Dear Colleague on Path Forward to Build Back Better

August 15, 2021
Press Release

Dear Democratic Colleague,

Last week’s actions in the Senate and on the Census call upon us to take immediate action to make historic progress on many of the top priorities facing the Congress and the American people.

First, the Senate passed infrastructure legislation with an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote.  We salute the passage of this bill and the bipartisan nature of it.  It is not, however, inclusive of the totality of President Biden and Congressional Democrats’ vision to Build Back Better.  House Chairs of the committees of jurisdiction, their Members and staff are reviewing the bill.

Second, the Senate’s actions on the budget call upon us to take the next step and pass the budget resolution, which will be the basis for passing our broader Build Back Better agenda.  I commend the Chairs of the committees, their Members and their staff for working diligently to align Democratic priorities.  Thanks to the timely actions of the Senate, we have begun the process of assembling this legislation.  In order to build consensus within our Caucus and with Democrats in the Senate, please continue to make known your priorities on this legislation to the Chairs and to me in advance of the September 15th deadline for our Chairs to finish drafting.

Our goal is to pass the budget resolution the week of August 23rd so that we may pass Democrats’ Build Back Better agenda via reconciliation as soon as possible.  To that end, I have requested that the Rules Committee explore the possibility of a rule that advances both the budget resolution and the bipartisan infrastructure package.  This will put us on a path to advance the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill.

Third, the Bureau of the Census acted to put forth numbers that will precipitate the redistricting process across the country.  Recognizing that, Democrats in the Senate again attempted to achieve bipartisanship on three bills: first, S. 1 to stop the partisan, anti-democratic assault on our democracy; second, a bill to ban the scourge of partisan gerrymandering; and third, a bill to stop the torrent of dark money flooding our elections.  Unfortunately, Republicans stood in the way of this legislation, which has broad, bipartisan support across the country.  On Monday, the House Judiciary Committeewill hold a hearing on H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and we anticipate passing this vital bill when we return.

When the House returns on August 23rd, we will proceed in a way that builds consensus in our Caucus, promotes the values of our party and advances the President’s transformative vision to Build Back Better.

Colleagues, we are forging ahead with a bold and historic agenda, with progress we have not seen in fifty years.  This legislation will stand for generations alongside the New Deal and the Great Society as pillars of economic security for working families.  Indeed, these bills will be the biggest and most consequential initiatives that any of us have ever undertaken in our official lives.

Passing the two bills before us will give us the leverage that we need to expand the Biden Child Tax Credit, Child Care, paid family and medical leave, universal pre-K, workforce development, education, climate, housing and other initiatives that many Members have worked on for years.  These bills will advance equity in how we build our physical infrastructure and justice in how we build our human infrastructure.  They will be transformative for our economy, our society, our working families and our children.

None of this would be possible without the courageous leadership of President Joe Biden and his powerful vision for the future.  Let us proceed united, respectful of everyone’s views and determined to deliver the results we need in the weeks ahead.

Thank you for your ongoing leadership For The People.