WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) delivered remarks on the House floor in which she urged Congress to pass a robust and impactful Build Back Better Act to make long-overdue investments to support our workers, families and communities.
A full transcript of her remarks is available below, and video is available here.
Transcript: Rep. Pressley Delivers Floor Remarks on Build Back Better Act
U.S. House of Representatives
October 21, 2021
Thank you Mister Speaker and thank you to my colleague from New Mexico, Congresswoman Leger Fernandez, for convening us today.
Mister Speaker, I rise today on behalf of every worker, every parent and every caretaker that has questioned how they will make ends meet and keep food on the table for their families.
The parent that has felt that pit in their stomach, the anxiousness, as they look over monthly bills with the growing costs of rent and childcare.
The frontline worker terrified to stay home sick and lose their job because of our nation’s failure to provide paid leave.
The family afraid of being displaced from their home due to extreme weather and the existential threat of climate change.
The student living in a transit desert with unreliable access to jobs, food and Community.
The daughter who is a caregiver to her parent who is one of 820 thousand people on a waitlist for much needed Home and Community Based Services.
And our immigrant neighbor, who has been unjustly denied a pathway to citizenship.
Mister Speaker, the Build Back Better Act will get us one step closer to rejecting the unjust status quo and beginning to build a recovery that centers the people.
As Angela Davis once said “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change, I am changing the things I can no longer accept”.
Despite what some might argue, the needs of our communities go far beyond our nation’s roads and bridges. And we must ensure that our policies and investments reflect that reality.
Mr. Speaker, I refuse to choose the union worker who builds our highways and the childcare workers who protect our babies and sets them on a pathway to a health life. I would ask every member of Congress that they do the same.
Reject the false, binary choices that force us to pick between the livelihoods and wellbeing of the two. That pit community member against community member.
We have the opportunity to finally make universal paid leave, home health care and universal access to quality and affordable childcare a reality.
In my district, in Massachusetts, it’s $21,000 dollars per child for childcare.
We have the opportunity and responsibility to address climate change, to combat our housing crisis and to finally establish a pathway to citizenship for millions of our immigrant neighbors.
You know, those essential workers that you all clapped for during the pandemic. They don’t need your applause. They need you to value more than just their labor, but their lives. And the preservation of their families.
We must rebuild stronger, as a just nation that takes care of its people.
In order to truly build back better, we must truly address both the human and physical infrastructure needs of our communities. This is responsive to the needs of the people.
We must focus on impact. We must advance policies that will be felt by all families and leave no community behind. This is how we set forth a just recovery and chart a new course forward.
And this is our moment.
This is our moment to repair the generations of hurt, harm and policy violence inflicted on our most vulnerable and neglected communities.
This is our moment to legislate our values and honor the decisive mandate we have from the people.
This is our moment to make this Democratic House, Senate and White House more than a talking point.
We must affirm and codify, once and for all that:
Infrastructure are those things that are essential to the function of our very society.
Care is infrastructure.
Housing is infrastructure.
Climate justice is infrastructure.
Paid leave is infrastructure.
Disability justice is infrastructure.
The list goes on.
There is no deficit of resources in this country—only a deficit of empathy and political courage.
Let’s pass the Build Back Better Act so we can deliver for the communities that for too long have been asked to wait. And justice delayed is justice denied.
Our constituents deserve more.
Thank you, I yield.