Richmond, Va.—After the Biden administration announced a new framework for its Build Back Better package in Congress, Virginia Organizing released the following statement:
“We are glad that several of our priorities have been included in this framework,” said Ladelle McWhorter, chairperson of Virginia Organizing. “The bill ensures that the wealthiest Americans and corporations will pay more of their fair share, which is an important victory for all Americans who are not billionaires. The extension of the child tax credit for another year also shows a commitment to reducing poverty. We have been advocating for it to be made permanent because it has been so effective. Millions of Americans will also gain access to health insurance thanks to the expanded Affordable Care Act premium tax credits. These are important steps for many Virginians.
“However, some of the most important parts of the initial plan have been left out. The ability for Medicare to negotiate lower costs for prescription medicine and paid family leave would both make a difference to millions of people struggling with the high cost of illness in America.
“Lowering drug costs should not have been treated as a lesser priority. We hear from Virginians every day who cannot afford their insulin and other life-saving medicines. Big Pharma has been reporting record profits to their shareholders, and Americans pay more for their medicine than any other country in the world. We’re very disappointed that Congress could not agree to take this obvious, necessary step.
“Similarly, the United States lags behind most other countries in not providing paid family leave to most workers. If we had already developed generous paid sick leave before the pandemic, the consequences of COVID would have been less devastating on low-wage workers. Congress should put these vital measures back into the bill.
“We also stand with our allies in support of including immigration reform measures in the final bill. Congress should take advantage of this once-in-an-administration opportunity to protect millions of people from the threat of deportation.”
For more information or to interview a spokesperson for Virginia Organizing, please contact Rosemary Gould at 434-962-7261 or firstname.lastname@example.org.