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Press release
Posted on 08/11/21

Caregiving Advocacy Coalition Celebrates Passage of the $3.5t Budget Resolution Triggering the Reconciliation Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, August 11, 2021

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | brett@unbendablemedia.com

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 — Earlier this morning, Senate Democrats 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 Senate’s 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: 

“Without home care services, I and millions of other Americans would not be able to live at home with our families,” said Ady Barkan, Co-Founder of Be A Hero. “President Biden made a $400 billion promise to me and to home care consumers to invest into home and community-based services, and Congress must fulfill Biden’s promise to disabled children, adults, and seniors. The time for partisan politics is over. Consumers who require home care services should not be ignored by Congress. They deserve to receive the care they need at home to live with dignity and respect with their families and loved ones.”

“We are on the cusp of transforming our caregiving system at a scale we haven’t seen since the New Deal and meeting the needs of today’s working families across the lifespan,” explained Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations and National Domestic Workers Alliance. “It’s imperative that we use the reconciliation process to replace our patchwork system with a strong care infrastructure, including robust investments in child care, paid family and medical leave, and home and community based care and services for older adults and people with disabilities. And we must raise wages and create good jobs for the essential care workers who saw us through the pandemic and who will continue to be essential to the economy, enabling millions of us to work every day.”

“The budget reconciliation vote is a hopeful moment for America’s moms, who have been struggling for generations without the kind of care infrastructure families, businesses and our economy need,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO of MomsRising. “We need paid leave when a new baby arrives or serious illness strikes, universal child care, access to home- and community-based services for people with disabilities and the aging, a permanently expanded Child Tax Credit, living wages for all, and a path to citizenship for care and essential workers. Care makes all work possible and a care infrastructure will be job enabling and job creating, lifting businesses and keeping moms and caregivers in jobs that support their families. Moms are counting on Congress to pass the Build Back Better plans, including the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, so we can have a just recovery and all families can thrive.”

“We have a once in a generation opportunity right now to build a care infrastructure in this country that will not only protect working families, but will yield millions of jobs, billions in wages, and trillions in GDP,” added Dawn Huckelbridge of Paid Leave for All. “Passing paid leave and other care policies is the profound solution to the crises we’ve faced, and there is no real rebuilding without investing in care. We call on Congress to listen to the voters and seize this powerful moment to finally pass paid leave for all in the United States and to invest in the whole care economy.” 

“Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American and Pacific Islander women have long been the backbone of our economy. It is time we support them in this infrastructure package” said Heather McCulloch of Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap. “Women of color are the cornerstone of our families, communities and national economy and carried us through the pandemic as frontline workers, caregivers, and service professionals. And yet, they have been the most detrimentally impacted by the pandemic-induced recession. We must center the needs and priorities of women of color in the budget reconciliation process through deep public investment in an equitable care infrastructure that provides them with access to child care, paid family and medical leave, and home and community based care and services for older adults and people with disabilities. We must support the critical role of the caregivers who keep our families and loved ones safe, by providing better pay, benefits, and working conditions that acknowledge the dignity and essential value of care work. Investment in an equitable care infrastructure is an investment in all of us!”

“The historic investment in Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) included in the budget resolution will be transformative for a system that currently leaves almost one million people waiting for services all over this country,” added Nicole Jorwic, of The Arc of the United States, “People with disabilities and aging adults, have struggled, well before the pandemic, with a system that does not include the resources to support them in their homes and communities. The infrastructure of care for these groups currently includes the labor of unpaid family caregivers who fill in the gaps in the service system, and a paid workforce that is not paid a family sustaining wage. The $400 billion included to both expand access to HCBS and raise wages for the direct care workforce will shore up the care infrastructure so that people with disabilities can live independently, aging adults can age in place, and family caregivers can return to the workforce.” 

“Every day, millions of parents in this country are forced to make impossible decisions about caring for and supporting their babies,” shared Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor, chief policy officer at ZERO TO THREE. “Today, the Senate moved one step closer to shoring up our crumbling care infrastructure and helping millions of babies reach their potential. When we invest in them, we invest in our future. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change the lives of millions of babies and families. We need to get this right. It’s time to fund a bold baby agenda, for our families, for our communities, for our economy, and for our country.”

“With today’s passage of its budget resolution, the Senate just took us one step closer to the investments we need in our country’s care infrastructure,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. “This framework will make it possible for Congress to create a long-overdue and first-ever national paid family and medical leave program, and make other critical investments in the care economy that will benefit women and families. As we look ahead to the fall, we know that this resolution is just a first step and that we are counting on Congress to get this legislation across the finish line.”

“The Senate budget resolution represents a bold commitment to create an economy that will truly work for millions of children, young people, women – especially women of color — and families,” said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “After the devastation of the COVID pandemic and recession, we must choose an approach to recovery that centers women, families, and people of color. The Senate Budget Resolution does that and more, by investing in care and in a secure, equitable future that addresses income inequality and systemic racism. It reflects a strong commitment to the importance of caregiving to the nation’s economy with a focus on good jobs for caregivers and support for families and children. Investments in affordable, high-quality child care and paid family and medical leave are long overdue and are vital factors in our country’s economic future. This is a truly historic moment for our country. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to ensure swift passage.”

“Small businesses applaud the historic investment in our care economy outlined in the budget resolution,” said Co-Executive Directors of Main Street Alliance Chanda Causer and Stephen Michael. “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. 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.”

“By investing in care jobs and workers, like home care workers, who are primarily Black Latinx, AAPI and immigrant women who provide critical care to seniors and people with disabilities, we can create a more inclusive and equitable economy and address the care crisis that touches every family,”  said SEIU International Union International President Mary Kay Henry. “The $3.5 trillion budget passed today by Senate Democrats provides hope to working families who want to move our nation forward by advancing the Build Back Better package, including major investments in home and community care, paid leave, and child care.” 

“Now more than ever we need our government to invest in care infrastructure⁠—like child care, education, and paid leave⁠—to really value and support the work that women do,” said Amanda Brown Lierman, Executive Director of Supermajority.  “Women have kept our country afloat throughout the pandemic as frontline workers, caregivers, and educators. The least our government can do is ensure that we have the support we need to provide for our families and that we aren’t forced to choose between earning a living or taking care of our loved ones. A $3.5 trillion investment in care infrastructure would help women and their families not only get through this pandemic, but also thrive for the long term.”

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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