Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Olivia Alperstein, Media Manager, Institute for Policy Studies,

Press Release

Progressives Groups to Biden and Congress: Go Bolder, Go Faster


The American Rescue Plan is a powerful response to the immediate needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, to ensure a just and equitable recovery and to build the kind of economy that serves the people in it, we call on President Biden and Congress to draft and pass a Build Back Better package that meets the massive challenges facing our nation. 

We need bold legislation to fix our crumbling physical infrastructure and deeply inadequate care infrastructure, and address the long-term crises of poverty, climate change, and inequities rooted in systemic racism. The Build Back Better package must address pressing social challenges,  ensure that there are high-quality jobs throughout the economy, and provide a better and fairer society. Low-wage workers, women, immigrants, and Black and Brown communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic. As the nation recovers, the benefits of this package must be targeted in such a way that it generates greater equity in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, immigration status, and zip code.

To achieve these goals, the Build Back Better package must be adequate in size and scope. A $3 trillion package is a step towards meeting our immediate physical infrastructure needs alone. But even addressing a robust subset of our pressing challenges would take substantially more. For example, to tackle the climate crisis; restructure the care economy; make college available to all; and modernize our unemployment insurance system would take a package two times as large. Meeting other crucial goals like advancing towards universal health care; monitoring the economic and public health of all the nation’s people; creating a pathway to citizenship for essential workers and their families, young immigrants, and TPS holders; and ending poverty—to build a truly inclusive economy from the bottom up—would need an investment on the order of $10 trillion over the next 10 years, along with key changes in regulations and other rules governing economic life. These changes will not only help our nation recover but also lead to dignified jobs and long-term shared prosperity. Lawmakers can sustain these transformational changes into the future by ensuring that wealthy individuals and corporations pay their fair share in taxes and by reducing prescription drug prices. 

The scale of legislation that we recommend is economically sound and procedurally achievable. These policies are overwhelmingly popular. Their enactment is simply a matter of political will.

Families and communities have waited long enough. Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act within the first 50 days of the Biden Administration. We urge Congress and the Administration to bring the same ambition and urgency to this effort, with passage of a transformative Build Back Better bill before the August recess.

"The compounding crises our country faces––extreme poverty, emboldened white supremacy, and the climate crisis––demonstrate the need for President Biden and Congress to go bold and go fast,” said Matt Hayward, Legislative Affairs Director at the Congressional Progressive Caucus Center. “The priorities that the President is laying out today begin the process of building back from this crisis, but don’t go nearly far enough. Our families and communities need and deserve so much more, and they need it now."

“We can’t remain stuck in the paradigms of the past––the challenges working families face today are too great,” said Deepak Bhargava policy expert and professor at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. "The Build Back Better package must be both big to meet the scale of the economic crisis we face, and equitable to redress the disproportionate harms of economic inequality on communities of color, immigrants and women.”

"The boldness of what we are proposing is the only way to tackle the interconnected crises of climate, care, a crumbling infrastructure, and the desperate need for quality jobs, and we can pay for much of it through fair taxes that also stem the excessive inequality that is eating away at our democracy," said John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute for Policy Studies.

Original Signatories

Congressional Progressive Caucus Center

Economic Policy Institute

Institute for Policy Studies

Alliance for Quality Education

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO

BOLD ReThink

Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR)

Center for Popular Democracy

Chicago Foundation for Women

Common Defense

Community Health Councils


Early Care & Education Pathways To Success (ECEPTS)


Family Values @ Work

Friends of the Earth U.S.

Green New Deal Network

Groundwork Collaborative

HBCU Collective


Insight Center

Institute For Women's Policy Research

Jobs With Justice

Keystone Progress

Labor Network for Sustainability

Legal Aid at Work



National Association of Social Workers

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)

National Network of Arab American Communities (NNAAC)

National Partnership for Women & Families

Open Society Policy Center

Parent Voices CA

People's Action

Public Citizen

Rights & Democracy

Service Employees International Union

Social Security Works

Sunrise Movement


Voices for Progress

Take On Wall Street

The Century Foundation

Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest PA

Working Families Party

Young Invincibles


Institute for Policy Studies turns Ideas into Action for Peace, Justice and the Environment. We strengthen social movements with independent research, visionary thinking, and links to the grassroots, scholars and elected officials. I.F. Stone once called IPS "the think tank for the rest of us." Since 1963, we have empowered people to build healthy and democratic societies in communities, the US, and the world. Click here to learn more, or read the latest below.

Sanders Calls John Deere Threat to Take Away Striking Workers' Health Coverage 'Beyond Outrageous'

"Workers must be allowed to keep their healthcare during the strike," said the Vermont senator.

Julia Conley ·

Sanders to Host "What's in the Damn Bill" Online Panel Discussion About Democrats' Package

The Senate Budget Committee chair will be joined by other progressive lawmakers and leaders at 8:00 pm Wednesday.

Common Dreams staff ·

'Who's Next?': Quebec Declares End to Fossil Fuel Extraction in Province

"In Canada and around the world, the pressure to end the expansion of oil and gas production will only continue to grow."

Andrea Germanos ·

Draft Report Accuses Bolsonaro of Crimes Against Humanity for Covid-19 Recklessness

"Many of these deaths were preventable," said one Brazilian senator. "I am personally convinced that he is responsible for escalating the slaughter."

Kenny Stancil ·

'He Isn’t Negotiating, He Is Killing the Bill': Ilhan Omar Slams Joe Manchin

"Thanks to the butchering of Manchin, Sinema, and the greed of their corporate lobbyists," said one critic, the Democrats' Build Back Better plan has been slashed down to just $1.9 trillion in spending.

Jon Queally ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo