The House Passage of Build Back Better Launches a Time of Thanksgiving


November 19, 2021

Editor’s note: Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, released the following statement on Friday, November 19th:

“The House of Representatives made history this morning, and every Representative who voted YES on the Build Back Better Act can be proud of his or her action.

“The House Members who voted for H.R. 5376 deserve our thanks for pressing forward with President Biden’s historic investment agenda.  Failure to enact Build Back Better would plunge millions of children back into poverty; its enactment will continue the unprecedented anti-poverty achievements of the expanded Child Tax Credit.  Sixty-one million children will continue to benefit, helping 39 million families to make ends meet.  Families across America have coped with trying to work without paid leave, without affordable child care, with inadequate pay and benefits, worried about their aging relatives on years-long waiting lists for home care services, and worried that their children are not getting the education they need.  Build Back Better will invest in good health care, child care, home care, and green jobs, meeting our urgent needs and expanding careers with family-sustaining wages. We will add 300,000 rental housing vouchers and build more affordable housing.  We will ensure children have nutritious school and summer meals.  Even now, more than 9 million adults living with children have said that they did not have enough to eat in the previous week.  We have to invest to stop this threat to our children’s well-being; this legislation will help us Build Back Better.

“The pandemic both exposed and worsened vulnerabilities and inequities afflicting our nation.  Because we had failed to invest adequately in our institutions of public health for years, we were vulnerable to the catastrophic spread of disease.  Because we had failed to invest in affordable housing, child care, and paid leave, families already struggling to afford necessities saw their hardships grow as work became impossible. We had disinvested in education, environmental protection, and health.  The hardships were not meted out equally; people of color, immigrants, and the poor suffered the most.  We cannot move forward when so many are held back. It was clear – to make ourselves less vulnerable to health and climate disasters, to open opportunities for each of us to contribute to and benefit from a prosperous economy, we had to Build Back Better.

“That is what the majority of the House of Representatives have done, and their action to advance the Build Back Better investment agenda launches a time of thanksgiving and purpose.  The House majority has exercised and called for responsible stewardship of our nation and our future, by making investments that will pay off for years to come, and by insisting that the rich and corporations start to pay their fair share.

“The human service providers, people of faith, labor, civil rights and other advocates for people with low incomes who make up the Coalition on Human Needs join together in thanksgiving for the House’s vital action and in resolve to see the Build Back Better legislation signed by President Biden.”