STATEMENT BY LGBTQI+ ORGANIZATIONS IN SUPPORT OF
IMMEDIATE PASSAGE OF A ROBUST BUILD BACK BETTER LAW
Released by: Family Equality, Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers, Equality California, the Equality Federation, FORGE, Inc., GLSEN, the Hispanic Federation, the Modern Military Association of America, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, Oasis Legal Services, and Silver State Equality
Today the White House released its Build Back Better framework that includes critical supports for our LGBTQI+ families. We urge all members of Congress to work to add additional urgently needed elements including paid leave, lower prescription drug costs, inclusion of immigrant children, and immigration reform to the framework, and to vote to pass Build Back Better into law as soon as possible to help our families recover from the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The investments in the Build Back Better framework will help ensure that our families receive critical supports that allow them to return to the workforce while caring for themselves and family members, including:
- Universal preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds.
- Making the tax break provided to the lowest-income families through the child tax credit (CTC) permanent, continuing expanded CTC monthly payments to families which have already reduced child poverty by nearly half over the next year, and extending the Earned Income Tax Credit to around 17 million low-wage workers.
- Affordable high quality child care, ensuring that families pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care and expanding care to about 20 million children per year
- More affordable in-home care for older adults and people with disabilities, while supporting workers providing this care.
- Making housing more affordable for families and individuals by investing in long-term rental assistance, repairing public housing, and building new affordable housing.
- Investments in immigration reform to reduce backlogs, expand legal representation, and make the asylum system and border processing more efficient and humane.
- Critical supports for LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum.
- Investments in workforce development and equity in college education by raising the maximum pell grant and providing supports to historically black colleges & universities, hispanic & minority serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities.
- Expanding health care coverage to millions, by extending Medicaid to 4 million low income families and individuals, and expanding Medicare to cover hearing benefits.
- Creating jobs and advancing environmental justice through investments in clean energy and sustainability which prioritize disadvantaged communities.
- Fully paying for these investments in our communities by ensuring that the ultra-wealthy and large corporations pay more of their fair share of taxes.
LGBTQI+ families and individuals, particularly families and individuals of color, experienced disproportionately higher rates of poverty compared to our non-LGBTQI+ counterparts, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. These inequities were compounded by the effects of the pandemic with nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ households facing job or wage disruption. Build Back Better invests in strengthening the middle class and providing supports to low-wage workers - a segment of the workforce where LGBTQI+ individuals are over represented.
Additionally, we urge Congress to continue advocating for LGBTQI+ families and the LGBTQI+ community by adding the elements below to the bill, and passing Build Back Better as soon as possible:
- Permanent, comprehensive, and inclusive paid family and medical leave that includes caring for chosen family, reflecting the paid leave provided to federal workers for over fifty years.
- Including immigrant children in the Child Tax Credit, by restoring the CTC to children with ITINs.
- A long-overdue pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
- Lowering the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and expanding medicare coverage for vision and dental health.
- Ensuring equitable access by LGBTQI+ people and families to BBB programs by including sexual orientation and gender identity in programs’ data collection.
- Ensuring that workforce development and small business programs serve the most economically marginalized, including transgender people. Workforce and small business development programs should include LGBTQI+-competent and affirming training, policies, and procedures, and address the particular barriers that the most economically marginalized communities experience in entering, remaining in, and advancing in the workforce, including women, people of color, transgender people, people with disabilities, and formerly incarcerated people.