PRESS RELEASE: ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS CONTINUE TO HIGHLIGHT URGENCY OF PASSING BUILD BACK BETTER ACT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
December 20, 2021

Contact:
Maddy McDaniel, Communications Director

[email protected] or 914-471-7716

ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS CONTINUE TO HIGHLIGHT URGENCY OF PASSING BUILD BACK BETTER ACT

Failure to Pass the Build Back Better Act Will Result in a Weaker Economy, Lower Growth, According to the Latest Analysis from Goldman Sachs

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Advocacy organizations are highlighting the urgency of passing the Build Back Better Act in the wake of Sen. Manchin’s comments over the weekend.

Here’s what they are saying:

American Federation of Teachers: “If we’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s that we have to change the rules of the economy to help the working people of West Virginia and the country writ large. That’s why we strongly urge Sen. Joe Manchin to reconsider his position on Build Back Better and honor his commitment to President Biden and the American people. BBB will cut families a much-needed break by lowering the costs they pay on prescription drugs, child care and healthcare, while creating hundreds of thousands of union jobs. It will curb, not increase, prices. In fact, the economic consensus could not be clearer on how this bill will help working folks thrive. West Virginians need this bill. Now, it’s time for Sen. Manchin to take stock and help West Virginian and American families pave a path to a better future.”

American Bridge 21st Century: “President Biden’s Build Back Better Act will significantly lower costs for middle-class families across this country. Its climate change provisions will help ensure a future for our children and our planet. Its plans to strengthen affordable health care and lower the cost of prescription drugs guarantee families don’t go broke choosing between rent or a trip to the doctor. And the Child Tax Credit will give a historic tax cut for the parents who need it most. Time and time again, while Republicans have sat on the sideline cashing checks from their billionaire corporate backers, Democrats have delivered for everyday Americans. This time will be no different. American Bridge 21st Century remains laser-focused on communicating to voters that Democrats are fighting for them, without the support of a single congressional Republican.”

Building Back Together“Passing the Build Back Better Act is critically important because it is critically needed and we will continue to fight tooth and nail to pass this legislation. As the President has said, failure to pass this legislation is not an option on the table. This agenda has been enduringly popular with the American people because it is how we rebuild our economy to reward work, not wealth, and put working and middle-class families first. […] The Biden-Harris Administration has made incredible progress in our economic recovery in 2021 — including passing the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law — on top of overseeing the fastest drop in unemployment in American history and the creation of nearly six million jobs. The next necessary, immediate step must be for Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act. Nothing less is acceptable in the new year.”

Climate Power“This is our last, best chance to tackle the climate crisis. Our country, our economy and future generations cannot afford Congress to kick the can down the road any longer. Fierce thunderstorms and tornadoes in December, record breaking fire seasons, never ending droughts – it will only get worse if we fail to act. Not only will the Build Back Better Act lower costs for hard working families and combat inflation, it will create millions of good paying jobs and put our country on the path to reducing pollution at the speed scientists say is critical for today and for future generations. Every community across the country, including in West Virginia, will see the tangible, real benefits of the Build Back Better Act’s investments. The future of our planet is on the line – the health, safety, and prosperity of our friends, families, and neighbors are all on the line. It’s time to come together and get this done. Failure is not an option.”

Community Catalyst“The Build Back Better Act makes critically needed investments to advance health equity and improve the well-being of all people across the nation. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening, investments in people’s health are more essential than ever. This bill would substantially reduce the cost of health coverage, expand access to health care for millions and provide much-needed relief to America’s families when they need it most. People across America are looking to policymakers to provide the security the Build Back Better Act delivers so they can stay healthy, prosper and thrive. Community Catalyst and our allies in the health advocacy movement are committed to continuing to push for President Biden’s Build Back Better Act as passed by the House, and we won’t stop fighting until this historic and transformative legislation reaches the president’s desk.”

Environmental Defense Fund: “The Build Back Better Act is vitally important for our economy, our environment and our children’s future. It will reduce pollution, lower costs for American families and create good jobs. It is also the most ambitious climate and environmental justice action in American history. All of this makes it essential that the Senate pass this legislation. We are in a race not only to limit the dangerous impacts of climate change, but to build an economy that will make America stronger. We need the investments in the Build Back Better Act if we want to win the competition with Europe and China for the jobs of the future, reduce asthma and other impacts from pollution, and stabilize our climate. “The Build Back Better Act is also a fiscally responsible investment in our future. Independent analysts like Moody’s have said Build Back Better will ease long term inflation. It is the most fiscally responsible major legislation to come before Congress in recent years. We will continue to fight for passage of the Build Back Better Act. For American families who need relief and demand a better future for their children, we must get this done.”

Evergreen Action: This moment is a defining test of leadership for President Biden. When future generations look back on this presidency, will they remember a President Biden who fought to ensure a liveable future, or one who kicked the can down the road on the defining crisis of our era? The transformative climate investments included in the Build Back Better Act are our last, best chance to tackle the climate crisis before it’s too late. Failure is not an option. We know that investing in our clean energy future will drive down energy costs for American consumers and businesses by $9 billion. The Build Back Better Act’s investments in clean energy will help tackle inflation and deliver reliable, affordable American-made clean energy to households across the country. We also know that the clean energy transition is currently not happening fast enough to meet America’s climate goals. For our best shot at a liveable future with lower energy bills, healthier communities, and millions of new good-paying clean energy jobs, we need the climate investments in the Build Back Better Act. Those investments are fully paid for and funded for ten years, as Senator Manchin has requested for other components of the bill. It’s time for President Biden and Congressional leadership to get back to work and find a way to deliver real climate action. If they don’t, their chief legacy will be failure on climate change.”

Invest in America: “The Build Back Better Act is not hard to explain to constituents in West Virginia or any other state. West Virginians — like all Americans — want to spend less of their hard earned money on prescription drugs, utility bills, childcare and housing; want more, better paying jobs; and want to see middle-class taxes come down. The benefits for his constituents are obvious and why Senator Manchin committed to the White House to find a pathway forward on the Build Back Better Act early this week. The truth is that these priorities are too important to fail – and we look forward to negotiations continuing after everyone takes a bit of a breather during this holiday break.”

League of Conservation Voters: “The people of West Virginia don’t have to look further than their neighboring Kentucky for the deadly and devastating impacts of  a climate catastrophe. The imperative to support legislation to act on climate and avert future devastation should be crystal clear for their Senator. The overwhelmingly popular Build Back Better Act will save West Virginians money on their energy bills and other monthly expenses, create good-paying union jobs, and build a healthier, more equitable clean energy future for every community. This is not the end of the road. We are more determined than ever, and we will keep fighting like hell to ensure the Build Back Better Act becomes law – for the people of West Virginia and for all people in this country who care deeply about climate, jobs, and justice.”

Lower Drug Prices Now: “Senator Manchin’s opposition to Build Back Better is a major blow against lowering prescription drug prices and holding Big Pharma accountable for price gouging. Refusing support for this bill means drug corporations can keep their monopoly power to set prices high and keep raising them even if seniors, patients and families go without life-saving medicines they need. Senator Manchin’s announcement puts him on the wrong side when it comes to affordable prescriptions. But he can’t be the final word. Too much is at stake. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is the most popular provision in Build Back Better. It has support of nearly every Democrat in the Senate, including Manchin and Sinema, as well as nearly every person, regardless of political party. The Senate must immediately find a way to lower drug prices in line with the framework agreed to by Senators and the White House. Families can’t afford to wait.”

NRDC: “Failure is not an option. The stakes for the country are too high. Inaction would cripple our economy, as climate costs and dangers rise. The investments in this bill will create jobs, strengthen our economy and cut costs for our families and workers. Those aren’t options: they’re essential to a more prosperous future. The Build Back Better Act will help clean up our dirty power plants and speed the shift to electric cars and trucks. It will help us get more renewable power from the wind and sun. And it will expand low-income housing, strengthen public transit and cut the pollution that threatens our water and air. Congress must return in early January to enact this measure without fail or delay.”

Paid Leave for All: “A national paid family and medical leave policy is supported by the vast majority of Americans, including a supermajority of West Virginians, who also believe Congress should pass paid leave urgently. Including paid leave in Build Back Better would provide $79 million more in West Virginians’ paychecks each year. It would save jobs and lives. We have made huge progress this year, most notably passing paid leave through the House of Representatives, and paid leave should remain a cornerstone of Build Back Better. We will not stop fighting for the millions of Americans who desperately need paid family leave until it becomes the law of the land.”

SEIU“Working people and their families have waited long enough to unrig our economy by making historic investments in care, climate action, immigrant protections and good, union jobs. We can’t afford any more delays. Families, seniors, and people with disabilities are worried about how they’re going to continue to afford care for themselves and their loved ones. Millions of Black, brown, Asian, immigrant, and white home care workers are struggling to make ends meet. Build Back Better will deliver relief for them, and countless others who will benefit from lower costs and better paying jobs. Inaction is not an option and we won’t stop fighting for Build Back Better. Congress must meet the moment and deliver on their commitments to working people and our communities.”

Sierra Club“Senator Manchin made a commitment to President Biden and his colleagues to negotiate in good faith and even outlined the contours of what he would support, making this stunning about-face live on Fox News all the more incredible and outrageous. Senator Manchin has always said he is a man of his word — now it’s time for him to honor that by working with his colleagues in good faith on a deal that does not abandon the people and families of West Virginia to unaffordable healthcare, childcare, prescription drug and eldercare costs as well as an unabated climate crisis. The Sierra Club remains fiercely committed to advancing climate action, jobs, and justice through national legislation and implores President Biden and Democratic leaders in Congress to pursue every avenue possible for advancing the ball and overcoming the total obstruction of Congressional Republicans.”

Small Business for America’s Future: “From day one, America’s small business community has been deeply engaged in the effort to pass the Build Back Better Act, and will work with lawmakers, including Senator Joe Manchin, into 2022 to continue that push. Senator Manchin’s remarks demonstrate that there is still work to be done to pass the transformative investments that the Build Back Better Act will make to bring down health costs, make child care more affordable, and level the tax burden between small businesses and large corporations. Small business owners remain committed to delivering on these priorities when the Senate returns next year no matter what the headlines of the day might say.”

Tax March: “Senator Manchin’s new opposition to the Build Back Better Act shows yet again that he is more concerned with deficit red-herrings than with the wants and needs of his constituents. It is extremely distressing that the senator, whose state ranks 50th in public health and 47th in economic opportunity, seems to have simply walked away from negotiations without even articulating what it would take to earn his vote. Make no mistake: by walking away from this bill, Senator Manchin is siding with deficit hawks and millionaires like himself, along with the corporations whose greed and price gouging are the cause of the rising costs he complains about, over West Virginia workers and families. The American people need relief, both from a global pandemic and from the decades of economic precarity that preceded it. For Senator Manchin to say no now, after stringing his colleagues and advocates along for nearly a year, is a betrayal of his duty to the people of West Virginia and the nation at large. He must find a way forward with President Biden and Senate leadership so that we can pass the Build Back Better Act and continue working toward a fair economy for all.”

Third Way: “We are deeply disappointed in Senator Manchin’s statement today that he cannot vote to move forward on the Build Back Better Act. We hope that he reconsiders and comes back to the table. As a center-left think tank, we put the fiscal, economic, and national security health of the nation above any politician or piece of legislation. It is our belief that the Build Back Better Act strengthens America in each of these areas. The bill is fiscally sound and fully paid for. Its policies will bring costs down for working and middle-class families and allow Americans to get back to work. It is a job creator, particularly in the critical sectors of autos and clean energy. It takes critical, urgently needed action to address the climate crisis. And it will reduce our reliance on foreign fuels which will make our nation safer. This bill isn’t a ‘nice to have’ but a ‘need to have’ for America’s future. We hope that Senator Manchin comes back to the table to complete this important task.”

UltraViolet: “The Build Back Better Act is critical. There is no if, ands, or buts about it. We cannot build back better, address and recover from the ongoing, and now escalating pandemic, or fight inflation or lower costs for families if we do not center women in our recovery and pass the policies we need to get back to work and to thrive. As we enter into yet another wave of the pandemic, American families still don’t have paid leave or affordable childcare. Millions of American families don’t have access to safe housing or quality healthcare. And our communities are also trying to cope with the deadly impacts of climate change. To be blunt, standing against the policies in the Build Back Better Act is standing against American women, caregivers, and families. It is cruel and indefensible. Senator Manchin continues to betray West Virginia, and the country, and sell the future of this nation away to his corporate backers. We won’t let that stand. Women, especially women of color, worked our asses off to put Democrats in power to pass the policies in Build Back Better Act and one out of touch Senator is not going to stop us from ensuring our demands are met. This is more than just a piece of legislation. This is the future prosperity of our families, nation and earth at stake. We must pass the Build Back Better Act immediately. It is critical the Senate votes on this legislation without any further delay.”

We Demand More: “‘Building Back Better’ means building back for women and their families. For too long, women and caregivers have been neglected in policy, and yet when a crisis hits, the nation relies on us to keep the country functioning. We are the essential workforce of this nation’s businesses and families. There can be no economic recovery without passing the policies in the Build Back Better Act that center us. Senator Manchin’s opposition — and that of every Senate Republican — to this critical piece of legislation is deeply misguided and reflects that they are prioritizing the corporate interests that line their pockets over their constituents. It is a disgrace that one man is attempting to block policies that would help women progress in this nation. He will not succeed. We will not stop fighting for the life-saving, community-supporting policies we need in the BuildBack Better Act like affordable childcare, paid leave, direct payments to our families, lowered health care costs, and more. People around the country, especially in West Virginia, need these policies. Opposition to this legislation is opposition to the economic prosperity of this nation. It shows a startling lack of willingness to learn from the hard lessons of the pandemic and to better prepare this nation for the future. Women of color especially organized in our communities, in the face of a deadly virus, and increasing violence on and offline to vote into power the President and Democrats on the promise of transformational policy. We are demanding more. We are demanding the future we deserve for our families and communities. We are demanding a government that works for us, not against us. There is no other way forward. The Build Back Better Act is popular. It is necessary and it must pass. We won’t rest until it does.”

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