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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: National Advocacy Leaders and Organizations Applaud House Passage of Build Back Better Act

November 20, 2021

Following the House passage of the Build Back Better Act, national advocacy leaders and organizations ranging from AARP, Third Way, MoveOn, and many more applauded how the historic legislation will lower costs, create good-paying, union jobs, and deal everybody into the economy.

As Nobel Prize-winning economists and independent ratings agencies have confirmed, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Build Back Better Act are fully paid for, will reduce the deficit, and ease inflationary pressures by making the wealthiest individuals and corporations pay their fair share and stopping them from cheating on their tax bills.

National advocacy leaders and organizations from across the country are applauding the passage of the historic legislation through the House and urging the Senate to take urgent action so President Biden can sign it into law and ensure we can build back better.

See below for what they are saying:

Debbie Cox-Bolton, CEO, NewDEAL: "The Build Back Better Act passed by the House targets solutions that state and local leaders know are crucial to addressing their communities biggest challenges, especially around high costs of living. From child care support and universal preschool to paid family leave and lowering health care premiums, the legislation directs resources to where NewDEAL Leaders and their colleagues across the country see the biggest needs for their constituents. Crucially, this bill also makes huge investments in combating climate change, supercharging the types of efforts that states and cities have prioritized in their climate action plans. I join NewDEALers in urging the Senate to move swiftly to pass this bill and to make these desperately needed solutions a reality for the American people." [Statement. 11/19/21]

Liz Fairchild, Executive Director, Business Forward: "Today's vote on the Build Back Better Act is a critical step toward building a more competitive future for America's small businesses. The $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation bill funds investments in education, job creation, health care, and family leave — but its primary focus is $555 billion to build a 21st century clean energy economy. Ahead of the vote, more than 600 small business leaders signed a statement in support of the swift passage of the Build Back Better Framework: They emphasized that the package will create good-paying jobs, put the U.S. on track to meet our climate goals, and drive a sustainable economic recovery, all while cutting costs and taxes for the middle class. I encourage the Senate to take up the bill as soon as possible, in order to accelerate the transition to a clean economy and restore the U.S. as a global leader on energy." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Jim Kessler, Co-Founder, Third Way: "The House just took a historic step forward—now the Senate must act. Due to President Biden's vision for a better America, Speaker Pelosi's political prowess, and the tenacity of Democratic House members, we are now one step closer to witnessing one of the most successful first presidential terms in the history of the United States. Building off the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, President Biden's Build Back Better Act would deliver the largest single investment in our clean energy economy in history and take essential steps toward investing in working- and middle-class families in a fiscally responsible way. In addition to helping ensure a safer and more prosperous future for the next generations of Americans, the climate and energy investments in this bill will start delivering benefits to workers and businesses right here, right now. The Build Back Better Act provides a variety of smart incentives to support US industries making cleaner products, help American manufacturers expand and re-tool facilities to stay competitive in the global clean economy, encourage domestic production of clean and affordable energy, and improve every community's access to the jobs, clean air, and economic benefits that come with these investments. The legislation would also help to repair capitalism and rebuild the bond between work and a good life. Investments would boost labor productivity and ensure workers have skills for quality, middle-class jobs with big expansions of apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and a higher-ed system focused on delivering quality education and getting more students to and through college. Other investments would help people succeed while on the job with expansions of the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, child care subsidies, and universal pre-k. This bill takes huge steps to strengthen the ACA and cap health care costs for more people. And finally, this legislation passes the test of fiscal responsibility and will be fully paid for by the time it reaches the President's desk. We look forward to the Senate passing this bill next month, capping off a historic first year for the Biden Administration." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Simon Rosenberg, President, NDN and the New Policy Institute: "NDN applauds the Democratic House Leadership, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for rallying the Democratic Caucus behind the historic Build Back Better Act. Getting here wasn't easy, and the Speaker and her team deserve so much credit for taking the President's bold vision and turning it into legislation that could pass the House. The three big Biden bills of 2021 – the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Bill and BBB – do big things. They are defeating COVID and securing the recovery. They will make America a global leader in the existential fight against climate change. They will make extraordinary investments in our people. Americans will be better educated, live healthier lives, have better access to the Internet and have far more modern transit options. Millions of Americans will get good jobs from these three bills; tens of millions will have improved opportunities and more money for their families; we will better equipped to fight future pandemics; and our country will be stronger and every American – every single one of us - will be better off due to these three far-sighted bills. It is up to the Senate now to do its part."

Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer, AARP: "Today's vote is an historic step to help seniors afford the prescription drugs they need. The bill that the House passed today includes meaningful reforms to bring down medication costs: finally allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, penalizing drug companies that increase their prices faster than inflation, adding a hard out-of-pocket cap to Medicare Part D, and capping co-payments for insulin. Seniors are sick and tired of paying the highest prices in the world for the medications they need. We applaud the members of Congress who stood up to Big Pharma and ensured that Build Back Better will lower drug prices and reduce costs for all taxpayers. AARP strongly supports the bill's investment in the health of seniors by adding a hearing benefit to the Medicare program. It's long over-due that Medicare cover the whole person and this addition is an important step. We thank the House for including paid leave in the bill they passed today, offering much-needed help to working family caregivers who are struggling to balance paid employment and caring for their loved ones. AARP supports the critical investments made in home and community-based services so that more older Americans are able to choose how they live as they age, as well as the job training investments to help the long-term unemployed, many of whom are older workers. Importantly, the bill will also make health coverage more affordable and accessible for millions of Americans aged 50-64." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Rahna Epting, Executive Director, MoveOn: "This is a historic day, and this is historic legislation. Eighty-one million people showed up last November to usher Democrats into the White House and both majorities in Congress. Today, President Biden and House Democrats delivered a huge win with bold investments in jobs, care, climate, and protections for immigrants, as well as ensuring the 1% start paying more of their fair share in taxes. The Build Back Better Act provides historic funding for the care our children and elders need; the biggest investments in history to tackle the climate crisis and advance a more equitable, clean-energy economy; along with critical reductions to the costs of health care, prescription drugs, and child care. It also reflects the administration's continued commitment to advance good-paying jobs and important immigration reform. It will make life better for nearly all Americans, while also finally making the rich pay more of their fair share in taxes. Today's House passage is a giant leap forward on the path to an equitable recovery for all. Now, the Senate needs to do their part and swiftly pass the Build Back Better Act upon their return. The American people cannot afford to wait any longer." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Sharon Parrott, President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: "Today's vote brings us a critical step closer to delivering policy advances that help families meet everyday challenges such as paying rent and putting food on the table, affording child care and preschool, securing health coverage, and paying for college. The proposals in Build Back Better are based on solid research and build on successful federal and state efforts already in place. The package is paid for with sound revenue raisers and savings from lowering prescription drug prices. The Senate should avoid weakening the bill and move swiftly to pass it. The Build Back Better bill would reduce poverty substantially, particularly among children; narrow our nation's glaring racial disparities, which are the result of our long history of racism and discrimination; and move us toward an economy that works for everyone." (Statement, 11/19/21)

Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance: "Women of color have mobilized, advocated, organized and voted to help make this historic moment of progress possible. Today's vote brings us one step closer to realizing a future where America's home care workers, the majority of whom are women of color, receive a family-sustaining wage and those who need care—veterans, older people, and people with disabilities—will be able to receive quality, affordable care services at home. Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer have steadfastly spotlighted the essential roles that caregivers and care workers play in our families and economy. The Senate's quick passage of this historic legislation with all three pillars of the care economy—including home- and community-based services, child care, and paid family medical leave—will enable us to start building the care infrastructure our families and economy need. We're also glad that protections for millions in our immigrant community, including domestic workers, are included. Immigration protections are absolutely essential for truly meaningful change." (Statement, 11/19/21)

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising: "America's moms, parents, and caregivers have long been sounding the alarm -- and reaching out to members of Congress -- about the urgent need to build a care infrastructure to lift families, businesses, and our economy. We are celebrating the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Build Back Better Act. We thank every lawmaker who voted for it and commend Speaker Pelosi and the House leaders who worked incredibly hard to win passage of this vitally important measure, which will make it possible for moms, families, businesses, and our economy to thrive. We look forward to the U.S. Senate quickly passing Build Back Better and to President Biden signing it into law. When the President signs, working people will finally have four weeks of paid family/medical leave, child care bills will be cut in half for most families, free pre-school will be open to every three- and four-year old, 35 million families will receive the fully refundable Child Tax Credit, access to high-quality home care will be expanded for older Americans and people with disabilities, measures to address racial health disparities and end the Black maternal health crisis will be put in place, health care access will be improved and prescription drug prices reduced, millions of good jobs will be created, wages lifted for care workers, and lasting protections finally put in place for immigrants." (Statement, 11/19/21)

John Podesta, Founder, Center for American Progress: "Today, the House voted to tackle the climate crisis and build a clean energy economy. This historic measure will create millions of good-paying union jobs, lower energy costs for families by $500 per year, and build a more equitable economy that addresses the toxic legacy of environmental injustice. With more than $555 billion for clean energy, environmental justice, and American manufacturing investments, this legislation is the most consequential in history to combat climate change and environmental injustice. Combined with administrative and state action, it will put the United States in striking distance of the goal that scientists say we need to cut pollution in half by 2030. This is the culmination of countless hours of hard work by President Joe Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, congressional Democrats, and activists across the country who fight every day for a cleaner and healthier world. Now, the Senate must act quickly to get this transformational measure across the finish line. This is it. No next time. This is the time to deliver for the American people and save our planet." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Mark Zuckerman, President, The Century Foundation: "With the House passage of the Build Back Better Act, we move one step closer to enacting transformational investments in American workers, families, and our economy that will lower costs for average Americans, create more jobs, and cut taxes for low- and middle-income families. The Senate now has the opportunity to pass legislation that would change the lives of tens of millions of Americans for the better. Passage of Build Back Better would result in every family in America gaining access to affordable child care options for their children, in addition to enacting long-sought universal free preschool for three- and four-year olds, particularly at a time when prices for basic goods are rising for average Americans. It will make significant investments in maternal health care to address our alarmingly high rates of maternal mortality, particularly for Black mothers. And it will help fill the resource gap for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), strengthen manufacturing communities, create equitable and quality job training opportunities, provide additional relief to working families and students, and so many other positive outcomes." [Statement, 11/19/21]
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP: "The Build Back Better Act will have monumental positive impacts on addressing long-standing racial disparities impacting Black communities across this country. It will provide the investments necessary to reduce the generational impacts of child poverty, address access to fair and affordable housing, provide equitable educational opportunities, provide our elders with the support the medical resources they need, create equity by providing time off with pay, and create training programs that expand access to new and in-demand jobs. These investments represent a step in the right direction and have the ability to chip away at decades of economic disenfranchisement maintained by past racist policies and racialized practices. While we celebrate the passing of the Build Back Better Act, we now urge the Senate to expediently pass the House bill, with no amendments, and make these long-overdue investments a reality that will reshape the lives of all Black families and communities." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Mary Kay Henry, President, Service Employees International Union: "Essential workers demanded Congress pass the Build Back Better Act to help all families thrive and today the House of Representatives delivered. With the passage of this landmark legislation in the House, we are on the precipice of making historic investments in care, climate, jobs, and justice and protections for immigrant communities that will make a lasting difference for working people and families. To build a resilient, inclusive and equitable recovery, we need game-changing investments in creating and improving jobs for home care workers, expanding access to affordable home and community care for hundreds of thousands of seniors, people with disabilities, providing child care for families who are struggling to find the support they need and comprehensive national paid leave. The Build Back Better Act also helps to tackle the climate crisis and establishes critical protections for immigrants who have long resided in the U.S. And these game-changing savings for families and workers are fully paid for by asking the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share. This is what essential workers — and especially the Black, Latina, Asian American Pacific Islander, Indigenous and immigrant women hit hardest by the pandemic — worked so hard for last year. This is why they mobilized in record numbers, using their collective power to demand a path toward social and economic transformation. Workers of all backgrounds, in districts red and blue, are eager to feel the changes in their lives that they've been promised, and President Biden is ready to sign this bill. The Senate must take this once-in-a-generation opportunity to begin unrigging the rules of our economy and bring Build Back Better across the finish line, so people can see their democracy working for them." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Alexis McGill Johnson, President, Planned Parenthood Federation of America: "Today's vote in the House is a historic step toward promoting health equity and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care. The investments in maternal health, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and establishing paid family leave, among many other important investments, will make a tangible improvement in the health and lives of Americans. Build Back Better will particularly and positively affect people of color, people with low incomes, and people who live in rural areas — the same people who face tremendous barriers to affordable and accessible health care. The Senate must immediately take this package up so we can build back better for the American people." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women's Law Center: "With this vote, Congress brings tens of millions of women, families, and caregivers closer to a future where their work and sacrifice are truly valued and rewarded. The bill passed today includes historic investments in child care and home and community-based services, affordable housing, the establishment of universal pre-kindergarten, birthing justice, comprehensive paid family and medical leave, and the expanded Child Tax Credit–all paid for by making the ultra-wealthy and large corporations pay a fairer share in taxes–and long-overdue prescription drug pricing reform. This new future for women is generations in the making, and the Senate should immediately take action to make these life-changing investments in working families a reality." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Emily Stewart, Executive Director, Community Catalyst: "We applaud the House for passing legislation that would make historic and transformative investments to improve people's health and advance health equity. The Build Back Better Act represents the most significant advancement for people's health since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The Build Back Better Act would address a grave racial and economic injustice by providing health coverage to more than 2 million people with low incomes trapped in the Medicaid coverage gap. State leaders' refusal to expand Medicaid has greatly undermined the health of people in their states by cutting off their access to urgently needed care for prevention, chronic illnesses and mental health. Having access to preventive and lifesaving health care shouldn't be based on your zip code." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Mary Small, National Advocacy Director, Indivisible: "The House just passed a once-in-a-generation piece of legislation that delivers on long-standing Democratic priorities: lowering drug prices, expanding Medicare, affordable child care, paid leave, deportation protection and work permits for many immigrants, and historic investments in housing, home care, and climate. This is a landmark achievement, and once passed through the Senate, will demonstrate to the American people what's possible when Democrats deliver. And the country has the Congressional Progressive Caucus to thank." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Lorella Praeli and Dorian Warren, Co-Presidents, Community Change Action: "We are closer than ever to creating an economy that works for all of us, no matter where we were born. Together, movements composed of low-income families of color across the country have pushed their members of Congress to raise the standard of living for all of us. Key policies in the Build Back Better Act would transform our child care system and recognize the value of care work, drastically reduce child and family poverty, treat housing as a human right with investments in affordable housing, protect immigrants and break the hold the wealthy have had on our tax system for far too long. These investments in a care economy are an important step towards repairing the harm that has been done to Black communities and women over decades of systemic exclusions that have led to racial and gender economic inequality. We urge the Senate to swiftly pass the Build Back Better bill without any further cuts to investments for families, and with green cards for millions of immigrants as originally instructed in the budget resolution. Life-saving child tax credits, women's economic opportunity, long-overdue protections for immigrants, housing security, and the future of our economy are on the line." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: National Advocacy Leaders and Organizations Applaud House Passage of Build Back Better Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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