congress.
Cyber threats have evolved alongside new innovations and technologies, therefore Congress must do more to secure our nation, families and businesses. New Dems sent a letter to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) urging improved cybersecurity hiring practices. The Coalition also unveiled a robust cyber policy plan in response to the recent high-profile cyber incidents and the rise of Ransomware that have shown the very real consequences of cyber threats. Read more in Safeguarding our economy and our future in The Hill.
New Dems are willing to work across the aisle and with the administration to revitalize our nation’s infrastructure and provide the necessary foundation for robust growth and new jobs. For too long, Congress has relied on irresponsible, stop-gap measures that hinder economic growth and make it more difficult to ship American products domestically and overseas. New Dems sent a letter to President Trump on the opportunity to move a big infrastructure package tied with tax reform. To help build momentum for a forward looking approach to infrastructure, New Dems convened a panel of experts to discuss infrastructure policy, innovative funding and financing models, opportunities for public-private partnerships, and responsibly streamlining regulations and the permitting process without compromising quality. New Dems also released a set of principles to increase long-term federal investments in infrastructure improvements.
On Immigration and Members Members Visiting Detention Centers
Over the past few months, the Department of Homeland Security has been separating thousands of families due to the Trump Administration’s decision to criminally prosecute undocumented migrants who try to cross the border, seeking asylum. New Democrat Coalition Members have been active in calling attention to the cruel family separation policy by visiting detention sites to speak with children removed from their parents. Many of you have shared what you discovered, and what the next steps are to ensure that all families are reunited and that the Trump Administration’s policy comes to an immediate end. Read more about the visits here.
On immigration-related legislation, Rep. Pete Aguilar led the effort for a bipartisan solution for Dreamers with the Hurd-Aguilar USA Act. More from Rep. Himes after the recent partisan immigration measure failed the House. Read more about Rep. Aguilar’s work in Politico here.
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