Congress Must Move Now to Reconciliation to Deliver an Equitable, Sustainable Economic Recovery

The pandemic has laid bare the consequences of decades’ worth of underinvestment in our communities, dealing a devastating blow to American workers, families, and small businesses — particularly in communities of color. As the country begins to recover, we need robust public investment to address the massive loss of jobs the country experienced, our underfunded and crumbling infrastructure, an ever-widening racial wealth gap, and the rising economic cost of inaction on climate change. The American Jobs and Families Plans are once-in-a-generation, job-creating investments that will ensure our nation benefits from good jobs and robust economic growth, will address our caregiving crisis by increasing access to affordable care and paid leave, and will help reverse the long-standing inequities that made middle class families and communities of color so vulnerable to the economic costs of the pandemic.

Unfortunately, while the president has made every effort to engage in good faith bipartisan negotiations on his agenda, Congressional Republicans have refused to come to the table with any serious proposal that meets the urgency of the moment. Instead, their so-called counter-offers would shortchange our economic recovery, protect corporations, hurt working families and leave millions of jobs on the table.

Their proposals would shift the costs from corporations onto middle-class families by raising fees and raiding critical pandemic relief funds that are needed to keep essential workers like firefighters, teachers, and EMTs on the job. In doing so, they are choosing to protect big corporations that pay no taxes and ship jobs overseas instead of creating millions of good paying jobs for working and middle class Americans and making improvements to our decaying infrastructure to ensure we can compete in a 21st economy.

What’s more, the Republican proposals have outright refused to support funding for critical priorities laid out by President Biden that would begin to ensure an equitable, sustainable recovery. They strip investments in clean energy jobs, which would forfeit more than 1 million jobs and inhibit our fight against climate change. They cut funding for home and community based care for elderly and disabled people, which could result in $64.5 billion a year in lost wages and economic activity, and continue to leave caregivers vulnerable to economic instability and greater financial strain, especially Black and immigrant women who disproportionately perform paid and unpaid care. They eliminate funding to upgrade and build new public schools and child-care facilities, wipe out investments for housing, and shortchange broadband, clean drinking water, and public transit.

President Biden’s long efforts to find a bipartisan solution on infrastructure are admirable, but by continuing to double down on their unreasonable demands, Republicans have proven they have no interest in a serious negotiation. They’ve shown that their only interest is delay and sabotage as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell articulated when he said that 100% of their focus was on stopping the Biden agenda. From the future of our economy to our ability to address climate change and the fate of millions of women and people of color who have borne the brunt of the economic crisis, there is simply too much at stake to allow these bad faith actors to have the final word.

Congressional Republicans’ unreasonable demands that raise taxes on working families, protect corporations that ship jobs overseas, and leave millions of good paying jobs on the table have left the White House and Democratic congressional leadership no choice but to move forward without them. A big, bold infrastructure bill that will create jobs and deliver for working families can’t wait any longer — and Congressional Democrats must use the reconciliation process to pass it.


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