President Biden’s Historic Build Back Better Framework Will Help Millions of Americans
Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs, issued the following statement in response to the negotiated version of President Biden’s Build Back Better framework released today:
“The nation needs to Build Back Better. President Biden has recognized the urgent need to invest in our future, to lift millions of children and their families out of poverty, extend health care to millions who now cannot afford it, protect the aging and people with disabilities through expanded home care, expand education at all levels, protect against climate disaster, and provide affordable rental housing to hundreds of thousands of households. The Build Back Better framework announced today makes historic investments in all these areas.
“The priorities here are immensely important, and would start to reverse decades of inequity. Harshly disproportionate poverty among children, people of color, women, LGBTQI+ and people with disabilities will be substantially reduced. Extending the Child Tax Credit and ensuring that its full assistance to the poorest families is permanent is a historic achievement. This plus expanded nutrition help, pre-k schooling and child care, and affordable rent will prevent hunger, improve health, and ensure good outcomes for our children. Older Americans will benefit from greater access to home care and will gain hearing benefits. Millions of Americans will get jobs with higher pay through Build Back Better – in care work, clean energy, infrastructure rebuilding, and more. Workers with low incomes who do not have dependents will see a long-overdue increase in their Earned Income Tax Credit. Millions of immigrants will gain protections so they can work and contribute even more towards our economic growth. Make no mistake: these are investments that support and encourage work.
“The Biden Build Back Better framework also redresses inequity by requiring the wealthy and corporations to pay more towards their fair share in taxes. This is simple justice. It is also economic good sense. The gains made by millions of Americans through Build Back Better’s investments will benefit businesses now and in the future.
“There are serious disappointments in the package announced by the President. Paid family and medical leave was omitted. The Child Tax Credit’s expansions should continue well beyond one year, and many other provisions are temporary. Failure to authorize Medicare prescription drug price negotiations will cost consumers and the federal government billions of dollars. We need to do much more to ensure justice for immigrants.
“But taking the perspective of history, the members of the Coalition on Human Needs congratulate President Biden and Congressional leaders engaged in negotiating this framework for the improvements it will make in millions of lives. The faith groups, service providers, labor, civil rights and other advocacy groups in CHN’s membership pledge to see these historic improvements enacted into law and to build on them for the future.”