Los Angeles—SEIU Local 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo De La Cruz made the following statement today outlining the triumphs and failures of the Senate budget agreement…
“The spending package passed this week in the Senate—the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—will fund lower healthcare and prescription costs, both incredibly important for long-term care providers who suffer the irony of providing healthcare from the system’s bottom rung. This much-needed spending plan also includes the largest piece of climate legislation in our country’s history. Although not as robust as the healthcare and climate solutions in last year’s ‘Build Back Better’ proposals, this is huge. We expect this to be signed into law. We need this. We won this—with our rallies, lobbying, and our choices at the ballot box.
“But there’s a glaring omission in this plan: ‘women’s work.’ We finally won a commitment from the House last year in the Build Back Better plan to lift up the care industry—to pay, protect and respect the women whose work makes it possible for other women to work. As proposed in BBB, long overdue investment would have created millions of good union jobs for a workforce that’s largely women of color, while making care more accessible to those who need it: seniors (the “Silver Tsunami” that we aren’t prepared for), people with disabilities and families with young children. But 50 Republicans in the Senate (84% of them men) sent a clear message when they refused to include any investment in caregivers or care recipients in BBB or this new spending bill—even though an overwhelming 81% of U.S. voters support investing in our care system and the women who deliver that care. Our members and caregivers across this country also have a clear message. They’ll continue their push to get the investment in caregivers and our care economy over the finish line—ensuring that their work is honored, affords dignity, is recognized as the career it is, and pays life-sustaining wages with good healthcare. We’re not defeated. We’ll work with the Biden administration to find solutions that fund the care that Americans need and continue to support.”
And next month, we’re holding Democracy Schools for our member leaders interested in learning more about how they can change the outcome of elections and ensure we elect politicians willing to address the crisis in care.”