House Action on Reconciliation Package Could Improve Lives of Millions

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).

Washington, D.C., September 9—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives is taking another critical step forward in bringing transformative change to children, women, and families. As House committees begin to work out details of the budget reconciliation package in a series of mark-up sessions, they are responding to the urgent need to invest boldly in our country’s economic recovery and secure a more equitable future for millions of families, children, women, young adults of color, and people with low incomes. These communities experienced devastating effects during the pandemic and recession, after decades of being left behind—well before the COVID-19 pandemic—by an inequitable economy.

Today, House committees are investing in a different future. That’s a future that guarantees paid family and medical leave for all workers—which is a crucial support for families, workers, and the national economy—that takes direct aim at years of inequity and is decades overdue. It’s a future that guarantees affordable child care and pre-kindergarten opportunities for young children—transforming the nation’s future and the lives of women and families. These investments alongside other crucial priorities—including good jobs for workers, improvements to the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, mental health investments, and a pathway to citizenship for immigrants—will address what workers, families, children, and the nation’s economy need to thrive.

Families, child care providers, and workers have been waiting a generation for a moment like this when Congress considers making truly historic investments in the areas of child care and paid family and medical leave. Altogether the proposals in this reconciliation package reimagine a society that will ensure an equitable and powerful recovery for all—particularly those who have been left behind for far too long.

We applaud Chairmen Richard Neal and Bobby Scott for their leadership and commitment to recognizing and prioritizing the needs of families and workers. These investments can’t come soon enough for children and families. The House and Senate should act swiftly to pass this once-in-a-generation legislative package.