Senate Budget Reconciliation Deal is Bittersweet Compromise that Fails to Center Women

Statement of Jocelyn C. Frye, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

"Yesterday evening, the Senate announced an agreement that is designed to help bolster our economic growth while we continue to recover from a global pandemic and world events. The legislation has many important policies that are needed to support families and grow our economy and its relief is long overdue. Despite that, this draft, as is, continues to operate as if women and families are not essential to how our economy functions. It also sends a message that we can fix our country’s problems in a piecemeal way.

There are a whole set of interventions that would have helped families while also achieving our economic goals. Measures such as paid family medical leave to ensure workers can take time off without losing income or livelihood; measures such as home- and community-based care that help our caregivers achieve fair wages and ensure our older family members can age with dignity; and measures like affordable child care that help women and parents get back to work while we invest in the people who make all work possible. In addition, closing the Medicaid coverage gap would have easily fixed one of our nation’s most harmful racial and gender health coverage inequities.

We must stop acting as if women are not essential to our economic success and that women and families are afterthoughts. These policies are not "nice to haves" that are only worth it if we can pay for them, instead as noted by Treasury Secretary Janet M. Yellen herself – these policies are key to driving economic success.

Many will look at today’s legislation and call it done. But we are far from done. Families need to know these issues remain on the agenda and there’s a commitment to move them forward. As we look ahead to the fall, we will be working with partners to ensure that women and working families’ voices – and the policy solutions they need – are heard and centered in the conversation. And we call on all elected officials to continue to push for the policies that women so desperately need at this moment."

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About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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