WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., released the following statement Sunday on the path forward for the Build Back Better agenda:
“It’s extremely disappointing to have to drop any major priorities because of Republican obstruction and the constraints of legislating in a fifty-fifty Senate, however, Democrats have made key promises to families who need more support. Failure is not an option here.
“A package that addresses critical priorities over the long-term, like providing financial security for families, lowering the costs of health care and prescription drugs for seniors, and creating clean energy jobs by combating the climate crisis would go a long way toward addressing our challenges. The Finance Committee has put forward a revenue menu with more than enough options to permanently pay for these priorities.
“Families received their sixth child tax credit payment last week, and they have come to depend on these payments to cover the essentials like rent, groceries, heat, and clothing for their children. Food insecurity among families dropped by about 25 percent since these payments began. Child poverty has been cut nearly in half. This program is Social Security for our children, and Democrats must keep it going over the long-term.
“This is our last chance to prevent the most catastrophic effects of the climate crisis. The linchpin of the clean energy package is permanent, technology-neutral incentives tied to carbon emissions reductions. Fossil fuels that get cleaner are eligible for incentives, just like solar or wind. This package is supported by utility companies and environmental advocates alike and it’s the only path forward that can secure 50 votes and achieve significant emissions reductions in the power sector. Senator Manchin has long said he would only support technology-neutral incentives, and that’s exactly what this package is structured around.
“Democrats also must deliver on our promise to lower Americans’ health care costs, which are crushing to family budgets. Drug companies have been mugging Americans at the pharmacy window for too long, and there may not be another opportunity anytime soon for Democrats to put a stop to it. Fifty million seniors in Medicare have a lot of bargaining power, and it’s long past due to put it to use. Earlier this year Democrats also expanded the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits for health coverage, and it’s vital that we extend those subsidies to make coverage affordable. At a time when many American families are concerned about basic costs of living going up, Democrats cannot allow their health care costs to increase unnecessarily.”