ICYMI: What People Are Saying About the Urgent Need to Build Back Better
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Within hours of votes being counted in Virginia, New Jersey, and elsewhere in the U.S., leaders across the nation stressed their steadfast commitment to passing both the Build Back Better Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Congress is on the brink of voting on this historic legislation, and the transformative investments in clean energy, job creation, and environmental justice are top-of-mind for legislators, advisors, and reporters.
The Build Back Better Act and its climate investments are widely popular in districts across the nation—regardless of voting history or political affiliation. Now is the time for Congress to put people first and enact legislation that will invest in jobs, justice, and climate.
Here is what people are saying:
President Joe Biden: “People want us to get things done… And that’s why I am continuing to push very hard for the Democratic Party to move along and pass my infrastructure bill and Build Back Better bill…If I’m able to pass and sign into law my Build Back Better…you are going to see a lot of those things ameliorate quickly and swiftly. That has to be done.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “Two historic packages of big, important, needed, positive, timely – and very, very, very very popular – policies are ready for action in Congress. The time to deliver is here.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi: “The people have spoken,” Pelosi says of the Virginia results. Asked if Dems’ loss will change their agenda in Congress, she replies: “No, no.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn: “Well, it just reinforces the fact that we need to get these things done.” He said the defeat “should make it easier” to pass Biden’s agenda.
Senator Tim Kaine: “I think it’s going to send a signal that we’ve got to produce. You know, the American public gave us a majority of both houses for a reason.”
Senator Chris Coons: “We in Congress need to do our job…If anyone who I serve with is thinking about saying ‘maybe we shouldn’t move forward,’ that is the only path forward, is to deliver these two bills to President Biden’s desk. We do that and the ‘22 electorate will look very different.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal: “We’re going to pass both of these bills this week. I don’t say things without having some reason for believing them. So yeah, we’re going to get them done.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer: “I think the American people want us to act and get things done.”
Geoff Garin, Democratic pollster: “We need to pass the strongest bills we can pass with our current majorities and then take our fight to the Republicans.”
Cornell Belcher, Democratic pollster: The election result should “put a sense of urgency and a fire under” the goal of passing Biden’s agenda. “If you look at how upset Americans broadly are about what they see as a dysfunction in Washington, and if you’re a rational Democrat, you have to understand we’ve got to do something, we got to start delivering for the people.”
Matt Bennett, Third Way: “The months of in-fighting and sausage-making must come to an end. We must pass these two historic bills and then explain what they will do to create jobs, cut taxes, and help working families afford the essentials.”
Dan Pfeiffer, Co-host Pod Save America: “The longer we delay, the longer the spotlight will linger on Democratic disarray and prevent us from making an argument for why Republicans cannot be allowed to sniff power again. Further debate and delay serve no purpose.”
Lori Lodes, Climate Power: “We need to pass Build Back Better and the Bipartisan Infrastructure deal immediately. This is how Dems win – by delivering for people.”
Ilya Sheyman, Real Recovery Now: After tonight, TheDemocrats need to deliver on the agenda voters nationwide supported last fall and again in Georgia in January. It’s time to pass both #BuildBackBetter and the bipartisan infrastructure framework together. Right now.
Zac Petkanas, Invest in America: “Anybody suggesting that Democrats are less motivated this morning to pass these bills is not plugged in and should stop being booked.”
Danielle Melfi, Build Back Together: “We’ll see too many hot takes today, but each one should include gratitude for the volunteers and organizers who worked their hearts out. We all have a role to play on where we go from here – starting with passing the popular policies the American people want.”
Faiz Shakir, More Perfect Union: “The takeaway from Tuesday is that Democratic voters’ confidence is waning that Democratic power will be wielded in their favor. We still have time to show them that their votes matter.”
Ben LaBolt: “I don’t think this complicates passage,” said Ben LaBolt, Obama’s 2012 campaign press secretary. “I think it helps accelerate it. It’s clear to the average Democratic member of Congress that they need to go into the election with a strong case that they’ve helped families economically in the short and long term. These bills do that.”
Jason Kander: “Re: these elections. We are the party of government, the party that argues government is good, so we gotta get some major government stuff done.”
Paul Begala: “If DC Dems can’t unite and make life better for working families, they will be swept away in the same flood that wiped them out in Virginia. Pass Biden’s agenda – or build an ark.”
Josh Schwerin: “We need to be honest about where the President’s numbers are now and the challenges we’re facing heading into the midterms. We need to pass both infrastructure and BBB bills immediately and start selling them.”