Cities, Counties, and States are counting on Congress to pass Biden’s landmark reconciliation package. Now their representatives are demanding that Democrats take action.
WASHINGTON, DC — Local elected officials representing every U.S. state and the District of Columbia have written a letter to Democrats in Congress telling their delegations not to come home to their districts until they pass the entire Build Back Better Agenda.
The reconciliation package that the House Budget Committee passed would not only create millions of good jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030, make permanent the federal child tax credit, and expand Medicare, it will also provide crucial funding for state and local governments.
Now, as Senator Manchin declares his opposition to a clean electricity standard that would cut 30% of the climate benefits out of the package as well as other life saving provisions, the representatives of these jurisdictions are writing to tell Congress to do its job and enact the Build Back Better Agenda that Democrats ran and won on in the last election.
The letter states: “Please do not come home until you have passed the FULL $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act. We are counting on your leadership to provide the full federal funding that states and localities so desperately need under this Act. So please stay in Washington until you get the job done, and know that you have our support at home.”
State and local officials have overwhelmingly supported the Build Back Better Act since it was first proposed. Only a few weeks after President Biden announced the Build Back Better agenda, over 1,200 state and local officials called on Congress to seize this historic moment. Since then mayors, governors, state legislators, and other local leaders have repeatedly shared the need for federal action on clean energy, good paying jobs and justice.
The letter is being sent to Congress by regional advocacy groups across the country who know all too well how badly municipalities need Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act.
“As advocates, we will accept nothing less than policies that reduce pollution 45% by 2030, as Senator Schumer has promised. Cutting the Clean Electricity Performance Program would be a grave mistake and would make it nearly impossible to achieve those reduction mandates,” said Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
Here is what local elected officials across the country had to say:
“West Virginia needs the Build Back Better plan perhaps more than any other state in the Union. West Virginians are sick and can’t get hospital beds, nurses can’t find child care, and this bill will provide job opportunities for out-of-work coal miners. Please pass this bill as quickly as possible – West Virginians are desperate for the greater prosperity and equity this bill promises.” – Barbara Fleischauer, Delegate, WV-51
“There is no better time for our country to invest big in building the infrastructure we need to compete in the global ecosystem of the future, and to finally move toward a greener, more sustainable energy economy.” – Peter Merideth, Representative, MO-80
“Congress has a chance to fight for our environment, create good jobs in the process, and take care of our children and elders. We can build a country that respects the land and values our people.” – Attica Scott, Representative, KY-41
“The Build Back Better Act addresses so many important issues facing our constituents. We need childcare so people can return to work, we need to address climate change for the future of our planet, we need to increase the supply of affordable housing so people can have places to live, we need to acknowledge that dental, vision, and hearing care are part of the medical care our seniors need, we need to allow the Federal government to negotiate drug prices, we need wealthy people to pay their fair share – and so much more. Stop playing games and pass the Build Back Better Act for the American people.” -Cathy Kipp, Representative, CO-52
“We can’t equivocate on challenging the threat of climate change. Our nation needs to act boldly and urgently. Passing the Build Back Better Act will provide the policy and necessary resources and is the most important next step.” – Paul Pinksy, Senator, MD-22
“Each day, many Americans struggle to earn a living wage while our nation’s infrastructure continues to crumble. America deserves better. We must pass the Build Back Better Act so we can lift up our families, bolster our infrastructure, and recover from this terrible pandemic.” – Jeff Waldstreicher, Senator, MD-18
“Climate resilience programs are critical, especially for coastal states. The Build Back Better Act includes funds to ensure structures are prepared to respond to climate change. As a member of my state’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee, I urge its passage so our nation can continue to invest in this important infrastructure.” – Vicki Doudera, Representative, ME-94
“People really want and need the infrastructure investments in this legislation. Every American will benefit, and when we invest in our people and our future, our economy will grow and all of us will be so much better off. Our children will thank us if we pass the Build Back Better Act.” – Shelly Simonds, Delegate, VA-94
“Nevada desperately needs the Build Back Better Act. Access to child care, health care, and affordable housing is dangerously lacking, and our state has already reached “code red” on climate. Our water supply is at risk as 100 percent of Nevada is in drought, months of wildfire smoke choked Reno and Lake Tahoe this summer, and Las Vegas was hit with one heat wave after another. We’re overdue for the much-needed relief these federal investments will provide.” – Howard Watts, Assemblemember, NV-18
“Since the first MAPS penny sales tax passed in 1993, OKC has demonstrated a proud history of investing in ourselves, reaffirming this approach in December 2019 when residents passed MAPS4 to continue our city’s renaissance story with a $978 million investment in our people, parks, and places. Build Back Better represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to honor our hard work and history at the national level, specifically by bringing home our federal tax dollars to invest further in OKC’s infrastructure needs and its people.” – James Cooper, Councilman, Oklahoma City Ward 2
“The Build Back Better plan gives us a roadmap to the future our constituents deserve. From protecting our environment, to providing good jobs, to expanding access to childcare and beyond, our communities urgently need this transformative legislation. We know that this plan is overwhelmingly popular with Americans across the country and across partisan lines; now it’s time for Congress to do their job and make the Build Back Better Agenda a reality.” – Jonathan Brostoff, Representative, WI-19.