Joe Biden

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

November 19, 2021

Following the House passage of the Build Back Better Act, state advocacy leaders and organizations 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.

State advocacy leaders and organizations from across the country are applauding the passage of the historic legislation through the House and calling on 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:

Stephen Herzenberg, Co-Director of ReImagine Appalachia and Executive Director of Keystone Research Center: "We can't underestimate the transformative potential of this ambitious, historic legislation. From increasing access to childcare and making broadband more affordable, to creating good clean economy blue collar jobs while cutting household energy costs this bill is going to have a real impact on everyday lives, while providing the resources communities need to jump start our economy and prepare for the 21st Century." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Alexandra Gallo, State Coordinator, West Virginia New Jobs Coalition: "Today's House of Representatives' vote sent a strong message to the American people — change is finally coming. By sending the Build Back Better Act to the Senate, Democratic lawmakers are signaling that they are ending an era of inertia and finally putting the country on a path toward a more promising future. Today we took one step closer to passing legislation that will change the lives of millions of working families for the better. The Build Back Better Act as passed by the House doesn't include everything we'd like, but it remains a historic bill that will make our communities healthier, safer, and more prosperous. The Build Back Better Act speaks directly to one of the chief-concerns of working people right now: bringing down costs. The bill will lower the cost of childcare and preschool, prescription drugs and healthcare, as well as housing, energy, job training and college. This bill will change millions of people's lives for the better, and it couldn't come at a more critical time to fight inflation. West Virginians support building back better, we are looking forward to the Senate passing this once in a generation bill to begin rebuilding and investing in the people of our great state." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

New Virginia Majority: "Today the House of Representatives passed some of the Build Back Better Act. For Virginians, this means access to free preschool for working class families, the expansion of health care coverage, lower taxes, job creation and access to affordable housing. This historic legislation would provide relief to Virginia families and make a tangible difference in the lives of everyday people. Expanding rental assistance, closing the Medicaid coverage gap, and affordable child care are just a few tangible policies that will make strides to a more equitable place to live for all of us. The Build Back Better plan is the biggest investment in the American people since the New Deal. Not only will it lift up Americans from all walks of life, it also includes the largest effort to combat climate change in American history, ensuring that we do our part as global citizens to protect our planet for future generations. Next, the bill will move on to the Senate, where Congress has a real opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Americans. The American people have waited long enough. With the support of Senator Warner and Senator Kaine, we hope for the speedy passage of the Build Back Better plan." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Jerry Jordan, President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers: "The Build Back Better act is a really big deal for Philadelphians, for Pennsylvanians, and for the entire nation. Quite frankly, it is a transformative bill that should serve as a very clear indicator that President Biden's agenda is strong, forward thinking, and driven by a deep commitment to bettering the lives of millions of people. It is hard to overstate the impact this bill will have on Pennsylvanians. In many ways, it is a culmination of years of advocacy efforts. We have, year after year, fought tirelessly for the programs and services that BBB delivers. And yet, we should also see this as a new beginning-- an opportunity and obligation to do better, to do more, and to press forward." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Antoinette Kraus, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network: "The passage of Build Back Better in the U.S. House is a tremendous step forward for hardworking Pennsylvania families. If passed by the Senate, Build Back Better will provide much needed relief for people struggling with high prescription prices, make healthcare premiums more affordable, and expand care for seniors and people with disabilities. If the legislation is passed by the Senate, drug corporations will be required to negotiate for lower prices for some drugs for the first time, and there will be caps on what seniors on Medicare can be forced to pay out-of-pocket for medicines. Drug corporations will face the first-ever penalties for raising the price of prescription medicines faster than the rate of inflation." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Jeff Garis, Coordinator of Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center: "The Build Back Better plan will help families care for children while making free, high-quality pre-K available to all. It will create hundreds of thousands of good jobs, many in unionized trades and clean manufacturing, while drastically cutting greenhouse gases and reducing energy costs for every household. It will guarantee that all workers are eligible for 4 weeks of paid family and medical leave, and for millions, it will reduce the cost of housing and of health care, including many prescription drugs. It will make college education more affordable, boosting the prospects of our young people and our economy as a whole. And it will be paid for by new taxes on the largest, most profitable corporations and the wealthiest Americans while cutting taxes for working people—all while reducing the deficit." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Niles Harris, Executive Director, Honest Arizona: "The U.S. House-passed Build Back Better Act delivers on the promise to lower health care and prescription drug costs for Arizonans and levels the playing field for working families by cutting taxes and investing in child care. Arizonans have borne a heavy burden throughout the pandemic, and we're grateful to the members of Arizona's delegation for passing this bill through the U.S. House. [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Meghan Roh, Program Director of Opportunity Wisconsin: "Hardworking elected leaders here in Wisconsin and in the Biden-Harris administration are delivering for the Badger State by passing the Build Back Better Act. These reforms will level the playing field for working people by lowering costs for health insurance, bringing down prescription drug prices, reducing energy bills, and making child care more affordable. Today we're calling on Senator Ron Johnson to put politics aside and pass a historic bill that will put the people of Wisconsin back to work and make sure the rich and big corporations pay their fair share." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Family Friendly Wisconsin: "Family Friendly Wisconsin is grateful for the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Ron Kind, Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan in passing the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. House of Representatives today. The inclusion of a comprehensive, permanent paid family and medical leave is especially important for the resources it will provide women and children in Wisconsin to recover from the pandemic. The transformative investments in child care and caregiving in Build Back Better will deliver much needed relief for working families. Family Friendly Wisconsin is proud to support the proposals in the Build Back Better Act. We call on Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson to support and ensure swift passage of the Build Back Better Act in the U.S. Senate. [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan: "The Build Back Better Act is an historic piece of legislation that will transform our country, improving the lives of people in Michigan and across the country. This bill will put us on a path to a faster recovery. President Biden recognizes that many of our most pressing issues predate COVID-19 and we can do much better than 'back to normal' for working families. From a historic investment in climate justice to affordable childcare to guaranteed paid leave, this bill will take several important steps toward creating an America that works for all of us, not just the wealthy few. I applaud the House for passing this landmark bill, with special thanks to the Congressional Progressive Caucus for their never-ending fight to make sure many important pieces of the Biden agenda were included. Now, the Senate must swiftly take up and pass the bill, without sacrificing the pieces that will make a difference for working people." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Emmie Theberge, Federal Director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine: "This vital investment in Maine's future will reduce pollution and create new good-paying jobs by making buses, cars, and trucks cleaner to drive; replacing lead water pipes; updating wastewater and stormwater systems; accelerating new clean energy sources like wind and solar; investing in land conservation and community resilience; and modernizing our buildings to make them healthier and more efficient. It will also deliver sorely needed investments in the social safety net to support struggling families and residents across Maine. Maine communities can't address the climate crisis on their own, and that's why we need our Congressional delegation to support bold climate action now. Together with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that was signed into law on Monday, the Build Back Better Act will provide the tools and resources necessary to help Maine achieve its ambitious Climate Action Plan and emissions reduction goals." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Executive Director Josh Weierbach, Executive Director of Florida Watch: "The Build Back Better Act is a once-in-a-generation piece of legislation that delivers for the American people". "Here in Florida, funding to combat the climate crisis, expanding access to health care, and investing in workforce training will help put our state on a path to a brighter future. Thank you to President Biden, Representative Stephanie Murphy, and all the House Democrats who stepped up to move forward on this vital legislation for our nation." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director of Progress Florida: "Today's action by House Democrats is a historic step forward for the American people. Once again, President Joe Biden continues to deliver on his promises to improve the lives of working and middle class Americans, while ensuring that it will be paid for by the wealthiest individuals and corporations. These investments in child and elder care, affordable housing, and the expansion of the child tax credit will be massively important to millions of Floridians and represent Democrats' commitment to Build Back Better by improving the lives of working families." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

For Our Future Ohio: "President Biden's Build Back Better Act is a once-in-a-generation investment in working families, kids, seniors, and care. We haven't seen progress like this in nearly a century. From establishing universal Pre-K to and extending the enhanced Child Tax Credit to cutting costs and taxes for the middle class while making the big corporations pay their fair share, this transformative legislation will directly and positively impact the lives of hardworking Ohioans. House passage is a monumental step forward, but now is the time for the Senate to step up, pass the Build Back Better Act, and put America in a position to succeed for generations to come. For Our Future Ohio is proud to have worked all year to advocate for President Biden's plan to rebuild the middle class -- from the American Rescue Plan to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act. We will continue to push for final passage. The time is now." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition: "Build Back Better is a great complement to Illinois' Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, reducing carbon emissions, supercharging Illinois' clean energy economy and creating thousands of jobs in every community while reducing exposure to air and water pollution, especially in our drinking water. We would like to thank all 13 Democratic members of Congress from Illinois for voting yes, especially U.S. Representatives Lauren Underwood, Sean Casten, Marie Newman, Bobby Rush, and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for leading the charge in the House. We are also grateful for the leadership of Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth and their work to pass Build Back Better through the U.S. Senate as quickly as possible." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Progress Iowa: "Build Back Better delivers for Iowa families. Build Back Better will make sure every grandparent can hear their grandchild say 'I love you' by expanding Medicare to include hearing coverage. Build Back Better will make sure parents are home with their babies the first time they smile by providing family leave. And Build Back Better will deliver for families who are struggling to keep up with corporations who are jacking up prices, fattening their bottom lines, and funding Republican campaigns with our hard earned dollars. Iowans and Americans are united. Build Back Better is incredibly popular, and thankfully a group of principled lawmakers like Rep. Cindy Axne are standing with us. Meanwhile, partisan politicians like Reps. Ashley Hinson, Marianette Miller-Meeks, and Randy Feenstra sold us out to their big pharma and big oil donors and tried to block a bill for child care, affordable medicine, and protecting our air and water that seventy percent of Americans support." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Kansas Appleseed: "The Build Back Better Act will strengthen Kansas and communities across our state—from our most rural towns to the largest cities. We live in the breadbasket of the world, yet too many Kansans and their families still face hunger. We saw how our communities banded together and how anti-hunger programs stepped up to fill the gaps during the pandemic. Food assistance programs work, and the provisions within the Act that bolster food assistance and Child Nutrition Programs will be critical to Kansas families. Among the investments made through the Build Back Better Act are expanding access to free school meals to an additional 42,000 Kansas students and providing over 233,000 students with resources to purchase food over the summer when school's out. The Build Back Better Act offers a pathway for Kansans to not only recover from the pandemic but to thrive. We applaud the House of Representatives' stake in our communities." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Indiana Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund: "The Indiana Alliance for Retired Americans thanks the US House of Representatives for passing President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Plan for America. For the first time since the historic creation of Medicare in 1965, American seniors will be able to live without the constant fear of bankruptcy every time an illness strikes. Significant changes will occur to shift the balance of economic power in this country from the powerful for-profit pharma corporations to ordinary Americans. It's been a long time since congress has put the health and welfare of its citizens over the arrogance of uncaring billionaires. Bravo to President Biden and the US House of Representatives. Now it is time for the Senate to return to supporting classic american values, and pass this measure also." [Statement, 11/19/21]

Dena Mottola Jaborska, Associate Director, New Jersey Citizen Action: "NJCA applauds the House of Representatives for passing a bill that makes a transformative and historic investment in the American people. Build Back Better addresses many of the socioeconomic and racial inequities that working families have struggled against for generations and will help shape an America where everyone has a better chance to prosper. It will make childcare, healthcare, housing, pre-K and elder care more affordable for millions, all paid for by closing tax loopholes, cracking down on tax evasion, and ensuring billionaires and corporations pay their fair share. The reconciliation bill delivers meaningful progress on making medicines more affordable for millions of patients, seniors, workers, and businesses, and creates a strong foundation to lower prices on more medicines in the future. It also establishes the first national paid family and medical leave program, so American workers no longer need to make the impossible choice between providing for their families and caring for them. It helps our children have a healthy start by funding universal pre-school, extends the Child Tax Credit that helped lift millions of children out of poverty last year, makes our Children's Health Insurance Program permanent, and increases access to food assistance programs. It is now the Senate's responsibility to send this once-in-a-generation bill to President Biden's desk and deliver these crucial reforms to families across the country. We urge New Jerseyans to stay engaged and continue contacting their Senators to support this legislative package in its entirety. Powerful corporate interests are still pushing for ways to water down some of the most vital policies. Congress needs to hear from everyday people how impactful and badly needed these reforms are. We are closer than ever to real support for and investment in our families, children, and communities." [Statement, 11/19/2021]

Joseph R. Biden, WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: State 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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