Contact: Johanna Kichton, [email protected], 202.660.0605
WASHINGTON, D.C.—People’s Action today released the following statement by Campaigns Director Sondra Youdelman after final bill text was released for President Biden’s Build Back Better Act:
“The Build Back Better Act is the result of years of organizing across the country by working class people around a bold, progressive vision that puts people before profit.
“People’s Action has fought for months to protect extremely popular provisions from being cut, including public housing investments, Medicare drug price negotiation, expanding Medicare to include hearing coverage, bold climate interventions that also protect workers and prioritize communities hit first and worst by climate change.
“We applaud Senator Sanders for his resolve to fight for what working people need, and for championing popular expansions to Medicare and the ability of the government to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices. We also thank progressive people’s champions like Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Jayapal and the CPC members who held the line to ensure that we could vote on a robust bill that had our communities at the forefront and included funding for public and affordable housing, the care economy, paid family and medical leave, climate jobs and clean energy, and temporary status for millions of undocumented immigrants.
“We need to be clear about who is responsible for the continued delays and cuts to this bill. A handful of corporate allies in the House and Senators Manchin and Sinema have repeatedly frustrated efforts by the overwhelming majority of Democrats to pass a robust reconciliation bill paired with an infrastructure bill. As a result, many people are left out of this bill. We didn’t get dental and vision coverage for seniors, free community college, clean electricity, a billionaire’s tax, or a path to citizenship for immigrants, and now these corporate allies are conniving with greedy lobbyists to stall even more.
“Billionaires, pharmaceutical companies, and corporate polluters didn’t put Biden in office and secure a Democratic majority in Congress. The multi-racial working class did. But if we want to get out of this corporate squeeze play, we must elect more fighters who will confront wealthy CEOs. This bill will change lives. But with more progressives at the table, it could have transformed them.
“We urge the House to pass the Build Back Better Act by the end of the week, and for the Senate to pass it shortly thereafter. People’s Action is committed to getting this bill, as written, onto President Biden’s desk and then fighting even harder for the next one.”
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations in 30 states, united in fighting for justice. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. People’s Action and its member organizations coordinated one of the biggest distributed organizing programs in rural areas this past election season.