OP-EDS & EDITORIALS IN WEST VIRGINIA: PASS THE BUILD BACK BETTER ACT NOW

West Virginia Community Leaders Urge Congress to Pass the Build Back Better Act

POLLING: 60% of Voters — Including 61% of Independents — Support Passing the Build Back Better Act.

Voters and community leaders across the country are urging their Congressional representatives to pass the Build Back Better Act and make critical investments in child care, long-term care, clean energy, health care and more. Those investments will create jobs, lower costs, and cut taxes for middle and lower-income Americans and their families in those districts.

Here’s what community leaders and editorialists are saying about the Build Back Better Act in West Virginia:

Paid Leave

The Register-Herald: Sen. Manchin Should Work For Constituents
Editorial

Among low-wage workers, who represent a significant piece of the West Virginia workforce, fewer than one in 20 have access to family medical leave. Research shows that such policies result in higher worker productivity and morale and lower employee turnover.

[…] Now is not the time for Sen. Manchin to be coy and cagey with what he will allow to move forward and what he will stop. But rather, we would suggest our senator get into the game and see what he can do – for his constituents back home.

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Why The Fight For Paid Leave Is So Important
By Leah Messer, small-business owner and Main Street Alliance member

Paid leave would be a game-changer for West Virginia families, too many of whom are currently facing the challenges of substance use disorder. West Virginia has the highest rate of opioid deaths in the country.

I am imploring Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to put his support behind this critical program. Now might be the only time we can get it done, and any delay is more lives lost.

Economy & Jobs

The Herald Dispatch: Build Back Better Act would help Maine farms adjust to climate change
By Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin, and Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliot

The Build Back Better Agenda is exactly the boost West Virginia cities so desperately need right now. It will create jobs, lower taxes for those most in need, and reduce costs for working families. We are thankful and proud Sen. Joe Manchin is working diligently to negotiate the best deal for all West Virginians which will lead to a plan that helps everyone while ensuring a strong financial future for our country.

The Herald Dispatch: Build Back Better Is An Investment In WV’s Future
By Brandon Dennison

As Build Back Better moves through Congress, we need our members of Congress to follow through on a commitment to invest in these strategies proven to serve communities and people. Doing so can have a transformational impact on West Virginia communities and its people.

The Register-Herald: Manchin must support robust budget reconciliation package
By Kelly Allen, Executive Director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy strongly urges Senator Manchin to recognize the urgency of our state’s needs and move quickly to support workers and families in West Virginia.

[…] The Build Back Better plan will give workers and children a fair shot at opportunity, making it easier for West Virginians to afford health care, child care, and housing – all of which will make it easier for working people to obtain and keep a job.

The State Journal: West Virginia’s Working Families Need Lifelines Found In BBB
By Brian Stanley, Secretary-Treasurer of The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District 53

For my family, like thousands of other working families across the state, the prospect of lowering the cost of essential services like childcare, education, prescription drugs, and health care is a lifeline that is long overdue.

[…] We all know that the American people, and particularly the hardworking families in West Virginia, are counting on this once-in-a generation opportunity to lift up working people. My hope is that Senators Joe Manchin and Shelly Moore Capito know this too.

Child Tax Credit

The Register-Herald: Child Tax Credit Is Needed More Than Ever
By Brenda Isaac, Registered Nurse and member of the West Virginia Association of School Nurses

Some people debate whether the high inflation rate is just transitory or long term, but that matters little to people who struggle to keep roofs over their heads, their kids in school and pay their utilities. The monthly Child Tax Credit helps them offset the rising costs caused by the pandemic.

No matter whether inflation is short-term or long-term, the enhanced Child Tax Credit is needed now. Let’s hope Sen. Joe Manchin and his colleagues in Congress will help American families by passing the extension of the Child Tax Credit.

Charleston Gazette-Mail: What The Child Tax Credit Has Done For My Family
By Melissa Boyes

I call on Manchin to vote in favor of the Build Back Better Act being debated in Congress that would extend the child tax credit through 2025, giving families like mine a lifeline we desperately need. If he needs help understanding why, he is welcome to come down to Clarksburg and see firsthand what life is like here as we raise our granddaughter. I am happy to share a thing or two with him about this crazy job called parenting.

Energy

The Herald Dispatch: West Virginia Needs To Build Back Better
By Shane Wolfe

The bill, as proposed, will help West Virginia’s workers and families, including saving American families an average of $500 per year in energy costs, reducing the costs of installing rooftop solar for a home by 30% and directing funds to rural communities.

It is imperative to our current and future workers that Sen. Joe Manchin delivers on Build Back Better, just as he did for the first part of the package.

Charleston Gazette-Mail: EV credits help workers, curb foreign influence
By Ken Collinson, President of the West Virginia Auto Workers Community Action Program

My message to Biden, Manchin and Capito is simple: Hold the line. Don’t let American consumers and taxpayers lose out on a major opportunity to support green energy solutions created by hard-working, American union labor. The president owes it to union communities, not only in West Virginia but across the country, to stand up against foreign corporate interests in support of a union-driven future for America’s EV auto market. Manchin and Capito have the chance to stand up for West Virginia’s working class and support the president’s ‘Build Back Better’ agenda.

Charleston Gazette-Mail: WV Is Going Solar, But Can Do More
By Autumn Long

The Build Back Better Act invests $55 billion annually over the next 10 years into projects that will put West Virginians to work creating America’s energy infrastructure for the coming century, while helping more of us save money on our power bills with solar

We are delighted to help communities and businesses across Central Appalachia move needed solar projects forward and to play a role in creating positive economic change. But we need Manchin to leverage his power to move us all forward: We need him to vote yes for the Build Back Better Act.

The Parkersburg News & Sentinel: Up To Us To Move Forward
By Charles Pickering, Manager of Pickering Energy Solutions

I believe we have an opportunity to build on the momentum of [wins in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill] that Sen. Manchin has already delivered for West Virginia by getting the reconciliation bill across the finish line to open up additional economic opportunities. West Virginia companies and individuals need to lean in on this momentum and be part of the technology development, engineering, and construction of these projects.

Lower Drug Costs

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Where’s Manchin’s Support For BBB?
By Dr. Josephine Reece

The Build Back Better bill will provide financial support to our grandparents raising their grandchildren, will create opportunities for a workforce that is begging for good paying jobs and will keep our children from falling back into poverty. These are just a few of the many successes to come out of this bill. It’s not perfect but it is historic. It lays the foundation for building an economy where no West Virginian gets left behind. It must be passed.

[…] Manchin has gotten the smaller bill he wanted. It’s now time to get it done. When the Build Back Better bill comes to a vote, I strongly urge all our members of Congress to vote yes.

Charleston Gazette-Mail: How the Build Back Better Act helps diabetics
By Joseph Wyatt, Marshall University emeritus professor

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan includes a $35 monthly cap on the cost of insulin. For those with diabetes, it’s the stuff that dreams are made of. Presently, the typical insulin-dependent individual’s cost is about $590 a month, including co-pays. The dream of an affordable cost could come true, if only Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., vote for it.

Hearing Benefits

Charleston Gazette-Mail: WV Seniors Need Medicare Hearing-Loss Benefits
By Leah Messer, small-business owner and Main Street Alliance member

Congress has a unique opportunity to improve the lives of thousands of West Virginia seniors who suffer from hearing loss. Nearly 1 in 4 West Virginians over age 18 have hearing loss — the highest rate in the nation.

[…] Fortunately, Congress is very close to adding hearing benefits for Medicare recipients as part of the Build Back Better package that just passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

[…] We just need Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to commit to support the Build Back Better package, as passed by the House, so that the nearly 450,000 West Virginians on Medicare will have access to this hearing benefit as soon as possible.

About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

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