Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) spoke with Jim Sciutto on CNN this morning to discuss the Build Back Better Act.
“The most important thing is we get this right. As you mentioned, there’s a few new revenue streams we’re looking at right now. What people back home are asking for is what is in the bill for them, how they’re going to benefit from it, not necessarily what day we’re going to pass it. I know it would be great to have done so the president can talk about this, and I still think there’s a possibility, but the most important part is we get the provisions right. And we’re down to just a few final issues, so I’m optimistic.
“After almost nine years in Congress, I realized the only way Congress operates is when we have a deadline, so I understand why people put dates out there to get people talking. But again, at the end of the day, having these truly huge transformational ideas, like not paying more than 7% of your income for childcare, the child tax credit that lifts half the children out of poverty in this country, a tax cut for 40 million American families, those are the things that really matter to people back home and across the country. And those are the things that we want to get right.
“There are dozens of us in the Progressive Caucus who have said all along, we want to have both bills go through at the same time. Originally, we said we wanted it to pass through the Senate. If the President could give us assurances as he’s working with senators, that it will pass the Senate, we can do both bills at the same time in the House, and that’s what dozens of us are committed to. But sending the president to a climate change conference with only the infrastructure bill, when almost all the money around climate change is in the Build Back Better Act, doesn’t make sense. But having an announcement that we have an agreement on both would be something we could celebrate and send the president overseas with. I’m hoping that we can still get that agreement, knowing that the Senate will pass both bills and we can pass both on the House floor.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to throw lines down there. We should all be working together to get something done. The problem that we have is we have to make sure that both those bills get out of the House with the assurances we need. And I’m worried about a few things, like I think it would be a big mistake for us not to have a Medicare expansion in the Build Back Better Act, and I’m going to keep working towards that. I’m not throwing any lines down, but to say that dental and vision and hearing aren’t healthcare issues, that would be a big mistake.”