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A patient receives dental care at a free rural clinic.

Patients receive dental care at a Remote Area Medical Clinic on February 1, 2019 in Knoxville, Tennessee. More than a thousand people were expected to seek free dental, medical, and vision care at the event, as millions of Americans report avoiding seeking care to save on costs. (Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty Images)

Local Democrats Nationwide to Congress: 'Don't Come Home' Until Biden Agenda Passed in Full

Democrats "ran on a bold agenda to help our nation roar back from the coronavirus pandemic," said the lawmakers, "and now we need to keep our promises."

Kenny Stancil

Democratic local and state lawmakers representing millions of people throughout the United States sent a clear message to congressional Democrats on Monday: "Do not come home until you have passed the FULL $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act."

"Stop playing games and pass the Build Back Better Act for the American people."

"We are counting on your leadership to provide the full federal funding that states and localities so desperately need under this Act," the elected officials wrote in a letter addressed to Democratic members of Congress. "So please stay in Washington until you get the job done, and know that you have our support at home."

Dozens of representatives whose constituents hail from cities and counties in every U.S. state plus the District of Columbia noted that President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party "ran on a bold agenda to help our nation roar back from the coronavirus pandemic, and now we need to keep our promises."

"That means making the expanded child tax credit permanent, lowering the costs of prescription drugs, expanding Medicare, providing home care for seniors, offering universal pre-K, achieving 80% clean electricity by 2030, and creating millions of jobs building wind turbines and solar panels," wrote the policymakers, who represent the jurisdictions that stand to lose out on crucial support if a few of Capitol Hill's right-wing Democrats—swimming in corporate cash—succeed in weakening or eliminating life-saving provisions in their party's popular budget reconciliation package.

"Congress must send the Build Back Better Act to President Biden's desk quickly and intact," they continued. "The stakes for our people and planet could hardly be higher."

The letter, sent by regional advocacy groups that "know all too well" how desperate communities are for congressional Democrats to pass the reconciliation bill, came just one day after conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) demanded that a proposed extension of the child tax credit be accompanied by a work requirement as well as a $60,000 income cap and less than 72 hours after he signaled his opposition to the Clean Electricity Performance Program, which constitutes a key pillar of his party's plan to slash planet-heating emissions.

Like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—who infuriated Manchin this past weekend by taking his tireless advocacy for working-class people to the op-ed pages of The Charleston Gazette-Mail—Barbara Fleischauer, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates representing District 51, knows full well that the residents of her state are among those who would benefit the most from the enactment of the Build Back Better Act.

"Our constituents... will be unforgiving if we fail to enact our platform into federal law."

"West Virginia needs the Build Back Better plan perhaps more than any other state in the Union," Fleischauer said in a statement. "West Virginians are sick and can't get hospital beds, nurses can't find child care, and this bill will provide job opportunities for out-of-work coal miners."

"Please pass this bill as quickly as possible," she added. "West Virginians are desperate for the greater prosperity and equity this bill promises."

Local Democrats from around the country had similar things to say about the importance of swiftly passing the entire Build Back Better Act.

Cathy Kipp, a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from District 52, stressed that the legislation "addresses so many important issues facing our constituents."

"We need child care so people can return to work, we need to address climate change for the future of our planet, we need to increase the supply of affordable housing so people can have places to live, we need to acknowledge that dental, vision, and hearing care are part of the medical care our seniors need, we need to allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices, we need wealthy people to pay their fair share—and so much more," she said. "Stop playing games and pass the Build Back Better Act for the American people."

The letter makes clear that mayors, governors, legislators, and other elected officials "have done what we can to promote the Democratic agenda here at the local and state level, but it will take federal legislation to create a more prosperous and equitable country."

"We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to do just that," the signatories emphasized. "Our constituents know it, and they will be unforgiving if we fail to enact our platform into federal law."

"Your constituents back here at home sent you to Washington, D.C. to enact the Build Back Better Act," they concluded. "Please don't come home without passing it."

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Omar Hangs Up After Boebert Uses Call to Double Down on 'Outright Bigotry and Hate'

"Instead of apologizing for her Islamophobic comments and fabricated lies, Rep. Boebert refused to publicly acknowledge her hurtful and dangerous comments."

Jessica Corbett ·

Win for Alabama Workers as NLRB Orders New Union Vote After Amazon's Alleged Misconduct

A union leader said the decision confirmed that "Amazon's intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace."

Jessica Corbett ·

'For the Sake of Peace,' Anti-War Groups Demand Biden Return to Nuclear Deal With Iran

"It's time to put differences aside and return to the Iran nuclear deal," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·

'That's for Them to Decide': UK Secretary Rebuked for Claiming Vaccine Patent Waiver Won't Be 'Helpful' to Global Poor

One U.K. lawmaker asked when the government would "start putting the need to end this pandemic in front of the financial interests of Big Pharma?"

Andrea Germanos ·

Shell Slammed for Plan to Blast South African Coastline for Oil and Gas During Whale Season

"We cannot allow climate criminals, like Shell, to plunder in the name of greed," said Greenpeace.

Kenny Stancil ·

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