Why I support the Build Back Better Act
Washington, October 5, 2021
For decades many of the biggest challenges facing our nation have been put on the backburner: child care affordability, a stronger safety net for aging Americans and people with disabilities, and our hazardous dependence on fossil fuels, to name just a handful.
President Biden ran on a platform to reform these failed policies. That Biden won more votes than any candidate in America’s history was, at least in part, a strong endorsement of these promises. Amid a devastating pandemic and economic crisis, the American people elected a unified Democratic government to solve our most perplexing problems.
The Build Back Better Act is a blueprint to rebuild our country for the next century. Our plan fulfills the urgency Americans rightfully demand of their government.
We are close. While we are still finalizing its details, this legislation will be one of the most significant bills for domestic investments Congress has ever passed. As your Representative, I want you to know exactly why I enthusiastically support the Build Back Better plan.
In Maine, 22% of people live in a child care desert. If they do find child care, it costs nearly $18,000 each year to enroll an infant and a 4-year-old – that’s 44% more than the average rent in Maine. Meanwhile, the poverty rate for early educators is 16.5%, and 53% rely on public benefits. These numbers tell an unacceptable story. With the Build Back Better plan, we could serve 29,000 more young children in Maine, raise wages for early educators, and see $409 million in new economic activity from parents rejoining the labor-force.
Build Back Better would make investments that will allow 3,800 more seniors and people with disabilities in Maine to receive home care services and help 1,200 family caregivers return to work. These services will literally change lives.
Building back America also demands climate action. There’s good reason Big Oil is trying to kill the Build Back Better plan. If our legislation becomes law, their days of profiting off our planet’s decline are numbered. Our bill will put the country on the fast track to a 100% clean energy future by making historic investments in public transit systems and union-made electric vehicles. Remaking our infrastructure to account for the climate crisis is a proactive approach that will greatly reduce our need for fossil fuels and slash pollution in the process.
As a Maine islander and farmer, I have seen up-close how the unmitigated climate crisis is impacting our precious lands. Simply put, we must invest in climate resilience now, or our kids and their kids after them will suffer droughts, floods, fires, and scarcity in a terrifying way we’ve never known.
There has been a lot of dishonest focus on the price-tag of Build Back Better, but the truth is that we have a plan to pay for it entirely.
Yes, you read that right. This bill will roll back the irresponsible Trump tax cuts that went to big multinational companies and the wealthiest Americans. Build Back Better is about tax fairness – the bill will make billionaires and corporations pay their rightful share while giving middle class taxpayers the economic relief they’ve long needed.
The media has breathlessly covered our drafting of Build Back Better. But debate is healthy in a democracy. With 535 members, no Senator or Representative should expect any bill to be drafted for their interests alone. What we are witnessing in Washington is the crafting of transformational legislation that has the buy-in from members from Arizona to Maine, West Virginia to California.
Ultimately, every member must share the goal of improving the lives of their constituents. The Build Back Better plan is our once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver for the people and that’s why it has my support.