House Passage of Build Back Better Marks Historic Win

The following statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy

Washington, D.C. November 19, 2021 – Today’s passage in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Build Back Better Act is an historic investment in our country’s children, young people, workers, and families. Build Back Better will strengthen the nation’s economy and secure a more equitable future for people with low incomes, communities of color, and immigrant families. By sharply reducing poverty, investing in long undervalued caregiving, and increasing access to good jobs and educational opportunities, the legislation offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to vastly expand economic opportunity and advance racial and gender equity.

Build Back Better (BBB) will remake the nation’s fragile child care and early education system, which was in crisis even before the devastation of the pandemic and recession forced millions of women out of the labor force for lack of care. The bill will for the first time make high-quality child care and pre-kindergarten affordable for nearly all families with young children and improve pay and job quality in the care sector. BBB creates the nation’s first-ever comprehensive paid family and medical leave program so no family has to make the gut-wrenching choice between getting a paycheck or caring for an ill loved one or recovering from their own illness. Through the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, BBB helps families pay bills and slashes poverty among children and young adults. It expands health coverage for millions of families with a particular focus on health equity and maternal health. BBB creates subsidized jobs targeted to young people through investments in climate and workforce development. And it provides urgently needed relief and work permits for millions of immigrants and their families.

The victory today is a culmination of the tireless efforts of advocates spanning several decades. The Build Back Better Act contains targeted and bold investments that have been long fought for and are long overdue. The bill’s comprehensive approach is exactly what it will take to create real and lasting change for people with low incomes, women, and people of color. It signals a shift in our national attitude on what it takes to secure a more equitable future. By helping address historic issues of structural and systemic racism, BBB will have a profoundly positive effect on communities of color that are still weathering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CLASP would like to thank all members of Congress who voted for the bill and the work of so many champions who led the way and made it possible. We highlight the leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Representative Bobby Scott, Chairman of House Committee on Education and Labor for their persistence and commitment in passing a bill that puts the needs of communities that have been historically marginalized at the forefront.

As we celebrate and uplift this important step, we urge the Senate to move quickly to deliver this urgent relief to our nation. We urge Senate approval as soon as possible.