December 30, 2021

In Review: The New Democrat Coalition's Work in 2021

A Letter From Chair DelBene

Dear New Dems –

Our Coalition hit the ground running on day one of the 117th Congress. We began the new year by releasing an ambitious 100 Day Agenda to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, modernize our nation’s infrastructure, protect and expand Americans’ health care, and restore American global leadership. Despite a slim majority in Congress and twin economic and public health crises, we have made incredible progress on this sweeping economic agenda. 

We often say that the New Dem motto is to “Get Stuff Done” – and that is exactly what we've been doinin 2021. From the American Rescue Plan and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to the House-passed Build Back Better Act, New Dems played a central role in shaping and passing transformational legislation to build back better from COVID-19, grow the economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class.    

As we reflect on this year, I want to highlight the incredible talent of our members. New Dems have been working tirelessly to deliver for their constituents and I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead our Coalition during the 117th Congress. I want to thank all NDC members, Task Force co-chairs, and our leadership team for their efforts to move our coalition and our country forward. I am particularly thankful for the guidance of my predecessor and fellow member of the Washington State delegation, NDC Chair Emeritus Derek Kilmer. In the New Year, I look forward to working together to advance pro- economic growth and pro-innovation policies that provide more opportunities for more people in more places.   

In 2021, our Coalition continued to grow as we welcomed eight new Members, including Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Kathy Manning (NC-06), Frank Mrvan (IN-01), Deborah Ross (NC-02), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), and Nikema Williams (GA-05). The Coalition now stands at 97 Members strong as the largest ideological Democratic caucus and the center of gravity for the House majority. 

This Congress, the NDC is led by a 10 Member Leadership Team:

  • Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) – Vice Chair for Policy 
  • Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02) – Vice Chair for Communications
  • Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03)– Vice Chair for Member Services 
  • Rep. Ami Bera (CA-07) – Vice Chair for Outreach  
  • Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) – Whip  
  • Rep. Kathy Manning (NC-06) – Freshman Leadership Representative    
  • Rep. Stacey Plaskett (Del-VI) – Leadership Member  
  • Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10) – Leadership Member 
  • Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06) – Chair Emeritus  

As policy leaders in Congress, we established seven policy task forces led by New Dem issue area experts to fininnovative solutions to our nation’s most difficult challenges:     

All year, our Coalition has worked closely with the Biden-Harris administration to advance the President’s economic agenda. Our members had several productive meetings and calls with President Biden, White House officials, and the President’s cabinet, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese.

New Dems have been key players in the legislative process and helped enact laws to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, jumpstart the economy, and move the country forward with innovative policy solutions. New Dems stood united in passing the American Rescue Plan to get shots in arms and money in pockets and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to create jobs and make a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s roads, bridges and ports. New Dems also secured key provisions in the House-passed Build Back Better Act, which would grow the economy, cut taxes for the middle class, and lower health care and child care costs for American families. New Dems are continuing to work now to find a path forward for this critical legislation. 

Thanks to the work of the New Democrat Coalition, the economy is roaring, jobs are coming back, and wages are rising. As much progress as we have made, our work is never done. While Democrats in the House have passed countless bills this year, it’s time for the Senate to act on NDC-endorsed top priorities, including the For the People Actthe John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Actthe Equality Actthe George Floyd Justice in Policing Actthe American Dream and Promise Act, and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act. New Dems’ 100 Day Agenda paved the way for the House-passage of these bills, and we will continue working with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle and Capitol to break through the gridlock and deliver these wins for the American people.   

Our members have been recognized in the press for our success in the House passing and shaping the legislative agenda. To close out the year with a bang, our Coalition was named a Forbes Person of the Year for Democrats Driving Tax Policy! We’re also driving conversations back home in our districts too. We’ve welcomed President Biden and other senior administration officials to our communities. We’ve met with workers, families, and businesses to learn about their hopes and needs, and to talk about the big infrastructure investments we’re making. And, we’ve heard the movinstories of families who can now cover the cost of bills and groceries thanks to the enhanced Biden Child Tax Credit. These are the Americans that elected New Dems in 2018 and 2020 to produce real results that address the needs of their communities, and these are the Americans that will head to the polls next November to decide who holds the gavel in 2023.      

Our priorities for next year are clear: deliver real results for our constituents, keep our Democratic majority, find a path forward for the Build Back Better Act, act swiftly on upcoming legislative priorities like a final version of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, and help our members communicate our impressive accomplishments back home. We hit the ground runninin 2021, and we’ll be doing it again in 2022.  

Wishing everyone a peaceful and happy holiday season with your family, friends, and loved ones. I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year to keep getting stuff done!   


Suzan DelBene

Year In Review 

  • Hosted Nearly 50 New Dem Member Meetings  
    • Notable Guests: Secretaries Janet Yellen, Gina Raimondo, Pete Buttigieg, and Jennifer Granholm
    • USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai  Senior White House officials, including National Economic Council Director Brian Deese and White House Legislative Affairs Director Louisa Terrell 
    • Dr. Anthony Fauci 
    • Committee Chairs and Congressional Leadership, including Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn 
  • Notable Coalition Actions and Achievements:
    • Released a 100 Day Agenda to advance the Coalition’s priorities at the start of the Biden Administration.
    • Passed the American Rescue Plan Act, which included New Dem-endorsed COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus provisions.  
    • Passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included 18 bills endorsed by New Dems to rebuild our roads, bridges, railways, and transit systems.  
    • Advanced the Build Back Better Act to the Senate, which included the Coalition’s top four priorities: extending the enhanced Child Tax Credit, building on the Affordable Care Act to ensure universal coverage, tackling climate change, and creating jobs and economic opportunities.

On the COVID-19 Pandemic 

For nearly two years, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has upended every aspect of American life. That’s why at the beginning of 2021, the New Democrat Coalition released its 100 Day Agenda to tackle our nation’s most pressing issues, starting with COVID-19. Thanks to Democrats’ swift legislative action, more than 200 million Americans have been fully vaccinated and our economy is growing again

New Dems were early supporters of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which helped make vaccines available to every American and provided immediate, direct economic relief to working families and communities. The NDC worked with the Biden-Harris Administration, House Leadership, and committees to advance our priorities for the American Rescue Plan, includininvestinin a coordinated national vaccine manufacturing and deployment effort and NDC Chair DelBene’s legislation to expand the Child Tax Credit for low- and middle-income families. In January 2021, the Coalition also sent a letter to President Joe Biden and congressional leadership urging action on a slate of 11 NDC-endorsed policy priorities for the American Rescue Plan Act focused on getting the pandemic under control, growing the economy, creating jobs, and supporting American workers, families, businesses, and communities.  

Every Member of the New Democrat Coalition voted to pass the final American Rescue Plan Act to get shots in arms, money in pockets, people back to work and kids back to school safely, and our country on the path to recovery.

On Infrastructure and Housing

Followinyears of underinvestment, our nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of modernization in order to meet the economic and climate demands of the 21st century.  

The New Democrat Coalition, led by the Infrastructure Task Force and Co-Chairs Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07) and Norma Torres (CA-35), called for historic infrastructure investment in our 100 Day Agenda and outlined priorities to update our transportation infrastructure, create quality jobs, invest in our nation’s preparedness and resilience, and develop more affordable housing. The Coalition endorsed a slate of infrastructure bills and worked with the Biden administration, Congressional leadership, and committees to ensure they were included in the bipartisan infrastructure package.  

The NDC also endorsed and unanimously voted in favor of the final bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included 18 NDC-endorsed bills. 

Additionally, our members fought for the inclusion of numerous priorities to address housininthe Build Back Better Actincluding Chair DelBene’s H.R. 2573, the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act of 2021 to expand and strengthen the nation’s most successful affordable housing program – the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC). The NDC is committed to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to implement infrastructure and housing policies that meet the needs of the American people.

On Build Back Better

This year, New Dems have been working to advance President Biden’s Build Back Better economic agenda. From the beginning, we have prioritized doing a few things well for longer to ensure durable, consistent policies that Americans can depend on in the future.  

Our members worked to secure the Coalition’s top policy priorities in the House-passed Build Back Better Act including, extending the enhanced and expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), creating good paying jobs and economic opportunities through Chair Emeritus Kilmer’s RECOMPETE Act, tackling the climate crisis by decreasing emissions as quickly as possible, and building on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) towards universal access to affordable coverage and care by making the American Rescue Plan premium subsidies permanent and closing the Medicaid coverage gap. The New Democrat Coalition has consistently called for swift action on the Build Back Better Act and our members unanimously voted to advance the legislation to the Senate. 

Following the House passage of the Build Back Better Act, NDC Chair DelBene called on the Senate to act on this legislation before the expanded Child Tax Credit expires and to advance the Build Back Better Act to President Biden’s desk. Now, New Dems are leading the fight to find a path forward for this critical legislation. We will continue working to ensure our top priorities in the Build Back Better Act make it across the finish line so we can deliver for families, workers, and our communities. 

On Climate Change and the Environment 

Our Members, led by our Climate Change Task Force and Co-Chairs Reps. Susan Wild (PA-07) and Sean Casten (IL-06), developed an ambitious climate agenda this year and made tackling the climate crisis one of our top policy priorities for both the Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. 

The New Democrat Coalition endorsed two slates of bills aimed at using every tool to reduce emissions, enhance resiliency, and mitigate the effects of a changing climate. New Dems celebrated the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which included NDC-endorsed legislation to invest in green transportation, renewable energy, electric grid resiliency, and the remediation of orphaned wells.  

In discussions around the Build Back Better Act, the NDC prioritized going big on climate, committing to policies that maximize emissions reductions by leveraging every decarbonization tool available and prioritizing policies with the greatest and most immediate results. The House-passed Build Back Better Act included numerous pieces of NDC-endorsed climate legislationincluding provisions to invest in sustainable aviation fuels, green transportation and infrastructure, clean energy, and natural climate solutions.

On Trade

This year, the NDC urged the Biden Administration to roll-back the Trump-era Section 232 tariffs which hurt American consumers, workers, producers, and domestic manufacturers without effectively addressing the global overcapacity challenge.  

In October, trade leaders of the Coalition urged Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to reach an agreement with the European Union to transition away from the 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. Following the Administration’s recent announcement of a formal agreement between the European Union and the U.S., we commended President Biden for his work negotiating an end to these tariffs, providing relief to American manufacturers and eliminating a harmful barrier to trade.  

In December, NDC Trade Leaders sent an additional letter to Secretary Raimondo and Ambassador Tai urging them to move quickly to end the 232 tariffs on the U.K. and Japan, better coordinate with our allies to address global overcapacity, and pursue a pro-growth trade agenda to lower costs for Americans and promote American workers, manufacturers, businesses, farmers, and ranchers in foreign markets. The NDC will remain focused on trade as the U.S. seeks to invest in supply chain resilience, strengthen American global leadership, and cut costs for Americans. It is imperative that the United States continue to set the rules for the global economy, rather than have them set by others. We will continue working with President Biden in executing a trade agenda that meets the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. 

On Democracy and Justice 

Our democracy has proven to be stronger than those who illegitimately sought to overturn it on January 6th, but we must remain committed to the upholding free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power. Following the insurrection, every NDC Member upheld their solemn duty and voted to pass a bipartisan article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump. NDC Leadership Member Stacey Plaskett (VI-AL) and NDC Members Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Madeleine Dean (PA-04) were appointed as impeachment managers and made the case to hold the former President accountable for his role in undermining our democracy, spreading disinformation about the election, and inciting the violence at the Capitol. 

In response to the insurrection, the House passed two NDC-endorsed bills to better prepare our country, protect our democracy, and respond to domestic terrorism. The bills included the bipartisan H.R. 3233, the National Commission to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex Act and H.R. 3237, the? Emergency Security Supplemental to Respond to January 6th Appropriations Act, which would better prepare the Capitol complex from future potential threats. Additionally, three New Dem Members, Reps. Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), and Elaine Luria (VA-02), sit on the House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack.  

Throughout the year, New Dems have worked to develop and advance legislation to restore faith inour democracy. In February, New Dems endorsed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a sweeping campaign finance and election reform bill that will make it easier for Americans to vote, end the dominance of money in politics, and help ensure all elected officials work in the public interest. Additionally, our members endorsed New Dem Rep. Terri Sewell’s H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to address the most egregious forms of recent voter suppression by restoring the protections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Our Coalition also endorsed H.R. 1820, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to enact reforms to increase transparency and accountability, improve the culture of policing, curb police brutality, and end racial profiling. Preserving our democracy, restoring voting rights, and increasing accountability in our institutions remain top priorities for New Dems, and we will continue fighting to get this key legislation across the finish line in the New Year. 

On Innovation and Technology 

Led by our Future of Work and Capitalism Task Force and Co-Chairs Haley Stevens (MI-11) and Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), New Dems are focused on ensuring all Americans have opportunities to succeed in the 21st century by closing skills and opportunity gaps and empowering workers and entrepreneurs. New Dems also want to close the geographic divide and make sure no community is left behind. To that end, the Coalition endorsed Reps. Joe Morelle and Terri Sewell’s bill H.R. 476, the Innovation Centers Acceleration Act, and NDC Chair Emeritus Derek Kilmer’s bill, H.R. 4651, the RECOMPETE Act to create lasting growth, jobs, investment, and innovation everywhere.  Our Coalition also endorsed H.R. 1020, Rep. Dean Phillips’ New Business Preservation Act to create a new $2 billion program at the Treasury Department that would partner with states to invest in promising new businesses alongside private investors in areas of the country that do not currently attract significant equity investment.  

To address the changing digital world in a thoughtful and durable way, New Democrat Coalition Leadership Members sent a letter in June to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, and House Judiciary Committee requesting a legislative hearing on five antitrust bills so that Congress can fully understand intended and unintended impacts of the legislation. This aligns with the Coalition’s earlier request for House leadership to uphold regular order in name and spirit. 

Most recently, the New Democrat Coalition called on Congress to take swift action to strengthen U.S. supply chains, create jobs, invest in scientific research, and strengthen American global leadership. New Dems are pushing to advance these priorities during negotiations related to the Senate-passed U.S. Innovation and Competition Act (USICA) conference committee and are focused on addressing Americans’ economic concerns. The NDC’s priorities for USICA center on policies that will fight long-term inflation, cut costs, and give all Americans opportunities to succeed inthe 21st century.