Dear Colleague: It's About Time!

October 2, 2021
Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Good morning.

It’s about time!  Yesterday, we extended the Thursday, September 30th legislative day to Friday, pushing to passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework and to advance Build Back Better.  But more time was needed to reach our goal of passing both bills, which we will.

It’s about time!  We all take great pride in the Rescue Package, which is a giant step in meeting the needs of the American people, putting hundreds of millions of vaccines of arms, money in people’s pockets, workers back in jobs and children safely back in school.  There is an expiration date to some of the initiatives, so we need to extend them – for example, the Child Tax Credit, which took millions of children out of poverty, but which needs to be extended.  Thanks to House Democrats’ Child Tax Credit Week of Action and indeed many more days of action, working with outside groups, we mobilized broad public support for this initiative.  This is true of many aspects of the Rescue Package.

It’s about time!  There is an October 31st Surface Transportation Authorization deadline, after last night’s passage of a critical 30-day extension.  We must pass BIF well before then – the sooner the better, to get the jobs out there.

It’s about time!  Every chance that I get, I want to recognize and appreciate the time and work of Committee Chairs, Members and staff for their disciplined focus on meeting the September 15th goal so that the Budget Committee could mark-up the legislation on September 25th to meet the end of September deadline.

Time was interrupted two weeks ago when the prospect of a changed budget made the climb to agreement steeper.  But still the work continues.  Since it all starts with the priorities and then seeing what it all adds up to, it is important to know that it all adds up to ZERO, because Build Back Better is paid for.  Negotiations will continue now, with more time for decisions, legislative language, Senate parliamentarian review and public awareness.

It’s about time!  To get the job done to meet the needs of the people in a transformative way to Build Back Better.  There were two dynamics at work: a commitment to the date reachable under original budget agreement and a commitment not to bring BIF to the Floor unless we had consensus on both the topline number in the Build Back Better Act and the policies contained and commitments from all stakeholders in the House and Senate that they support the agreement: criteria that have been suggested by Members.  Out of respect for our colleagues who support the bills and out of recognition for the need for both, I would not bring BIF to the Floor to fail.  Again, we will and must pass both bills soon.  We have the responsibility and the opportunity to do so.  People are waiting and want Results. 

It’s about time!  Yesterday, when we opened the second morning of the legislative day of September 30th, I mentioned the book The Island of the Day Before, by Umberto Eco.   It is about chronology, one of my favorite subjects, in the Age of Discovery.  Time was critical then, and it is critical now.

Thank you for your leadership For The People.