For Immediate Release: December 20, 2021
Contact: Kelly Allen, 304-612-4180
Charleston, WV – Senator Manchin’s announcement that he will not support the Build Back Better Act is a major blow to West Virginia’s families, workers, small businesses, and state economy. Failing to pass a social infrastructure package and an extension of the improved Child Tax Credit – including the monthly payments that are helping West Virginia families afford the rising costs associated with raising kids – is not an option. Those very families have been conveying that truth to the Senator and his staff for months.
Senator Manchin now has a choice to make: Will he side with the ultra-wealthy and corporations that are still reaping record windfalls even as we face a new and dangerous phase of the pandemic, or will he side with West Virginia’s children and families by returning to the negotiating table to find a path forward? This is not hyperbole – with the enhanced Child Tax Credit expiring this month, 346,000 West Virginia kids will see their household incomes reduced, including 50,000 who will be driven into poverty or deeper poverty. That is merely one example of how inaction will harm West Virginians.
It is difficult to square Senator Manchin’s recent comments with the realities faced by people on the ground in West Virginia. The current status quo does far too little to invest in the needs of families and working people. We face unacceptable levels of child poverty, an aging population with poor health outcomes, a lack of child care, and too many workers in low-paying jobs who have difficulties making ends meet. The Build Back Better Act that Senator Manchin opposes would address all of those challenges head-on.
What’s more, the Build Back Better Act would address the very concerns Manchin cites as reason for inaction. Because the bill is funded by closing loopholes and raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations – both wildly popular policies – it is fiscally sound. And according to a range of experts, the bill would have no noticeable impact on long-term inflation, but it would lower costs for families by renewing monthly Child Tax Credit payments, creating a paid family and medical leave program, lowering costs for child care, health care, and prescriptions, and investing in jobs for the future. All of these would help the vast majority of West Virginians.
We call on Senator Manchin to return to the negotiating table to find a solution that prioritizes his constituents – kids and families – by extending the enhanced Child Tax Credit, passing paid leave, investing in child care and health care, and tackling the climate crisis. Our families are counting on him.