Legislative News …Daniel Nnorth and Claudia Schott
2022 is starting off with bated breath…
President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act did not pass in 2021. The delay has immediate implications, as the enhanced child tax credit, along with other provisions, ended on December 31st. Senate Democrats have discussed possible tools to bypass the almost dead-in-the-water act and pass a voting-rights bill in the coming weeks with no Republican support. Democrats tried to pass federal voting rights legislation last year after several states passed restrictive voting laws, but Republicans have blocked their efforts, insisting states should control elections.
Failure to pass the plan could have broader long-term implications, not only on the country’s social and climate policy, but also in this year’s mid-term elections. Delays in passing the Build Back Better Act would have broader implications beyond the Senate’s plans. Democrats see the legislation as a transformative package that would make child and health care more affordable, offer an extra layer of financial support to families, and make the biggest investment in curbing climate change in the country’s history. The longer it remains in limbo, the less effective the BBBA will be and will have to be renegotiated, thus losing more and more momentum. Republicans call it an overwrought spending plan that would fuel inflation. Despite the obstacles, President Biden and congressional Democratic leaders have said they will not walk away from negotiations. They firmly believe in this piece of legislation.
Whichever way you feel on this hot-button issue, please let your Senators know how you wish them to vote and thank them for their support of the BBB Act. As far as AARP is aware, both Senators Feinstein and Padilla support the Build Back Better Act. Please do write, email, or call them. They keep records of all calls and emails; they want to know what their constituents have to say.
The two most important issues for AARP are: (1) Rx Drug Pricing and (2) Family and Medical Leave.
Rx Drug Pricing:
We need you (The Senators) to commit to ensuring that prescription drugs are included in the Build Back Better package that just passed the House. We urge you to remain engaged with Leader Schumer’s office and the Administration about the importance of getting the deal to the President’s desk.
• ASK: Can I count on you to ensure prescription drugs are included in the Build Back Better package that includes Medicare to negotiate pricing and create a hard out-of-pocket cap to Part D?
Family and Medical Leave:
AARP strongly supports paid family and medical leave. It’s essential that caregivers be able to take time off work to support their loved ones.
• AARP feels it is very important to ensure that all caregivers – people caring for newborns and for aging family members – are equally included.
• There are over 4.7 million family caregivers in California who sacrifice their own financial health by taking unpaid time off and to help their loved ones.
• Including federal paid-leave benefits in the Build Back Better Act is an important step in supporting the critical work they do.
• ASK: Can I count on you to enact a universal federal paid-leave benefit for ALL workers?
Please call the Governor’s office at 916-445-2841 and ask him to extend COVID Supplemental Paid Sick Leave retroactive to October 1, 2021. Here, we might have a chance….
Happy New Year 2022!