WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden's American Families Plan
Yesterday, President Biden unveiled the American Families Plan, his ambitious proposal to make transformational investments in our kids, our families, and our economic future – because when American families do well, our nation thrives.
During his joint address last night, the president highlighted how the American Families Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment in the foundations of middle-class prosperity: education, health care, and child care. Beyond helping American families meet the needs of today, the plan is designed to power the innovation and growth of tomorrow through an historic expansion in access to quality education and child care.
The President's announcement earned widespread support from leaders, organizations and advocacy groups across the country, who praised the president's vision and commitment to empowering American families.
See below for what they are saying:
Dawn Huckelbridge, Director, Paid Leave for All: "Paid Leave for All applauds President Biden and this Administration for their bold action to seize this historic opportunity and deliver on their commitment to pass a national paid family and medical leave policy as part of the American Families Plan. Everyone should be able to take time away from work to take care of themselves or a loved one without risking their job or paycheck. For far too long, the United States has been the only wealthy country without a national program, forcing many workers to choose between their health, caregiving and work. Paid leave, along with other care priorities, would save millions of jobs, billions in wages, and would add trillions in GDP. Now is the time to set meaningful change into motion and build back better by advancing President Biden's proposal." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Tina Tchen, President and CEO of TIME'S UP Now: "The American Families Plan is a necessary down payment and an essential step towards building safer, more equitable workplaces. These kinds of investments in a care economy are direct investments in women, who continue to bear the brunt of the caregiving and economic crises. Because caregiving, without a doubt, IS infrastructure. The pandemic has opened our eyes to the ways our economic systems have failed working women. Prioritizing caregiving in our pandemic recovery efforts means getting women back to work, including the more than 1.5 million mothers who've left the workforce permanently due to caregiving burdens and financial hardship. It's time for permanent public investments in child care, home- and community-based services, and paid family and medical leave to ensure that we can all take care of our families and that caregivers have access to safety and fair wages. We urge Congress to seize this moment for transformational change." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware of America: "With the announcement of the American Families Plan and its robust investment in child care and early learning, President Biden is charting a course forward for us to build the society and economy that we want for the future, a future that values children and their healthy and safe development, and values families and their caregiving needs. Child Care Aware of America is pleased to see a total investment of $425 billion for child care and early learning. This, and more, is needed to build the child care system into one that works for families, educators and communities. It is critical that as we invest in child care and early learning, we support and expand care provided to both infants and toddlers and to 3- and 4- year olds through universal pre-K in a mixed delivery system that ensures families can choose the best options for their children. It is also critical that we invest money toward our child care workforce, something the American Families Plan prioritizes. The American Families Plan also supports families and communities beyond their needs for child care by creating a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, extending the expansion of the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, and making higher education more affordable. Taken with the American Jobs Plan's $25 billion for a Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund and $45 billion for grants to reduce lead exposure in homes, schools and child care facilities, as well as the American Families Plan's extension of the expanded Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, there is potential to build the foundation children and families need to thrive now and into the future." [Statement, 4/28/21]
John Podesta, founder, Center for American Progress: "... While the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is providing essential resources to help families weather the pandemic, President Biden's unprecedented American Families Plan (AFP) sets a new course for good-paying jobs and strong economic growth that benefits everybody—not just those at the top. America can no longer be one of the only major industrialized countries in the world without a high-quality, affordable early learning system to serve its youngest children. The AFP would turn the page on the current child care system that serves just 1 in 7 subsidy-eligible children by making infant and toddler child care affordable for all families; establishing a universal preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds; and raising the wages of child care workers who earn an average $12 per hour. It would provide families further relief by making the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit for childless adults permanent as well as extending the life of the enhanced Child Tax Credit signed into law by President Biden last month. Similarly, with just 19 percent of workers in America having access to paid leave, we can no longer afford to be the only OECD country without a national paid family and medical leave program. The AFP would guarantee paid leave for all workers and ultimately reflect all the reasons why workers require leave—to care for themselves, a new child, or a family member—so that no worker in America has to choose between their livelihood and caring for themselves or a loved one. But the true promise of paid leave can't be fully realized without access to quality, affordable health care. The AFP would enhance the Affordable Care Act by boosting the financial assistance available to purchase health insurance. This builds on the unprecedented support for home- and community-based services and long-term care for elderly and disabled Americans proposed by President Biden in the American Jobs Plan... This proposal recognizes a fundamental truth: America's economic growth and competitiveness is inextricably tied to its families' ability to thrive. It includes popular, long-overdue, and critical reforms to build the economy back stronger and more equitably from the pandemic. After a grueling year for too many families, Congress should move quickly to turn the AFP into law to enhance their economic security and create millions of jobs." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Moms Rising: "The American Families Plan will help reduce poverty, lift the economy, share prosperity, boost businesses, and end the pervasive inequities that consign so many families, and especially families of color harmed by structural racism, to hardship and want. Through long-overdue paid family leave, needed investments in education and child care, more generous food assistance, strategic tax credits, and more, this plan will help build a care infrastructure to solve some of the most daunting challenges facing moms and families in our country today. America's moms welcome and strongly support it. This trailblazing plan will create jobs, invest in our care infrastructure, and build the care economy America needs to thrive." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Sherry Leiwant and Dina Bakst, Co-Presidents, A Better Balance: "President Biden's paid leave proposal, which will guarantee 12 weeks of paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill loved one or one's own serious illness, deal with a loved one's military deployment and more, is achievable and feasible. For 15 years we have worked tirelessly to pass state paid leave laws and have seen firsthand through assisting workers on our free legal helpline that they offer a critical lifeline for working families. For the millions of workers, especially women of color, who have been forced out of the workforce due to caregiving needs during the pandemic, paid leave will play a key role in gender equality and this country's economic recovery. The American Families Plan—with its significant investments in paid leave and child care and recognition that Congress must also pass the Healthy Families Act to guarantee paid sick time—will not simply help this country build back better, but also more equitably and with the needs of working families front and center. It also sets a floor, not a ceiling. At the same time as this Plan moves forward, we must also recognize the needs of pregnant workers and pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act because, too often, pregnant workers are forced off the job for needing modest accommodations, leaving them without a paycheck or the possibility of receiving paid leave once they give birth. We thank President Biden for his leadership and vision in bringing us to this groundbreaking moment. We also thank Rep. Rosa Delauro and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for their longtime dedication to working families and leadership on paid leave, and Rep. Richard Neal for his continued devotion to ensuring this country has a strong paid leave program."
Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America: "The American Families Plan is both common sense and compassionate. Not only would it take big steps to further cut child hunger, but it would also reduce poverty by rewarding work and bolstering education. Any member of Congress that's truly 'pro-family' should support it. Making child care affordable will also reduce hunger, both by making it easier for parents to work and by reducing the overall costs of living for working families. The proposals outlined in the American Families Plan will transform the lives of tens of millions of low- and middle-income households and put our country on a better path as we recover from the pandemic." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO, National Women's Law Center: "The outline laid out by President Biden promises historic investments in paid leave, high-quality, affordable child care, and extensions of critical tax credits. Our country has taken the unpaid and underpaid caregiving labor of women of color for granted for far too long, demanding that caregivers bear the risk of poverty, debt, and economic desperation. But as the pandemic has made clear, the work of Black, brown, and immigrant women is the backbone of our entire economy, and the American Families Plan should serve as the foundation for a future where our government finally acts like it." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Lisa Davis, Senior Vice President, Share Our Strength: "Share Our Strength is pleased to see this latest investment in children and families coming from the White House. At its core, this proposal is a plan for our nation and the millions of families struggling to make ends meet to rebuild and recover. While there will undoubtedly be a focus on the affordability of this proposal, the real focus should be on the strong return on investment when we prioritize our nation's families today. It has been a lost year for many children, but the truth is, our country has left far too many kids behind for far too long. The nutrition provisions in this plan, like Summer EBT, which provides a modest grocery benefit in the summer for families whose children receive free low-cost school meals, and increased access to nutritious school meals will help build a more well-nourished nation where children, no matter their zip code or circumstances, are prepared to realize their potential, achieve their dreams and ready to compete in our economy. Another critical component of recovering from the pandemic is providing all of the necessary support to reduce poverty by rebuilding our nation's workforce. Greater investments in childcare and paid leave, for example, will help support families as they get back to work. Share Our Strength looks forward to working with the Administration and Congress to make these investments a reality whether it's through the American Families Plan, Child Nutrition Reauthorization process or other vehicles for change." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Reggie Ross, SNS, President, School Nutrition Association: "For schools that are able to participate, the Community Eligibility Provision has been a tremendous benefit to students, families and school nutrition professionals. CEP ensures every child can eat a healthy meal without having to worry about whether they have enough money in their accounts and wipes out the stigma for kids who depend on free school meals. CEP ensures every child can eat a healthy meal without having to worry about whether they have enough money in their accounts and wipes out the stigma for kids who depend on free school meals." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Olivia Golden, Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP): "Taken together, the American Families Plan and the American Jobs Plan represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a true economic recovery and a vibrant future for every child and young person. These proposals are transformational, reversing head-on the devastating failures of our economy over decades. Past policy choices have often deliberately perpetuated racial injustice and systemic discrimination, including greatly elevated poverty rates for children and young adults of color, which harm their futures; inadequate investments in caregiving; and inequitable access to health, nutrition, good jobs, and education. And yet the Biden-Harris Administration's plans are also common sense, centering caregiving and reflecting what families need to thrive." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Bruce Lesley, President, First Focus on Children: "This plan has the potential to be the most important piece of legislation for children and families to ever be enacted into law. This proposal recognizes that the global pandemic and economic recession have put unsustainable stress on children and families across this country and addresses enormous problems that have plagued our children since well before the current crisis, including child poverty, inadequate early childhood development, educational inequities, substandard and unaffordable child care, health care affordability, the financial perils of family medical caretaking, and college affordability. The legislation also addresses racial and socio-economic inequities among our children. We applaud President Biden for stepping up for children and families in this major and historic way, and we call on Congress to make these proposals law." [Statement, 4/28/21]
UltraViolet: "President Biden's #AmericanFamiliesPlan is a significant and critical investment in our families and communities. The challenge of these times and the inequities that have been allowed to linger for too long demand, that Congress take even bolder action for women and families. We are celebrating the investments in childcare, education, universal paid leave, and child tax credits and we're grateful to @UltraViolet members and advocates for the organizing they did to make these investments possible. We also know we cannot build back better if women are not being paid a living wage, if we are still saddled with crushing student debt, and without permanent investment in our children through expanded tax credits and additional support for childcare and family care. The pandemic did not create the inequality that has held back progress for women and families, it simply shone a bright light on these problems. President Biden was elected with a mandate to go big. To fight for the working women who kept this country going at home, on the frontlines in our hospitals, in our schools, farms, grocery stores, and care homes. Women's labor and time is the critical infrastructure this country relies on. Women of color especially worked our asses off to get Biden into office on the promise that we would be centered. While we appreciate the progress made so far in the ARP and now in this proposal, we know this urgency of the need demands more. We look forward to working with Congress and the White House to continue to center women of color, Black women, Indigenous women and LGTBQ people, and to push for the transformation needed." [Tweet thread, 4/28/21]
Sharon Parrott, President, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP): "President Biden's recovery proposals — including both the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan — constitute a ground-breaking agenda to move us toward an equitable economy and address problems that have plagued our nation for decades...The President's recovery agenda would take historic steps to address these challenges and policy gaps. For example, it would:
- Reduce child poverty by more than 40 percent by extending the American Rescue Plan's temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit, though the full expansion should be made permanent rather than only extended through 2025.
- Improve the economic security of low-paid workers without children at home by making the American Rescue Plan's temporary Earned Income Tax Credit expansion permanent.
- Help millions of families get affordable, high-quality child care and preschool by expanding child care subsidies, providing funding to states to make preschool available to all 3- and 4-year-olds, permanently increasing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and investing in the child care and early education workforce...
The harsh costs of this past year's health and economic crises have fallen particularly heavily on people who work in low-paid industries; Black, Indigenous and other people of color; women workers; those without a college degree; and households that had few resources to fall back on before the pandemic hit. To build toward an equitable recovery where we all share in the nation's prosperity will require systemic changes and new investments. The Biden recovery agenda meets this moment. Now, Congress must act." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Becky Pringle, President, National Education Association (NEA): "Most of us want our neighborhood public schools and institutions of higher learning to inspire imagination, cultivate critical thinking and ensure all of our students – regardless of race, gender identity or ZIP code – can live fulfilling lives and reach their true full potential. We applaud President Joe Biden and his administration for prioritizing students and public education by proposing timely and necessary once-in-a-generation funding for services that help families and communities. In particular, we welcome federal funding to make prekindergarten and community college free to all, fund child-care, paid time off to care for families and medical leave, health care coverage, increase Pell Grants, lower tuition for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as Hispanic Serving Institutions, and address critical teacher shortages. More to the point, the historic funding request to address the teacher shortage as well as increase the teacher pipeline by recruiting educators of color, grow your own programs, and teacher leadership and residencies programs, will go a long way towards making sure our schools reflect the diversity and identity of the communities they serve. The American Families Plan that the Biden administration unveiled today will not only make sure that the wealthiest few and corporations contribute their fair share but, most importantly, make sure that students, families, and communities have the resources they need to thrive..." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Vicki Shabo, Senior Fellow for Paid Leave Policy and Strategy, Better Life Lab at New America: "As an advocate and expert who has spent more than a decade working to advance comprehensive paid family and medical leave at the federal and state levels, it's exciting—and smart—that both President Biden and the chairman of Congress' most powerful committee, Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), have made national paid leave a centerpiece of their family economic security and economic recovery plans."
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, Executive Director, NextGen America: "As a working mom of a four-year-old and a community college graduate, I know the difference the American Families Plan will make for young working families like mine. The Biden administration is investing in our greatest asset — the American people. Millions of young people and working families that NextGen America represents voted for the progress that will be delivered by this plan. We urge swift passage of the American Families Plan by Congress and call on the president to take action for the families currently in crisis from student loan debt by canceling $50,000 of federal debt by executive action." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Luis Guardia, President, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC): "Today, President Biden presented the anticipated American Families Plan, a comprehensive plan that will strengthen federal nutrition programs that impact millions of adults and children and go a long way to support struggling families. The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is thrilled that the Biden administration has heeded the calls of anti-hunger organizations to address the growing hunger gaps in child nutrition driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. The administration's proposal builds upon the efforts to address childhood hunger during the pandemic. During the pandemic, food insecurity has increased for households with children, with a disproportionate impact on Black and Latinx households. The nationwide waivers have helped to mitigate the impact by supporting access to nutritious meals through the child nutrition programs. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program also has been critical to providing children and their families nutritional resources to help make up for the free and reduced-price meals they are missing due to school or child care closures...We commend the administration for including provisions that ensure children have access to the nutrition they need year-round. This package is an important part of the measures that are needed to limit the depth, duration, and economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 crisis. We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress on these and additional initiatives to swiftly move the agenda for ending hunger in this country. FRAC looks forward to supporting this plan and urges Congress to move quickly and enact the proposal. Hungry children can't wait." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen: "The American Families Plan includes an array of far-reaching measures that will reduce poverty, mitigate racial, gender and wealth inequality, increase opportunity and make America a more decent place. Among other crucial provisions, reducing the economic burden of childcare, making pre-K education universal and adopting paid family leave will make a huge difference in the lives of Americans and make our country better...This is the time to act boldly and decisively to deliver the relief the American people need." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Columbia University's Center on Poverty and Social Policy: "The proposed American Families Plan continues a set of pandemic-era supports—specifically, expansions to the Child Tax Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit—and includes additional items geared towards building family economic security. We project that these policies will reduce the national poverty rate in 2022 by nearly one-quarter (23%) and the child poverty rate by nearly half (47.4%), relative to the projected poverty rates for 2022 without the American Families Plan. This could sustain the progress made towards reducing poverty in the United States projected under the American Rescue Plan beyond 2021." [Fact sheet, 4/28/21]
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers: "...Collectively, [The American Rescue Plan, American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan] mark the greatest investment in the American people since the New Deal, showcasing the administration's keen understanding of the role that public education, healthcare and infrastructure play in our daily lives and the need to shore up those safety nets to help every person access an opportunity to thrive. It's more than just undoing damage, it's delivering on the promise of a 21st-century American dream for our multiracial, multiethnic and multigenerational society, where the combination of good public schools, high-quality jobs and a strong care infrastructure provide enough support for people to build a decent life. In particular, the American Families Plan announced today includes significant investments in public education from free pre-K through community college, expands child nutrition programs, and funds a commitment to growing the teacher pipeline to address educator shortages and diversity. It makes permanent the lifesaving tax credits for families, expands paid leave and Medicare, and puts key tax policies into place that ensure the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. It provides a road map for shoring up our schools, our healthcare systems and our economy, while also working to disrupt and change those systemic challenges that disproportionately and negatively affect Black, brown, Indigenous, rural, low-income and working people. Together, we move forward empowered by a president who chooses competency over chaos, decency over cruelty, a president who truly invests in the long-term vision for an America that is supportive and inclusive, and offers everyday people a chance to thrive." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Terry O'Sullivan, General President of LIUNA – the Laborers' International Union of North America: The American Families Plan, announced today by the White House, is an investment in a better future for working families. LIUNA members have been fighting since our founding in 1903 to make better lives for ourselves and our families. Having a strong union has meant that members are able to count on good wages and benefits that can be a ladder to the middle class. However, without family-supporting policies like those contained in the far-reaching American Families Plan, there are still too many barriers to success for millions of Americans. LIUNA commends the White House on their new vision through the
American Families Plan of an America that does more than talk about family but is willing to provide support and investment to ensure a pathway to the middle class for all working families." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Lonnie R. Stephenson, International President, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW): "For too long, Americans have been working harder and harder for less and less. The American Families Plan is a vital investment in working families and the middle class. This plan provides needed relief to working people and their children from expanding health care access to creating a national paid family and medical leave program. It also expands access to education – from early childhood to postsecondary – which is critical to our future and economy. Along with the America Rescue Plan and the American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan is part of the Biden Administration's comprehensive investment in rebuilding America's middle class and restoring the social compact that rewards work, not wealth. The men and women of the IBEW call on Congress to take action to make it happen." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Jim Hoffa, General President, Teamsters: "The modern American family is being pulled in a million different directions that makes it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. The current pandemic has especially placed additional strains on women workers, who disproportionately struggle to balance jobs and caring for younger and older generations. Consequently, many have left the workforce. President Biden's American Families Plan will go a long way towards alleviating these issues. Not only will workers be able to receive free workforce training or earn a two-year degree at a community college, but their children will also be eligible for free pre-K schooling beginning at age three. Child-care costs will be capped for many workers, and they will be eligible for up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for themselves or ailing loved ones. Additionally, the proposal makes the federal tax code fairer by extending expanded health care tax credits and child tax credits granted in the American Rescue Plan while at the same time raising taxes on the most-wealthy Americans and increasing enforcement to make sure they pay their fair share. Taken together, this proposal is a balm for working Americans who now more than ever need an understanding government to help heal. Lawmakers should stand up for their constituents by quickly enacting it." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Lee Saunders, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME): "With this new proposal, President Biden is reaffirming his commitment to a sweeping, transformational agenda that empowers working people, creates good union jobs and gives everyone a chance to succeed. In fewer than 100 days, the president and his team have already done more for working families than most administrations accomplish in full terms, but more needs to be done to restore balance to the economy. The American Families Plan is bold and groundbreaking – from universal pre-k education to two years of free community college, from comprehensive paid leave to expanded nutrition assistance. It also includes critical investments in child care that will give working families peace of mind, while increasing pay and training opportunities for providers. And these investments would be made by asking the most privileged Americans to finally shoulder their fair share of the tax burden. Under the American Families Plan, no one making under $400,000 a year would pay more in taxes than they do now. And lower- and middle-income working people would receive tax credits that make child care and health care more affordable, helping them stay out of poverty. The American Rescue Plan that the president signed into law seven weeks ago is already delivering urgently needed assistance to families and communities – including nearly $700 billion for public services – to help the nation recover from the pandemic. The American Families Plan takes the next crucial steps toward building back better." [Statement, 4/28/21]
United Steelworkers (USW) International President Tom Conway: "The USW applauds President Joe Biden's American Families Plan, which will provide significant funds for child care, prekindergarten, paid family leave, health care subsidies, tuition-free community college, and other family-friendly priorities. The Covid-19 pandemic and its economic challenges reinforced how much Americans need access to these services and the dire consequences they face when these vital lifelines are cut. The past year also revealed how tenuous these systems are in our country and how easily disruptions in family life can impact workers' jobs. Ensuring Americans have easy access to resources like dependable child care and quality education should not be controversial. These are essential services that enable workers to continue providing for their families, as well as ensuring the best possible outcomes for our next generation. If we want our nation to continue to thrive, we must attend to workers and their families. The American Families Plan puts us on a path toward a brighter future for all Americans." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Service Employees International Union: "The newly proposed $1.8 trillion package from the @WhiteHouse would provide every American with:
? 2 years of tuition-free community college
? Pre-kindergarten for all 3 & 4-year-olds
? Paid family & medical leave for American workers.
COUNT US IN!" [Tweet, 4/28/21]
James T. Callahan, General President, International Union of Operating Engineers: "The Operating Engineers appreciate President Biden's laser-like focus on the middle class. He is following through on his campaign pledge to the American people to create an economy that rewards work. The President's plan invests in America's working families – in education, in childcare, in health care – the things that make a difference in everyday quality of life. The President's plan supports families who have been squeezed for far too long. The American people know that tax law favors the rich and corporations; that rich folks are too often able to evade and avoid paying their fair share. So many Americans had given up even thinking that real change was possible. But the President's follow through — his American Families Plan – gives us a chance at rebalancing the economy to focus on hard-working Operating Engineers and other middle-class families. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration and lawmakers from both parties and both sides of Capitol Hill to enact this bold plan to support the American family. It is time for Republicans and Democrats to come together and put families first. The American Families Plan does just that." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Douglas J. McCarron, General President, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC): "President Biden continues to release proposals that put America's working families first. The American Rescue Plan put checks in our members' pockets, took care of unemployed workers, and rescued pension plans. The American Jobs Plan will put people to work, create opportunities for new careers, and invest in a modern energy infrastructure. And now the American Families Plan will make sure families with kids have adequate child care, permanent tax cuts, and educational opportunities to set them on the right course for life." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Mark McManus, General President, United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA): "Today's introduction of the American Families Plan is another critical step on our path to modernizing our nation's infrastructure and building back better after a global pandemic. This proposal will build on the strong pro-worker provisions and investments in critical infrastructure in the American Jobs Plan to ensure all families have the stability and security they need," said Mark McManus, General President of the United Association. "Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic demands a holistic approach that leaves no worker and no family in the dark. This American Families Plan provides important tax breaks and funding for families to not only grow out of this crisis, but to thrive." [Statement, 4/28/21]
North America's Building Trades Union (NABTU): "NABTU applauds the American Families Plan introduced today by @POTUS. The time is now to invest in American families again." [Tweet, 4/28/21]
Fight for $15: "President's Biden's plan would invest in child-care workers, including a $15 minimum wage for early childhood staff.
+ Child care workers need at least $15/hr
+ Federal contractors need at least $15/hr
+ EVERY worker needs at least $15/hr
Pass the #RaiseTheWage Act!" [Tweet, 4/28/21]
American Federation of Government Employees: "@POTUS promised to be the most 'pro-union president', and within his first three weeks in office he has already restored many vital protections for 2.1 million federal workers across the country. #1u" [Tweet, 4/28/21]
Gabe Horwitz, Senior Vice President, Third Way's Economic Program: "It's the middle- and working-income families' turn. The Biden-Harris Administration's American Families Plan is a bold and forward-looking investment in middle-class prosperity, work, and economic opportunity. It makes working-wage and middle-wage work lead to a good and secure life. It dramatically ramps up the returns to work, creates more opportunity and inclusiveness throughout the economy, and prepares the next generation for success. With the American Families Plan, the Biden-Harris Administration is continuing to push for ambitious policies to better reward work in a post-COVID era. The plan's investment in child care would keep costs down for families and help support working parents. It provides a dividend to working families and reduces child poverty by extending the fully refundable Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan. The plan also demonstrates the Administration's commitment to put students first in our nation's higher education system thanks to massive investments in Pell Grants, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and a grant program dedicated to improving completion and retention-related activities at colleges and universities serving low-income students. The plan permanently extends a critical expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers. And it makes permanent the most important expansion of the Affordable Care Act to date by expanding cost caps to millions more Americans who buy insurance on their own. Together with the American Jobs Plan, the Biden-Harris Administration is building an economy that will be prosperous, inclusive, and focused on rewarding work." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU): "HACU applauds President Biden for the inclusion of plans that will allow Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and all other Minority-Serving Institutions to offer a more affordable education to students from families earning less than $125,000. HSIs fuel the nation's economic growth and educate nearly two-thirds of all Latino students, ensuring a diverse and well-prepared workforce. We are also grateful that President Biden's Administration is recognizing the needs of our students by increasing the maximum Pell Grant by $400 and expanding Pell eligibility to include Dreamers. The investments in the American Families Plan will promote increased social and economic mobility through educational attainment. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to ensure the final passage of an American Families Plan that addresses the needs of HSIs and the students they serve." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Dayenu: "President Joe Biden recently released his American Jobs Plan, a massive infrastructure and jobs proposal to rebuild America by rapidly transiting to a clean energy economy without leaving anyone behind. He bolstered this commitment with the American Families Plan, which promises investments in care and education that can help build a thriving economy. His vision is impressive in its ambition and scope, and has earned broad public support, and yet, it does not go far enough to meet the urgency that science and justice demands." [Statement, 4/29/21]
María Teresa Kumar, Co-founding President and CEO, Voto Latino: "This investment recognizes that America is the most powerful nation not because of our military might but because of our human infrastructure – the inner strength and grit of 331 million diverse individuals working together. Today, our country can drive the first nail in rebuilding an American middle class that had virtually collapsed in the past 50 years, leaving opportunity out of reach for so many for so long – especially Latinos, Black and Indigenous families. Today we are witness to our votes translating into meaningful results to rebuild and heal America. Gone are the theatrics of the former administration and in its place substantive policy directives that speak to our values of equity and justice. Voting works. We trust that Congress will quickly agree that more affordable education, providing direct support to children and families and extending tax cuts for families with children and American workers, rather than corporations, is a smart investment that will pay off for generations." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Levi Strauss & Co.:"We applaud @POTUS Biden's and @VP Harris's inclusion of national #paidleave in the #AmericanFamiliesPlan. As @LeviStraussCo CEO Chip Bergh recently wrote for @CNNBusiness, not mandating paid leave hurts workers, businesses and our economy." [Tweet, 4/29/21]
The Episcopal Church: "The American Families Plan represents a historic effort to address longstanding challenges for working families and their children. The Episcopal Church commends the White House for taking strong action to invest in our young people from preschool through college, raise children out of poverty, and confront the health outcome inequality so tragically exacerbated by the pandemic. It is time for the United States to build an inclusive society that works for all. The American Families Plan is an important component of that work. We urge Congress to support this plan."
Rev. Eugene Cho, President and CEO, Bread for the World: "President Biden's American Family Plan is a groundbreaking proposal to invest in children and families. We cannot merely offer our prayers to those struggling with hunger and poverty without taking appropriate actions to meet their needs (James 2:15-17). The president's focus on nutrition assistance is particularly important as our nation continues to suffer its worst hunger crisis in modern history. In a country with so much abundance, no child should be denied the opportunity to thrive." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Rev. Carlos Malave, Executive Director, Christian Churches Together: "The #AmericanFamiliesPlan unveiled by President Biden today is the boldest in support of American families from any recent US President. This plan will set American children and future generations on a path to a hopeful future. #poverty #hope" [Tweet, 4/28/21]
Latter-day Saints for Biden-Harris: "President Biden's American Families Plan is a key step to helping families become self-sufficient while providing a foundation for our children's success. Expanding our moral commitment to a free, appropriate public education for all to include pre-kindergarten and community college is a prudent "hand-up" that enables our nation's families to adapt to changing realities. The expansion of the Pell Grant alone will help our young adults complete their schooling in a timely manner. Continued support for families purchasing insurance through the American Care Act marketplace will foster entrepreneurship and small-business development. The provision of summer meals to more children, and the expansion of free meals to more K-12 schools, will mean that our children and our neighbors' children will grow up healthier and more able to learn and thrive. We are also pleased to see a real commitment to paid family and medical leave, affording parents — including fathers — greater opportunity to bond with and care for their children and for adult children to care for their parents, helping foster ties across generations and enabling the family to be a fundamental unit of care...Six months ago, President Biden received a historic amount of support from American Latter-day Saints, including a plurality of votes from Latter-day Saints under 40. We are delighted that he has so quickly followed through on his pledge to support our families, to promote self-reliance, and to fulfill our nation's moral commitments to our children. We call on our Latter-day Saint members of Congress, including Senators Romney, Lee, and Crapo to support the American Families Plan." [Blog post, 4/28/21]
Emily Stewart, Executive Director, Community Catalyst: "Good health does not occur in a vacuum and we're excited to see that the American Families Plan makes great strides in addressing barriers to affordable, high-quality health care, education, child care and paid leave. We are also very encouraged that the plan makes the American Rescue Plan's ACA tax credit increases permanent to improve access to affordable coverage and care. Together, the provisions of this legislation are a big step forward in supporting people, families, and communities across the country — and they are especially impactful for Black and brown communities who continue to face unfair and discriminatory barriers to health and economic security. We look forward to working with the Biden administration and Congress on an American Families Plan that permanently lowers the cost of coverage for people who buy their own insurance and goes further by reducing prescription drug prices and solving major coverage gaps in Medicare and for people living in states that have not expanded Medicaid." [Statement, 4/28/21]
D.C. Dorothy Day Catholic Worker: "We encourage swift passage of the American Family Plan. A moral imperative, it is a long overdue investment in the health, psychosocial and economic welfare of the citizenry and communities of the country now and for future generations."
Lawrence E. Couch, Director, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd: "Economic justice and social justice are united in the dignity of the human person, and the American Family Plan respects this dignity and seeks to rectify economic and social injustice." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism: "Judaism teaches that safeguarding economic security and supporting those in need are fundamental obligations of tzedek, or justice. We welcome the significant investments proposed in the American Families Plan to address the scourge of economic inequality and uplift millions of poor and middle-class Americans—especially People of Color, who experience disproportionate obstacles to prosperity due to systemic racism embedded in our nation for generations." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Sheila Katz, CEO, National Council of Jewish Women: "National Council of Jewish Women believes everyone deserves economic security and the power to shape the future for themselves. The American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan are once-in-a-generation opportunities to do just that by rebuilding our economy, not just to where we were before the pandemic, but to a place where it is inclusive, resilient, and responsive to the needs of the 21st century. Together, they make it clear that if we don't take care of our families, America cannot get back to work." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Islamic Society of North America: "We support the passage of the American Family Plan." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Jimmie Hawkins, Director of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness/Ministry at the United Nations: "The American Family Plan paves a path for the support and upbuilding of American families and individuals. It is comprehensive in its coverage of some of the most prevalent issues facing Americans in the areas of education, childcare assistance and healthcare. It will create opportunities from childhood to young adulthood. It will offer financially struggling families aid to pay for pre-school costs as well as provide two years of community college tuition. Marginalized communities will receive money to attend HBCUs and students will receive training to curtail the current teacher shortage. The Presbyterian Church (USA) fully endorses the American Family Plan and the compassionate support it will provide the hope for a better life." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life: "President Biden campaigned on a moral message of dignity, equality, justice and a promise to fix the crises we face as a nation. And during his first 100 days in office, he's delivered: passing the American Rescue Plan to help over 18 million people pay their bills and nearly 100 million Americans get fully vaccinated. This legislation also provided $30 million in harm reduction funding that will save lives. These types of policy goals are what it means to truly love thy neighbor. Now, with the American Families Plan, the Biden Administration has created a policy that says every one of us has dignity and value, and every one of us is worth investing in. As a pastor, I believe we need to care for all of God's children, and ensure that they can thrive. That's why I support the Biden plan, which would provide direct support to families in the form of child care, four additional years of free education, and tax cuts for families with children. An economy that fails so many of us isn't just unfair, it's immoral. I celebrate particularly how this policy will lift up communities of color and women, who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
As people of faith, we must continue to work for policies that acknowledge the basic dignity and worth of all people, including our children." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Diane Randall, General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation: "The American Families Plan is the long-awaited promise to the country that we have been working for many years. This once-in-a-generation initiative to invest in education, childcare, housing, and so much more, offers us the opportunity to realize policy goals that once seemed to be distant hopes. As Quakers and people of faith, we believe these bold actions are necessary to make our country the equitable and just nation we want it to be. The American Families Plan will put us on firmly on that road to a better country and world for all of us." [Statement, 4/28/21]
Members of Congress
Rep. Colin Allred: American families were struggling before the pandemic, and have had it even harder since. The #AmericanFamiliesPlan will finally deliver paid family leave, ensure universal access to pre-K, and fix our broken childcare system. Help is definitely here. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Katherine Clark: Good morning! Tonight, @POTUS unveils the #AmericanFamiliesPlan that includes universal pre-k, 2 years of free community college, and a national paid leave program. We are building a stronger, more just economy and we're starting today. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Lori Trahan: Tonight, @POTUS and @VP are unveiling the #AmericanFamiliesPlan to invest in our kids, our families and our economic future – because when American families do well, our nation thrives. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Ted Lieu: Research has shown that the most dramatic impact you can have on a person's life is when they are under 5 years old. Pleased that the American Families Plan will provide for free preschool for all 3 and 4-year-old children. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Jerry Nadler: America's families just weathered an unprecedented crisis: it's only right that @POTUS will unveil an ambitious plan to help them recover. These investments in paid family leave, free community college, and child care assistance are exactly what families need in this moment. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Andy Levin: "I chose my guest for the Joint Address this evening, Aqeela Muntaqim of Mothering Justice, a mother of four young children from Macomb County, so Aqeela could have a virtual front row seat to the unveiling of the American Families Plan. Aqeela has spoken with our constituents about how the American Rescue Plan's Child Tax Credit and nutrition assistance expansion have helped her own family and how many of the provisions have helped Mothering Justice member families, while looking ahead to what more needs to be done. I know Aqeela will help our residents better understand the American Families Plan's many benefits and help us craft additional equitable policies for working families. "As a father of four, I know firsthand how much universal preschool for three- and four-year-old children will help families in Macomb and Oakland Counties. The investments in making childcare more affordable overall and raising the wages of the workers we entrust with our precious young family members will also help alleviate the crisis of care we face. "One day after reintroducing my America's College Promise Act to provide two years of free community college to tackle the rising cost of higher education and the crippling student debt crisis, I am grateful to see this key provision included in the American Families Plan, including investments to make historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) more affordable. "The pandemic has added urgency to the issue of nutrition insecurity, especially among our nation's children. I am excited to see President Biden make the summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) program permanent and build out school meal programs across the country. I hope these provisions can be expanded upon in the legislative process to include critical programs like the Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program (WIC) and my Building a Better WIC Act that will ensure WIC can make the technology updates necessary to bring the program into the 21st century. "The White House heard our progressive calls to extend or make permanent some of the most important parts of the American Rescue Plan, including the Affordable Care Act subsidies that are making insurance premiums more affordable for Michiganders. While I welcome this investment in Americans' health care, we must do more. The past year has put into stark relief how vital access to affordable health care is—and how unequal that access remains. We must use this opportunity to expand Medicare to more older adults and provide more comprehensive coverage. And we must allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, saving precious taxpayer dollars. "I celebrate the tremendous momentum President Biden has built in just 100 days, and I will continue to work with allies like Aqeela to learn what more we must do as we reshape our polices to center our historically under-represented and overburdened families. This is a hopeful day in America—and it is just the beginning!" [Statement via Email, 4/28]
Rep. Bobby Scott: "For too long, the rising cost of college—fueled by chronic state and federal disinvestment—has barred our nation's students from being able to access a quality college degree. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing higher education even further out of reach, particularly for our nation's underserved students. "The American Families Plan would help millions of Americans access a quality higher education at a time when the significant benefits of a college degree are more critical than ever. Drawing from the Committee's work on the America's College Promise Act, the proposal calls for providing free community college tuition across the country. It invests in affordable tuition at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribally Controlled Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions. And it boosts the value of Pell Grants, which are the bedrock of our federal financial aid system. These steps are a critical part of our comprehensive plan to lower the cost of higher education. I applaud President Biden for supporting these vital investments for students, workings families, and our economy." [Statement via email, 4/28]
Rep. Val Demings: Education is the key to success. I'm sick and tired of leaving certain children behind. The #AmericanFamiliesPlan includes universal preschool and free community college. This is how we compete on the global stage: by unlocking ALL of America's talent. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Chair of Oversight Committee: @POTUS's #AmericanFamiliesPlan is an investment in our kids, our families, and our economic future. From tax credits, to paid leave and expanding & making education more affordable, this plan will rebuild the American middle class. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Frank Pallone, Chair of Energy and Commerce Committee,: "President Biden has put forward a bold proposal that would make historic investments in American families and build a brighter, more sustainable future for our children. "The American Families Plan will continue the work of the American Rescue Plan to build on the Affordable Care Act and lower monthly health insurance premiums for millions of Americans. The President's plan will make those premium reductions permanent – continuing the largest expansion of health care coverage since passage of the original law more than a decade ago. "Finally, it is unacceptable that Americans pay three or four times more than people in other countries do for the exact same prescription drugs. It's critical that we level the playing field by giving the federal government the ability to negotiate lower prescription drug costs, and this will be one of my top priorities as we work to pass the American Families Plan." [Statement, 4/28]
Rep. Kathy Manning: Tonight, @POTUS will deliver his first address before a Joint Session of Congress. President Biden will unveil the #AmericanFamiliesPlan, a once-in-a-lifetime investment in education and childcare. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Steven Horsford: The #AmericanFamiliesPlan is a transformational once-in-a-generation investment that will grow our middle class & provide a bright future for every family. I look forward to working with @POTUS and my colleagues in Congress to deliver this legislation on behalf of all Nevadans. [Tweet, 4/28]
Rep. Nydia Velazquez: This will be a significant investment in education and childcare as well. It's time to act on behalf of working families. [Tweet, 4/28]
Sen. Ron Wyden: "President Biden has laid out a proposal to make historic investments in the American people, laser focused on improving the lives of working families. "I pushed the Biden administration to support an overhaul of the unemployment insurance system, and I'm pleased to see the president do so. The system has been broken for decades. Not only did we fail to fix it after the Great Recession, state after state sabotaged their unemployment insurance systems by making benefits as hard as possible to access. As we've seen, it's much harder for the unemployment system to work in a crisis when it's been neglected and sabotaged. We can't fail again to fix and update it in the wake of the second economic crisis in 10 years. It's especially important because we're already seeing the start of another race to the bottom. This is a top priority of mine as we move forward. "This proposal would extend Democrats' expansions of the child and earned income tax credits, which have the potential to transform the lives of a generation of children and workers. My goal is a permanent extension of these credits, and I will be fighting for as long of an extension as we can pass through the Senate. "This plan has critical investments in health care that will make high quality health insurance more affordable and accessible for millions of families. Extending tax credits to buy health coverage is key to fulfilling the promise of the Affordable Care Act. It's long past time to deliver affordable health coverage for all and lower prescription drug prices for seniors and families that are paying too much at the pharmacy counter. "I'm also happy to see a significant investment in child care and paid leave. If we want to fully recover from the economic catastrophe of the last year, America needs to invest in working families — especially working mothers who have been forced to leave the workforce during the pandemic. This is a welcome commitment, and I look forward to working with the Biden administration to make sure this plan is enough to reach all families. "Paying for these critical investments and rebuilding our economy so it works for all Americans starts with fixing our broken tax code and ensuring millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. If you're a nurse taking care of COVID patients, you can't defer paying your taxes. But if you're high flier, you can defer, pay far lower tax rates than the nurse, or pay nothing at all. President Biden and I are on the same page when it comes to equalizing the treatment of wages and wealth, and I will be unveiling additional proposals to achieve that goal. "Lastly, the proposal includes a comprehensive plan to rebuild the IRS and crack down on tax cheats who are stealing billions from the American people. Dedicated funding, increased information reporting and an emphasis on pass-through businesses are critical to making real progress in collecting taxes owed. I'm working to ensure the IRS has the tools it needs to achieve these enforcement goals. "Our country is facing significant challenges and I applaud President Biden for laying out a bold vision that meets the moment. I look forward to working with his administration to get these priorities done." [Statement, 4/28]
Gov. Pritzker (D-IL): In his first 100 days, @POTUS passed a sorely needed Rescue Plan to battle COVID-19, put forward a bold infrastructure proposal with the Jobs Plan, and will unveil a once-in-a-generation investment in education, healthcare & childcare in the Families Plan. whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/...[Twitter, 4/28/21]
Gov Dan McKee (D-RI): There's reason to have hope. From universal pre-k and free community college to addressing teacher shortages, creating a national paid family leave policy and much more — the American Families Plan is a once-in-a-generation investment in our children, our families and our future. [Twitter, 4/28/21]
Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ), Mayor William Pikolycky (R-NJ): "...With the American Families Plan the president unveiled last night, more families would benefit from expanded tax credits, more help for health care and child care, and more of our young people would be able to achieve a college education." [Op-ed, 4/29/21]
Senator Chuck Schumer: "President Biden just unveiled the #AmericanFamiliesPlan. This is a big, bold plan to give American families a better chance to succeed in the 21st Century economy through investments in education, child care, and workforce training. I will work with @POTUS to pass this bill." [Tweet, 4/28/21]
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: I'm thrilled to see that the #AmericanFamiliesPlan includes paid family and medical leave proposals modeled after my #FAMILYAct. This is our first step towards guaranteed paid leave for every worker in this country.
"Paid leave is infrastructure.
Child care is infrastructure.
Caregiving is infrastructure.
@JoeBiden agrees — and the #AmericanFamiliesPlan and #AmericanJobsPlan invest in all three." [Tweet, Tweet, 4/28/21]
Massachusetts Attorney Generals Maura Healey: "Thrilled to see another ambitious proposal from @POTUS that puts families and workers first. The #AmericanFamiliesPlan calls for historic investments in education, health care, and child care that will put us on a path towards a more equitable future. Let's get it done! [Twitter, 4/28/21]
Mayor LaToya Cantrell: "It is difficult to overstate the impact of the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days on the City of New Orleans. As I have said throughout the pandemic crisis: leadership matters, at every level. The leadership at the federal level since President Biden took office has delivered meaningful results to our City and our people --- from critical and life-saving logistics work on vaccine distribution, to the game-changing federal funding made possible by the ARP. The President's work and his success in this initial, crucial period has made a huge difference and brought us closer to the light at the end of the tunnel." --
Mayor Eric Garcetti - .@POTUS' #AmericanFamiliesPlan will transform our nation's social contract, our middle class & working families with:
??Child care + paid leave
??Free community college
??Stronger nutrition initiatives
??Worker-friendly tax reform
These are bold investments for a fairer future. [Twitter, 4/28/21]
Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: President Biden's American Families Plan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/349740