Earl is a nationally recognized champion fighting for bold, lasting progressive change. He has been on the front lines of critical local issues important to Oregonians, tackling the housing crisis, and protecting our natural resources.
He’s a radically effective leader, fighting for universal health care and criminal justice reform, stopping gun violence, ending the failed war on drugs, calling for more labor rights and fair wages for working men and women, and securing our elections to preserve our democracy.
Earl has led the effort for bold action to combat climate change and create more clean energy. He co-wrote the Green New Deal, which set the agenda for America to radically reduce carbon emissions and jumpstart the green economy. He crafted legislation declaring climate change a national emergency and was joined in his efforts by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders.
In his role as a member of the powerful Ways & Means Committee, Earl has been pushing for much needed policies such as a single payer healthcare system like Medicare for All and fairer tax policies that truly tackle income inequality.
A fierce advocate for democratic values and progressive action, Earl has become one of Donald Trump’s most fearless critics and was one of the first members of Congress to call for impeachment proceedings.
A lifelong Portlander, Earl was raised in SE Portland and has never forgotten his local roots. As a student at Lewis and Clark College, he led the fight to lower the voting age in Oregon, which helped fuel the passage of the 26th amendment to the Constitution.
After his election to the Oregon House, Earl was a champion of groundbreaking legislation that was critical for Oregon’s future. He left the legislature to serve his hometown more directly, first as a County Commissioner, then on the Portland City Council. There, his advocacy for public transportation, land use planning, protection of the environment, and school funding earned him a national reputation as a leader for livable communities.
Politically, Earl has worked at the local level on critical ballot measures and giving financial support to progressive candidates, especially women and people of color, for the state legislature, local school boards, county commissions, and city councils.
We didn’t inherit this country from our ancestors – we borrowed it from our children. It’s our responsibility to leave them a good legacy: a healthy planet, a vibrant democracy, and a fair shot at their American dream. Unfortunately, Congress is too focused on short-term political gain rather than on America’s long-term future. That’s why I am fighting for solutions to long-term issues like protecting and expanding Social Security and Medicare, making sure we’re ready for the jobs of the future, dealing with our housing crisis, and promoting a Green New Deal to combat the climate crisis.
Unlocking Housing Opportunity and Reversing Federal Housing Failures
We are facing a housing crisis, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, I joined with community leaders and activists to release a comprehensive legislative road map detailing solutions for this growing crisis. As I took that report back to Congress, I was overwhelmed with support and felt incredible optimism. In 2020, I partnered with Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Pramila Jayapal to unveil the People’s Housing Platform, a groundbreaking framework that declares housing a fundamental human right.
And then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. We redoubled our efforts to meet people’s most immediate needs by passing major relief bills to prevent evictions, provide rental assistance, and mortgage forbearance. State and local governments received unprecedented sums of money from the federal government to address this crisis. Like many of you, I have been frustrated at the lack of urgency and certainly the lack of results to getting these funds out the door to provide Oregonians with housing and shelter.
Now is the time to once again refocus on the immediate, urgent needs of our community. Families are struggling to buy first homes, renters can barely afford monthly rent, chronic homelessness remains rampant, and marginalized communities are facing the lingering effects of institutionalized racism. We need to reset and refocus. Our solutions need to be big enough and bold enough to get the job done:
Public Housing: We need to radically increase funding for the construction, maintenance, and safety upgrades of public housing. This includes repealing the Faircloth Amendment, which caps the federal government’s construction of new public housing. We need to build at least 9.5 million new homes to meet the needs of low and middle-income people on the national public housing waitlist.
Homelessness: We must treat housing as a human right and guarantee people experiencing homelessness the right to shelter. We must also provide federal incentives to enact federal “housing first” policies, which ensure that people experiencing homelessness are able to be placed into housing without preconditions so they can receive the medical treatment and social services they need—not just a roof over their heads.
Renter Relief: Renters ought to be able to pay their monthly rental payments. We have to make Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers an entitlement like food assistance and Medicaid programs, create a Renters Tax Credit, expand the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, incentivize statewide caps on rent increases and triple funding for housing for the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Equitable Homeownership: We need to fight for families who have been locked out of homeownership by creating incentives for first time homebuyers—especially those living in formerly redlined or segregated areas. This must include making the Mortgage Interest Deduction a credit available for all, repealing the ability for the Mortgage Interest Deduction to be used to purchase second or third homes, and reinstating the First Time Homeowner Tax Credit to help those who have been systematically excluded achieve homeownership.
Fair Housing Policy: Centuries of overtly racist and discriminatory housing policies have left massive wealth, homeownership, and opportunity gaps between white communities and Black, Brown and Indigenous communities. We must provide federal incentives to end exclusionary zoning, strengthen existing fair housing laws, finalize the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, and double funding for enforcement of the Fair Housing Act.
Protecting our Environment & Climate
We must act immediately to embrace a just transition to green transportation and infrastructure, create clean energy jobs, protect natural resources, and practice regenerative agriculture to decarbonize our economy and save our planet.
I am proud to be an original co-sponsor and co-author of the Green New Deal. During my time in Congress, I have advocated for countless policies that will make the Green New Deal a reality:
Disaster Resilience: Heatwaves, wildfires, floods, and other climate-fueled extreme weather events have become a more frequent part of our everyday reality in Oregon and in the United States. Too often, Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other marginalized communities are on the front lines of climate change and disproportionately impacted by natural disasters.
We cannot accept the levels of loss and destruction we experienced in the past few years as normal. In 2021, I unveiled a legislative roadmap to guide the federal government’s response in preventing and responding to natural disasters. The first piece of legislation to come out of my framework is the Climate RESILIENCE Act, which I introduced in January 2022. This legislation seeks to strengthen the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response to natural disasters. For far too long, the federal government’s approach to natural disasters has been far too reactive—often providing resources and support only after deadly disasters devastate communities. My legislation gives FEMA the tools to help communities mitigate their risk of natural disasters before they strike.
The National Climate Emergency Act: Cimate change is a crisis. It is past time that the federal government begins to treat it that way. I worked with community leaders and activists to introduce legislation that requires the President to declare climate change is a national emergency. With the help of my friends, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Bernie Sanders, we introduced the National Climate Emergency Act to unleash every resource in our arsenal to fight climate change.
Defending Public Lands: During my lifetime career in public service, I have worked tirelessly to protect our public lands, including Oregon’s Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. In this endeavor, we must elevate Indigenous voices to ensure that we all have equitable and culturally-appropriate opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. I recognize that Mt. Hood is a significant place for many Oregonians and I am working with my friend Senator Wyden, community advocates, and Indigenous leaders to expand the federally-protected Mt. Hood recreation areas to further conserve these vital public lands.
Prioritizing Clean Air and Water: I believe it is Congress’ foremost responsibility to ensure that our communities have access to a safe, clean supply of water and healthy air quality. I am a strong defender of the Clean Water Act, the primary federal law which governs our nation’s water quality. I also believe we need strong regulations to protect our wetlands, oceans, rivers and help these natural water resources adapt to climate change. I am working to hold polluters accountable for the disproportionate impacts of air pollution in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities and people living on low incomes.
Elevating Climate-Smart Agriculture: Agriculture is responsible for up to a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. We need to support policies and practices that support the long-term sustainability of farmlands and our environment. My Food and Farm Act of 2017 is fighting to change the predominant industrial agriculture model that destroys our environment and makes Americans sick.
Standing up for Fish and Wildlife: I am proud to serve as the co-chair of the bipartisan Animal Protection Caucus where I work to raise awareness on issues affecting animal welfare to Congress and advocate for sensible animal protection legislation. This includes defending salmon, gray wolves, and many other at-risk species from the devastating effects of corporate-friendly environmental policies. I also recognize the vital role our bees and other pollinators play in maintaining our food supply and ecosystems and the need to protect them from toxic chemicals and fertilizers.
Universal Affordable Health Care
Access to health care is a human right, which is why Congressman Blumenauer is fighting to expand access to quality, affordable health care to all Americans, including:
Medicare for All. Congressman Blumenauer is an original cosponsor of Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All bill and he is working in Congress to establish a single-payer system so that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care.
Protecting Care for Pre-Existing Conditions. In Congress, Earl has fought to defend health care for those with pre-existing conditions and has successfully fended off over 60 votes to strip away the Affordable Care Act. He opposes any bill or executive action that weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
Lowering Prescription Drug Prices. Drug companies have taken advantage of Americans for far too long. Congressman Blumenauer is standing up to Big Pharma’s profiteering and price gouging. He’s fighting to empower Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate for lower drug prices for not only senior citizens, but all Americans. As chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee on trade, he is fighting for lower drug prices in any trade deal negotiated.
Ending the Gun Violence Epidemic
The gun violence epidemic is a public health crisis that threatens the well-being and peace of mind of communities across the country. Congressman Blumenauer is proud of his ‘F’ grade from the NRA. He supports comprehensive gun safety legislation to end this crisis. At a minimum, this includes:
Universal Background Checks. Congressman Blumenauer has voted for legislation to close the “private sale loophole” and implement uniform background checks.
Keeping assault weapons and high capacity magazines out of public spaces.
Removing barriers to research on gun violence to allow us to fully understand the impact and implications of current policies.
Empowering health care professionals to discuss all matters that affect their patients’ health, including gun ownership.
Enforcing existing laws by not letting the gun lobby undermine enforcement agencies, and by making sure unscrupulous gun dealers are held accountable to the law.
Requiring that people purchasing a gun have liability insurance.
Improving our mental health system to make it more accessible and available, enhancing our capacity to help individuals with mental illness.
Providing resources for first responders, schools, and public facilities personnel to deal with active-shooter situations.
Protecting Reproductive Health Care and Choice
Earl fundamentally believes in every person’s right to make their own reproductive choices.
In Congress, Earl has maintained a rock-solid commitment to reproductive rights. He is a member of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and has a consistently earned a 100% pro-choice voting rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood.
He has proposed and supported legislation to protect access to quality reproductive care and comprehensive sex education for everyone who calls this country home.
Livability & Social Equity
Equitable and Sustainable Food and Farm Policy. Congressman Blumenauer leads the fight to reform our nation’s food policy, which pays too much to the wrong people to grow the wrong food in the wrong places. He drafted the first progressive alternative Farm Bill, which would end subsidies for corporate agribusiness and invest in beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, local and regional food systems, and universal access to healthy food.
Enact Sustainable and Equitable Transit Policy. Congressman Blumenauer’s guiding principles are that everyone should have affordable, accessible, and sustainable transportation options, regardless of where they live. He’s successfully increased funding for bike and pedestrian programs nationwide, and authored the bicycle commuter tax benefit, which was enacted in 2008.
Defend Animal Welfare. Throughout his career, Congressman Blumenauer has championed policies to protect animals and treat them as fellow living creatures, not commodities. He is a founder and co-chair the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, a bipartisan group of over 140 Members of Congress who support pro-animal legislation. His work has led to landmark protections for companion animals, extended bans on animal fighting, and reduced the use of animal testing.
Abolish ICE. Congressman Blumenauer voted against the creation of ICE nearly two decades ago and has called for its abolition ever since.
End Family Separation. Congressman Blumenauer’s visits to detention centers in Oregon and at the southern border helped shine a light on the administration’s human rights violations. Through his campaign, Earl has raised thousands of dollars toward legal defense for the families Trump has torn apart.
The Wall. Trump’s wall is ineffective, expensive, and diminishes our nation’s values. He has vehemently opposed all funding for Trump’s unnecessary and unAmerican border wall.
Fight for DREAMers and Refugees. In the face of the administration’s termination of DACA, we must keep our promise to DREAMers, as well as stand up for the thousands of hardworking and otherwise law-abiding families who now call America home.
Rebuilding and Renewing America
Earl is fighting to update our nation’s infrastructure to allow for easier, more equitable, and environmentally friendly transportation into the 21st century.
Bringing our Transportation to the 21st century. The Congressman has worked with colleagues to develop a comprehensive $1 trillion package that sustainably invests in roads, bridges, transit systems, water and sewer systems, ports, airports, public buildings broadband, and the electric grid.
Create family wage jobs. There is no better way to create millions of family wage jobs than by investing in infrastructure. Every $1.3 billion invested in infrastructure would add 29,000 jobs to the construction sector alone.
Fund water infrastructure, schools, public buildings. Every American should have access to clean drinking water, high quality schools, and well-funded public buildings. In this effort, he has:
- Created a water loan program that is estimated to leverage at least $250 million in water infrastructure projects.
- Successfully advocated for increased funding to the EPA’s Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund.
- Pushed for legislation to create a Water Infrastructure Trust Fund and legislation to make significant investments in America’s schools, hospitals, courthouses, and other public buildings.
Monthly Direct Cash Payments. This is absolutely essential if we’re going to recover from the economic devastation, be able to deal with racial injustice to get people moving forward, and be able to move to the next level of reform and progress.
Closing the Wage Gap. Pay equity has been the law since 1963, yet, according to a recent study of college graduates conducted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women graduates earn only 80 percent of their male peers. Pay disparity continues to be discriminatory and only worsens over time. The numbers are more disturbing for women of color. According to the same study by AAUW, African American women, on average, earn 63% of the salary of a white man and Latina women make only 54% of their white male counterparts, losing more than a million dollars over a 40-year career. We must address the lost income over a lifetime and its devastating impact on the lives of women and their families.
Raising Wages. The Congressman is a co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act to raise the minimum wage nationwide to $15 an hour so the days of working families having to work two and three jobs just to make ends meet would be over.
Paid Family Leave. Working families should never have to choose between a paycheck and their well-being. He is a cosponsor of the FAMILY act to ensure that workers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for pregnancy, birth or adoption of a child, or to recover from or care for a serious illness to them or a family member.
Making College Affordable. Every American should have the opportunity to get an education, regardless of socioeconomic status. To that end, he’s fought for:
- The College for All Act, which eliminates tuition and fees at public colleges and universities for families making under $125,000.
- The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act to allow students to take advantage of lower interest rates.
- The Employer Participation in Student Loan Assistance Act, which encourages employers to provide educational assistance, including loan repayment, for employees.
Rein in Wall Street Recklessness and Hold Big Banks Accountable.
- Reinstate Glass-Steagall to help promote stability in the financial industry and to limit certain types of risky behavior that contributed to the Great Recession.
- Expand bankruptcy protections for homeowners to keep hundreds of thousands of people in their homes and force banks to be more responsible lenders.
- Prosecute wrongdoers. Sending people to jail will send a message. Crooks, whatever the color of their collars, should be held accountable.
- Block the concerted effort by the finance industry to hijack consumer protections.
Expanding Access to the Ballot and Defending our Democracy
Expanding Voter Access. Congressman Blumenauer has been fighting for expanded access to the ballot for decades. In 2019, the House passed the most comprehensive democracy-reform package in a generation ( H.R. 1), which included Congressman Blumenauer’s Vote By Mail Act legislation, paving the way for every state to offer vote by mail with free postage as an option for voters who request an at-home ballot.
Paper Ballots. H.R. 1 also included a provision from the Congressman’s PAVE Act, which requires elections officials to produce a voter-verified paper ballot, in order to guard against cybersecurity threats and election interference.
Campaign Finance Reform. The Congressman supports the following:
- A constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, which has given corporations and wealthy donors the ability to buy influence in our elections.
- Public financing of congressional elections to reduce the influence of big donors, diversify the pool of candidates, and build campaigns on small donors and real people.
- Legislation to increase transparency of spending by requiring corporations, lobbyists, and outside groups to disclose expenditures and campaign contributions.
Ending Failed Cannabis Prohibition. Our country must end the failed policy of cannabis prohibition. Congressman Blumenauer and Senator Wyden have joined together to introduce comprehensive legislation that protects state marijuana laws and provides a path to federal legalization of marijuana.
Ending the War on Drugs The War on Drugs has failed. We’ve spent over a trillion dollars and gained only the world’s largest prison population. We need to:
Provide universal access to treatment for those struggling with addiction.
Reform our criminal justice system and sentencing laws—including ending mandatory minimums and the unconstitutional practice of civil asset forfeiture.
Make reparations for those whose lives and communities have been most impacted by these policies by:
- Expunging federal cannabis use and possession crimes.
- Reinvesting in communities most impacted by the federal drug prohibition policies.