The “Build Back Better Act,” also referred to as the reconciliation bill, is a critical step towards helping our country and our planet to begin healing.
But, Sen. Joe Manchin (conservative Democrat from West Virginia) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (conservative Democrat from Arizona) have managed to take out almost all of our progressive priorities during the so-called negotiations.
Negotiating for lower drug prices, which nearly 90% of Americans want, has been taken out to please drug companies. The most important climate provisions have been taken out to please fossil fuel companies. The billionaires tax has been taken out to please… billionaires. None of Trump’s tax cuts have been rolled back. Two years of free community college is out. And now to add insult to injury, paid family leave was taken out at the very end.
Progressives, however, have a chance to stand strong and do what they went to DC to do – fight for our families.
Democrats are now agreeing with Republicans that parents do not deserve to have paid time off work when they have a child, or need to care for a sick loved one. That’s a bridge too far.
“Paid leave is literally the one piece of this package that could touch any household in America, at any of the most happy or scary times in their lives. The fact that it’s comprehensive means that it is usable by people across life circumstances, age, family types. It recognizes that giving and receiving care is a basic need, and it’s a uniting policy in a way that so few are these days.” -Vicki Shabo, senior fellow for paid leave policy and strategy at New America’s Better Life Lab
Senator Bernie Sanders stated: “So, it seems to me, almost every sensible progressive revenue option that the president wants… that the American people want… that I want… seems to be sabotaged.”
If Democrats agree to take paid family, medical leave out of the bill, we say: No Deal.
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