For Immediate Release: December 20, 2021
NDWA Contact: Christina Coleman, [email protected]
WASHINGTON — In response to Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia announcing his decision to pull back his commitment to support the Build Back Better Act in its current form, the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Care in Action released the following statement:
We are disappointed to hear that Sen. Joe Manchin has reversed his pledge to President Biden to vote in support of the Build Back Better Act. This decision is not only a breach of the senator’s commitments to the White House, but a denial of the urgent needs of working families in West Virginia and all over the country, who have sacrificed for far too long in a failing economy and an unrelenting pandemic.
We are doing our job – it’s the people who continue to deliver when our leaders stall. We are the domestic workers and care workers who take care of America’s families, often at the expense of our own, to make all other work possible. We are the women of color who organized our communities to vote in 2020, ultimately delivering immediate relief for millions. And we are the movement of care champions who brought the country to the edge of a historic and transformative change – expanded care services for families, lower costs for families, better pay for care workers, paid leave, and childcare – only to watch Sen. Manchin ignore the fundamental needs of the people he claims to prioritize.
In Sen. Manchin’s state alone, one in five West Virginians are ages 65 and older. The Build Back Better Act would directly benefit those seniors and West Virginians with disabilities by expanding access to home and community-based care while improving wages for care workers. This is who will be impacted by Sen. Manchin’s reversal. On average, parents in West Virginia pay 22 percent of their annual income on child care. When President Biden signs the Build Back Better Act into law, it will mean expanding access to child care for 94,170 West Virginia children at affordable costs for families. That’s what’s at stake in Sen. Manchin’s reversal. And with Build Back Better, tens of thousands of uninsured West Virginians will finally be able to get the high-quality, affordable health care they deserve. This is the opportunity Sen. Manchin’s reversal throws away.
We are confident in Build Back Better as a solution for the entire nation to address inflation costs for families – one of Sen. Manchin’s main concerns – multiple current and impending COVID-19 crises, and to jumpstart an economic recovery that works for all. And we welcome the opportunity to continue to push for this once-in-a-generation legislation that will lift the very people who power our country. We know what’s possible if the Senate passes Build Back Better and we applaud the White House for reminding us what’s at stake. And we know the great cost to families, beyond dollars and cents, if Sen. Manchin refuses to show up for our families. One reversal won’t turn us away from the fight to ensure a better, dignified, and safe future for ourselves, our families, and our loved ones.