In Massive Sign-On Letter, Hundreds of Progressive Organizations, Business Leaders and Advocates Urge the US Senate to Pass the Build Back Better Act
WASHINGTON, DC -- In a new letter to members of the US Senate, sent today, more than 250 nonprofit organizations, business leaders, and women’s advocates are urging passage of the Build Back Better Act with haste.
The letter is also running as a full-page ad in the DC edition of the New York Times today.
VIEW THE NEW YORK TIMES AD HERE: https://bit.ly/BuildBackBetterNow_NYTAd
Spearheaded by MomsRising on behalf of the #CareCantWait coalition, the letter calls attention to the importance of the Build Back Better Act’s highly popular measures to help working families, including paid family and medical leave, investments in child care and pre-K, home- and community-based services, and the expanded Child Tax Credit. The letter reads, in part:
“The Build Back Better agenda was crucial when it was first announced, and now working families are at a breaking point. America’s workers, businesses, and families need this law. In the ongoing pandemic and with all the economic risks associated with it, it’s clear Build Back Better is needed more than ever, not only to support working families and to strengthen jobs and our economy, but also to enable growth and resilience. As schools open and close, and as businesses struggle to maintain their workforce, passage of Build Back Better cannot come soon enough.
“The Senate now has an historic opportunity to prioritize building a durable, equitable, family-focused care infrastructure that cuts costs for families, helps address inflation, boosts businesses, promotes public health, and creates and improves jobs, including by raising wages and providing better opportunities for workers to join unions.
The letter lifts up four critical policies and provisions of the Build Back Better Act that advocates say are critical for working families, businesses and our economy, explaining:
Child Care and Pre-K: Access to universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, lower child care costs for the vast majority of families, increased wages for early educators, and measures to build the supply of desperately needed high-quality child care slots, which will improve children’s and families’ lives for years to come.
Paid Family and Medical Leave: In addition to limiting the spread of COVID-19 by allowing workers to recover from serious illness without spreading it at work, paid family and medical leave would help new parents and people who are seriously ill or have a close loved one who is seriously ill stay in the workforce, thereby increasing labor supply. Such an investment would help reduce long-term inflation caused by supply chain issues and be a critical support to small businesses.
Home- and Community-Based Services: Access to long-term care that seniors and people with disabilities need in their homes and communities, along with better pay and working conditions for care workers, who are a majority women of color.
Child Tax Credits: The monthly Child Tax Credit payments ended in December 2021, leaving millions of families without critical income that kept millions of children out of poverty and helped families afford basic necessities. Families, including ITIN filers, need the Child Tax Credit made permanent.
“The situation is urgent. Moms, dads, caregivers, and working people of America need Build Back Better more than ever. The fact that over 250 organizations came together so quickly to sign onto this open letter to the Senate is just one of many indicators of the extraordinarily broad, deep support for the Build Back Better Act, and how urgently every Senator’s constituents need it to become law,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO of MomsRising. “Build Back Better will support moms, families, working people, and businesses. The policy frame builds a care infrastructure and finally cuts child care costs, provides free pre-K, making home- and community-based services available for seniors and people living with disabilities, creates good jobs, advances paid family and medical leave, and continues the expanded Child Tax Credit payments, which did so much to help families afford food, shelter, gas, energy, school supplies, child care, and other essentials. Build Back Better will also help stem inflation and strengthen our economy. We need the U.S. Senate to pass it now.”
“Two years into the pandemic, family caregivers have tried everything under the sun to cope with physical and emotional exhaustion and financial strain. Time outside, Zoom calls with friends, prayer, pets and plants have brought moments of relief, but ‘self care’ only goes so far. We must urgently pass a policy that supports us to care for our families while supporting dignity for care workers,” explained Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations and National Domestic Workers Alliance.
“The policies that make up the Build Back Better Agenda will make critical investments we need to boost our economy and rebuild our communities. These policies are not only popular with the public, but they will improve millions of lives, reshape the economy, and finally enable many more people to have a fair shot at prosperity, security, and mobility. It’s past time to prioritize investment in our main streets and working families,” added Chanda Causer, Co-Executive Director, Main Street Alliance.
“Every day as Congress fails to act , millions of families are forced to make impossible decisions as they juggle care for their babies and provide for their economic security. Congress must strengthen the support parents and caregivers need to help their children thrive, now and in the future. Comprehensive paid family and medical leave, high-quality child care, and the expanded Child Tax Credit collectively create a cohesive family policy that builds a strong foundation for generations to come. We simply cannot lose this opportunity to get this right. We urge Congress to put families first and pass Build Back Better with each of these supports included. Our babies are counting on you,” shared Matthew Melmed, ZERO TO THREE Executive Director.
“Build Back Better will bring the long-overdue help that families and caregivers need. Two years into the pandemic, our caregiving crisis remains pressing and urgent and keeps far too many people—in particular women—from the economic security and peace of mind they deserve,” said Hannah Matthews, Deputy Executive Director for Policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “Investments in child care and pre-kindergarten, paid family and medical leave, and the expanded Child Tax Credit are common sense solutions that would address decades of inaction in meeting the needs of working families. We urge President Biden and Congress to continue the work on these important priorities and pass Build Back Better to put the country on a path to full economic recovery for all. We can’t wait any longer.”
The letter was signed by more than 250 nonprofit organizations, business leaders and women’s advocates, including: The Arc, American Federation of Teachers, Be A Hero, Black Women’s Roundtable, Caring Across Generations, #CareCantWait Coalition, Care in Action, Center for Law and Social Policy, Community Change Action, Family Values @ Work, Justice in Aging, MomsRising Together, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Partnership for Women & Families, Paid Leave for All, SEIU and Zero to Three.
VIEW THE FULL LIST OF SIGNERS HERE: https://action.momsrising.org/sign/bbb/