March 30, 2021
Pressley, Dingell, Lamb, Jayapal Lead Call for Historic Investment in Home and Community-Based Services in Recovery Package
WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Conor Lamb (PA-17) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led a letter with 107 of their colleagues to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris calling for an historic investment of $450 billion in home- and community-based services (HCBS) in the Build Back Better infrastructure package. Sent ahead of President Biden’s speech rolling out his Build Back Better proposal, the lawmakers made the case for HCBS care being included in his vision for the rebuilding of the nation’s care infrastructure.
“As your Administration looks to move forward with its Build Back Better Jobs and Economic Recovery plan, we are strongly supportive of your proposal to invest $450 billion in home and community-based services (HCBS),” the lawmakers wrote. “This historic investment will help build a strong and robust workforce with higher pay, benefits, and a choice to join a union. It will advance racial and gender equity and make it possible for older adults and people with disabilities to receive long-term services and supports in their homes and communities.”
“This investment in HCBS as part of your Build Back Better Plan would transform our nation’s caregiving system while also driving sustainable economic growth and meeting the health care needs of our nation’s aging population. It would help lead the American economy out of the pandemic-induced recession by increasing employment and enabling those receiving services to fully participate in their communities,” continued the lawmakers. “It would transform low-paid caregiving jobs into family- sustaining occupations with higher wages, benefits and the opportunity to join a union.”
Full text of the letter is available here. The letter follows a similar call last month by Sens. Casey and Booker, along with 29 of their colleagues, for additional investments in HCBS in upcoming Recovery legislation.
Congresswoman Pressley has fought for older Americans and people with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In early 2020, she worked with advocates to challenge Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s crisis standards of care and release updated guidelines with input from the disability community. In June 2020, Rep. Pressley and Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) wrote to Governor Baker requesting an independent investigation into the outbreak of COVID-19 at the Chelsea Soldiers’ Home (CSH).
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