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AFSCME members renew resolve to make the Build Back Better Act a reality

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) outside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

In the wake of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s announcement that he would not support the Build Back Better Act, AFSCME members across the country are renewing our resolve to make sure the bill becomes law.

“This legislation is the change Americans voted for when they came out in record numbers, in the middle of a pandemic, to elect a new White House and a new Congress in 2020,” AFSCME President Lee Saunders said in a press statement. “Poll after poll shows that voters of all political stripes not only understand, but enthusiastically support this bill. There is no excuse for not getting this done.”

The Build Back Better Act, as approved by the House of Representatives last month, would invest some $2 trillion to expand the social safety net, fight climate change and invest in our human infrastructure.

It would provide universal pre-kindergarten education for 3- and 4-year-olds and create a four-week annual paid family and medical leave benefit for nearly all of America’s workers. It would also give 20 million kids access to quality child care and provide free school meals to 8.7 million children during the school year.

In addition, it would allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, expand affordable access to home care for seniors and people with disabilities, and create a $35 billion hearing aid benefit for senior citizens and others on Medicare.

These investments would be paid for – largely by requiring millionaires and large profitable corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.

Our union – which helped win passage of the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, among other key priorities of the Biden agenda – has always stood behind the Build Back Better Act, and we will continue to fight for it.

“Now is the time for Congress to deliver to the American people a better future by finally passing legislation to lower costs for life-saving medications, expand access to essential child care services and provide relief from a still-ongoing pandemic that has devastated communities across the country,” Saunders also said. “AFSCME members will continue to organize and mobilize – as we always do – to make the Build Back Better Act a reality.”

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