WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) spoke with Garrett Haake on MSNBC this afternoon to discuss President Biden’s agenda, the Build Back Better Act, and recent comments from Republican colleagues.
“We will [fund the government.] I think there’s going to be an extension, probably to mid-January, to give us a little more time. Anytime you have a 50-50 Senate, less than a handful vote margin in the House, it’s like juggling cats on a high wire with a fire underneath you and headwinds blowing against you. This is something where we’re just going to need a little more time while we’re finishing Build Back Better and dealing with some of these other deadlines. There’s the will to get it done. We wish the Republicans would be a little more cooperative in helping us get some of these things done, because things like the debt ceiling, etc, should be a no-brainer. If we’ve already committed to the expense, we should commit to paying that expense.
“If the Senate can get it done, we’ll meet in the House no matter what day it is. I was going to say maybe not Christmas, but maybe even including Christmas, because this bill is so important for the American people. So if the Senate could get it done, we’ll get it done through the House – there’s no question. As far as lines in the sand, we’ve tried not to say that. When the Progressive Caucus held out voting on the infrastructure bill for a little bit, that really started a lot of the negotiations. Much of the bill, I would say over 95% is already pre-cleared, there’s a few items yet that we don’t have total clearance with the Senate on, and some of those things could be at risk. But otherwise, we’re in a pretty good place on most of these measures. At the end of the day, when that bill passes, in the average family making $100,000 a year and have a kid in child care, they’re going to see about $8,500 savings just in their child care. Plus, the Child Tax Credit will add another $3,600 for that child. That’s almost $1,000/month. That’s a real difference in peoples’ lives, and that’s what’s in the Build Back Better bill, and that’s why it’s so important.
“This is going to require all of us going around our districts, and the President going around the country, talking about the measures that are in here because there’s so much that’s going to benefit so many. That child care provision is huge, not just because it helps women enter the workforce – because all the work we did around COVID, six of the seven jobs went to men, not women, so this really helps to change that – but also, it’s just something that’s so needed to get people back into the workforce period. We were told by our business associations in Wisconsin, the number one thing holding people back from taking jobs was the issue of child care. There’s a lot of good stuff in that bill, but I really think those child care provisions help on a number of levels.