Indian American lawmakers keen on passing the Build Back Better Agenda

Pramila Jayapal fights to keep H4 work authorization


In order to bring the United States back to its feet after a devasting past year and a half due to the pandemic, Indian-American Democratic lawmakers Pramila Jayapal and Ro Khanna, along with others are urging President Joe Biden to pass the Build Back Better plan.

The Build Back Better Agenda is an ambitious plan to create jobs, cut taxes, and lower costs for working families – all paid for by making the tax code fairer and making the wealthiest and large corporations pay their fair share.

This plan is a projected $7 trillion COVID-19 relief, future economic, and infrastructure package proposed by President Joe Biden.

If fully enacted, it would include investments in infrastructure and is projected to create 10 million clean-energy jobs. Expenditures would also include government funds on housing, education, economic fairness and health care.

The plan, which is divided into three parts includes the American Rescue Plan, a COVID-19 relief package, and the American Jobs Plan. However, as of now, the American Rescue Plan is the only plan that has been signed into law

Jayapal, who heads the Progressive Caucus, described the meeting with President Biden as thoughtful and conversational listening sessions.

“The president is the inspirer, he is the closer, he is the convincer, the mediator in chief. He really is doing a phenomenal job. We are feeling good,” she told reporters at the White House after the meeting on Tuesday.

Jayapal said that progressives winnowed down their demands to five priorities and believed most would get into the Build Back Better Act.

“I think the president has been working incredibly hard to get everybody to a place where we can move this forward and finish this process so that we can start on whatever is the next important thing that we need to do so,” she said.

Jayapal said the president has been consistent about his bottom-line numbers: USD 1.9-USD 2.2 trillion.

“It’s not the number that we want. We have consistently tried to make it as high as possible. President has agreed with our strategy,” she said, adding that one of the most challenging places for their caucus is emissions reductions.

“The president has been nothing but respectful of all that we’re trying to accomplish, all that he’s trying to accomplish in his Build Back Better Agenda, and these conversations have been really great. They’re really conversational…,” Jayapal said.

Asked whether they could meet the accelerated deadline by Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer, she said: “We are all working as hard as we can. I mean all of us are having a million conversations every day to try to get there.”

In a statement, Congressman Khanna said he was glad to meet with President Biden at the White House to discuss a path forward on the Build Back Better Act.

“In the meeting, the president outlined an inspiring framework for the bill that includes progressive priorities like universal pre-K, climate action, and an expanded Child Tax Credit.

“It is incredibly important that Democrats get behind the president’s agenda and come together to deliver this win for the American people. The well-being of millions of Americans is at stake and the world is watching,” Khanna said.