ROUNDUP: CENTRIST VOICES REITERATE NEED FOR RECONCILIATION BILL

Centrist Groups Are Conveying the Urgent Need to Pass the Build Back Better Act

Congress is currently negotiating the Build Back Better Act, a once-in-a-generation investment in child care, paid leave, affordable education, affordable housing, and much more. Though championed by progressive voices, centrists and independents have also called for the Act’s passage, which economists like Moody’s Mark Zandi believe will “ease inflation pressures” and deliver important growth in the American economy.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING:

Matt Bennett, Third Way: “It will be moderates who suffer. We will lose moderates if we’re running on a record that is not attractive enough to voters,” Matt Bennett, of the centrist Third Way, said matter-of-factly. “And we’ve been very clear, along with the vast majority of Democratic moderates including the president, that reconciliation is absolutely vital. It’s important that we confront all of these crises, including climate change, with something real. And I think we’d agree that the infrastructure bill is necessary but not nearly sufficient.”

New America Foundation: “Though Congress is in the midst of summer recess, a great deal of work is taking place behind the scenes as Congressional committees work to draft sweeping budget reconciliation legislation. Control of both chambers of Congress and the White House gives Democrats the ability to pass a reconciliation bill with a simple majority vote in the Senate. The party thus has a rare opportunity to pass many of its priorities into law and make substantial investments in our country. The reconciliation bill, which could total $3.5 trillion dollars, is intended to provide funding for many of President Biden’s priorities included in the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan. Alongside a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package, reconciliation could help foster an inclusive economic recovery and allow us to address long-standing inequities and challenges.”

National League of Cities: “NLC has called on Congress to support these and other priorities in the reconciliation package, and to swiftly pass both the reconciliation bill and infrastructure bill into law. To support these efforts, you can highlight your own local connectivity efforts to your congressional delegation using NLC’s advocacy tools.”

Commonwealth Fund: “Throughout our history, policies and laws have exacerbated racial inequities and entrenched the impacts of systemic racism in our health care system and beyond. The pending reconciliation legislation is a potentially historic reversal of this pattern. It proposes significant investments in maternal health equity, generous postpartum care, early childhood education, access to health insurance, along with other social services that would help reverse the health effects of more than 400 years of systemic racism that daily victimize Black Americans.”

American Planning Association: “The next two months will be critical. The nation’s current surface transportation law will expire. The fate of infrastructure could be decided. Work on reconciliation — the legislative vehicle we believe is best suited to advance zoning reform priority — will begin. Planners have an opportunity to push for real change on transportation infrastructure, zoning reform, and climate change — the issues where planners are best positioned to have the greatest impact. Be ready for action; we’ll let you know when the time is right.”

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