FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 23, 2021
Coalition Says America’s Recovery from Overlapping Crises – COVID and the Lack of Investment in Care – Depend on Democrats Passing a Comprehensive and Bold Package
WASHINGTON, DC — Moments ago, Democrats in the US House of Representatives passed
a $3.5 trillion budget resolution triggering the start of the reconciliation process. The vote paves the way for the Democrats to pass a comprehensive spending package that would provide generational investments in our nation’s crumbling care infrastructure and groundbreaking benefits that could reshape the future for millions of American families and their children.
In reaction to the House passage of the budget resolution triggering reconciliation, members of the #CareCantWait coalition, a $20m effort to ensure that the Biden Administration and Congress include significant investments in America’s care infrastructure in the upcoming package, released the following statements:
“Small businesses applaud the historic investment in our care economy outlined in the budget resolution. It is time to invest in our care infrastructure. Small businesses are demanding
these programs, like paid leave and child care, that will help ease the burden of high costs on working families and support entrepreneurs,” said Co-Executive Directors of Main Street Alliance Chanda Causer and Stephen Michael. “It’s past time to level this playing field. An investment in our overall care economy is an investment in small businesses, and our local community.”
“Let’s be frank. Women are exhausted and we need a life raft, desperately. Today’s passage of the $3.5 trillion budget resolution could be just that,” said Amanda Brown Lierman, Executive Director of Supermajority. “By investing in care infrastructure–like child care, education, and paid leave–we will be providing women the resources they not only need but deserve to stay afloat, especially as we continue to struggle through this pandemic. Women have done their part to keep our country safe and supported, now it is time for Congress to do theirs.”
“Today’s House passage of the budget resolution creates a powerful framework for transformative change. It truly addresses our country’s caregiving crisis and promotes an economic recovery that will fundamentally change the lives of millions of families, children, young people, women–especially women of color,” said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “The COVID pandemic and the economic recession have been devastating for families with low incomes and people of color who have been on the frontlines as caregivers, parents, and essential workers. The budget resolution passed today reflects urgency and a historic commitment to good jobs for caregivers and support for families and children through bold investments in affordable, high-quality child care, paid family and medical leave, and home and community-based care that are long overdue. As Congress moves forward with the bill, we will work with policymakers to ensure a response that addresses the scale of the damage done by the pandemic, the recession, and a deeply unequal U.S. economy.“
“America’s moms applaud every U.S. Representative who voted to advance the budget reconciliation bill today. This vote triggers the reconciliation process, which holds the promise of finally building the care infrastructure our country urgently needs, including paid leave when a new baby arrives or serious illness strikes, high-quality affordable child care, access to home- and community-based services for people with disabilities and the aging, a permanently expanded Child Tax Credit, living wages, and a path to citizenship for care and essential workers,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO of MomsRising.”A budget that invests in a robust care infrastructure will be both job enabling and job creating, lifting businesses and keeping moms and caregivers in the jobs they need. Lawmakers should understand that #CareCantWait for America’s moms and families, and continue working until the care infrastructure our businesses, our economy, and our families need is secure.”
“Today’s passage of the budget resolution is a step toward recovery and rebuilding that will keep more women and caregivers in their jobs, protect all of us in an ongoing public health crisis, make our economy stronger, and transform the lives of every working family in this country,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, Director of Paid Leave for All. “Paid leave and other care policies will yield millions of jobs, billions in wages, and trillions in GDP, and provide a liferaft to both families and small businesses. There is no Building Back Better without paid leave and care. We applaud every elected official who served their communities today and will continue to work to pass both bills that we need and the voters are demanding for our security and prosperity.”
“For people with disabilities, family caregivers and the direct care workforce, today’s passage of the budget resolution puts us one step closer to the historic, and desperately needed investment in home and community based services,” added Nicole Jorwic, Senior Director of Public Policy, The Arc of the United States. “We now will continue the push for passage and the funding that will create more and better direct care jobs, creating access to these services for people with disabilities and older adults, and taking the pressure off of unpaid family caregivers who currently fill the gaps the service system has left behind.”
“By passing the $3.5 trillion budget today, House Democrats showed us they have working families’ backs,” said Mary Kay Henry, SEIU International President. “For home care workers, who make all other work possible, this vote gets us one step closer to realizing President Biden’s care plan, which would mean a living wage and the choice to join a union. The plan would also create a million new home care jobs for a workforce made up of nearly 90% women, majority women of color, and one in three immigrants. And it would expand access to care services for the countless families across the country who need it. This is a step forward to repairing our broken care system and creating an equitable recovery.”
“As the pandemic stretches on, prioritizing investments in care—care for the aging and people with disabilities in the home and community, paid leave and child care—is absolutely essential,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations and the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “The Build Back Better agenda is incomplete without care, which is why President Biden proposed a $400 billion investment in home and community based care for older adults and people with disabilities. Our population is aging fast, few family members can afford to stay home to care for their loved ones, and yet care workers receive minimal pay and no benefits. Investing $400 billion in home and community services will generate more than 1 million jobs
, especially for women, and enable working moms and family caregivers to get back to work. This is essential infrastructure for a strong, equitable economy, and one that will help more of us live, age and work with dignity.”
“Right now, this country’s parents are sorely in need of support. Families carried our country through the pandemic; it’s past time we invest in them for a change,” shared ZERO TO THREE Chief Policy Officer Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor. “By adopting the budget resolution today, the House opened the door wide to helping millions of babies reach their full potential through reconciliation legislation that will shore up our crumbling care infrastructure with vital support. This budget represents a bold baby agenda, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the lives of millions of babies and families, today and in our future.”
“Today, the House took an important step toward making the investments that our country’s care infrastructure so urgently needs,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “The budget resolution contains a critical framework for Congress to create the first-ever national paid family and medical leave program and to provide critical investments in the care economy that will benefit women and families. We look forward to the continuation of the budget process, and urge Congress and the Administration to finally ensure that all workers can take time off work to care for themselves or a loved one without risking their job or their paycheck.”
All of the advocates listed above are part of the #CareCantWait coalition. The #CareCantWait coalition is led by BeAHero, Caring Across Generations; Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP); Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap; Community Change & Economic Security Project Community Change; Family Values @ Work; MomsRising; National Domestic Workers Alliance; National Partnership for Women & Families; National Women’s Law Center; Paid Leave for All; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Supermajority; The Arc; TIMES UP; and ZERO TO THREE.
The #CareCantWait coalition will work to ensure the Build Back Better budget reconciliation package which includes comprehensive investments in the US care infrastructure – like expanding access to paid leave and affordable child care, and needed funding for home and community based care – passes Congress and is signed into law.
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