Congresswoman Gwen Moore Participates in Ways and Means Committee Markup of the Build Back Better Act

Congresswoman Gwen Moore Participates in Ways and Means Committee Markup of the Build Back Better Act

Today, the Ways and Means Committee marked up a portion of the Build Back Better Act, which included provisions that invest in the first-ever universal comprehensive paid family leave and medical leave program, expand access to childcare, and secure greater retirement security for American workers. In response, she released the following statement:

“I am so excited to join my Ways and Means colleagues in advancing the Build Back Better Act. I have lived long enough to truly appreciate the impact of this legislation.

There was a time in our country when upward mobility was more accessible, and with each generation, more Americans could climb up the rungs of the economic ladder. That epitomizes the American Dream. But times have changed. With our country facing wage stagnation and soaring income inequality, now is the time to build back better. Democrats are ready to meet this moment. We don’t create growth or expand opportunity with trickle-down economics. It didn’t work with the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, or the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The time to invest in childcare, paid family and medical leave, and retirement security is now.

Nearly one-third of American workers lack a nest egg for retirement. The dignity of work is about securing opportunities for Americans to retire in dignity. That means being able to reap the fruits of hard work and enjoy a good quality of life. Through this legislation, more workers will gain retirement plans, to put them on the path to do that.

The Build Back Better Act also helps ensure families can access paid family and medical leave when they need it. I remember when all three of my kids had chickenpox. I couldn’t take time off and neither could my relatives or the father of my kids. It was frustrating. And as a great-grandmother, I know the burden of trying to juggle work and childcare. The choices were going to work or losing pay to take care of my kids. These challenges still exist for families and the pandemic has only worsened the issue. The economic downturn was called a she-cession for a reason, with women shouldering the burden of care in families. Universal paid family leave will help our economy grow and support women and families.

Childcare and paid family leave are bridges to the workforce like roads are bridges to the workplace. This bill will improve this infrastructure by securing 12 weeks of universal paid family and medical leave and putting affordable, accessible childcare closer in reach for families.

Today, Ways and Means Democrats took a historic step to strengthen and build new support systems for the American people. I am excited to continue help advance this vital legislation.”

Today, the Ways and Means Committee marked up sections of the Build Back Better Act, which included the following legislative proposals:

  • Invests in the first-ever universal, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program to provide all U.S. workers (including public and private sector workers) with up to 12 weeks of paid leave to address a serious personal or family health issue, to care for a newborn or newly adopted or fostered child, for bereavement (up to 3 days for a typical worker), or for circumstances arising from a loved one's military deployment or serious injury.
  • Requires employers with five or more employees that doesn't currently sponsor a retirement plan to automatically enroll employees in IRAs and 401 (k)-type plans and enhances the existing Saver's Credit to make it refundable and deposited directly into a retirement account.
  • Invests in new tools to help parents in finding available childcare that meets their needs, building and repairing childcare facilities to make child care safer and more widely available, and improving wages for small child care businesses to address quality and equity.

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