The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for its passage of the historic Build Back Better Act. The Senate is now expected to take up this legislation. We urge the Senate to pass a robust package that will advance social well-being, promote health equity, create an inclusive economy and help the nation recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The House version of the package incorporates key provisions that will positively impact households across America. Major line items include investments in clean energy, a one-year extension of the Child Tax Credit, universal pre-K and childcare, paid leave, investments in affordable housing, and improving access to healthcare.
Social workers have witnessed first-hand the profound effects of structural inequity. We see the cascading effects of child poverty, the mental health impact of lack of affordable housing, the harmful economic trade-offs that individuals routinely make when they lack access to paid leave, and the social consequences of climate change. The pandemic has disproportionately harmed vulnerable communities, and an absence of these key social investments will only solidify an uneven recovery.
NASW emphasizes that the cost of inaction in the passage of this legislation is far greater for American households struggling under the economic burdens exacerbated by the pandemic. We especially urge Senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) to support a robust package.