New York, NY – In the wake of West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s statement to oppose the Build Back Better bill, young people at March For Our Lives are disgusted by this act of cowardice and fed up with “leaders” playing politics with our future.
As we face a still-raging pandemic and one of the worst years of gun violence ever recorded in this country, the relief included in the Build Back Better package is the bare minimum that the American people deserve. In addition to an unprecedented $5 billion in funding for violence intervention programs that will curb gun violence at the community level, the bill contains critical supports that reflect a modern approach to care and welfare in our society–provisions widely supported by Gen-Z and Millennial voters, like childcare and child tax credits, paid family leave, healthcare coverage for the uninsured and more. These are the building blocks for a safe society.
Frankly, this vote is overdue. The clock should have never run down to the final moments of the year to pass this bill—Senator Manchin dragging this process into 2022 is an abject failure of the democratic system. If one of the most urgent social infrastructure packages can’t be passed during a time of extraordinary violence, death and uncertainty, we take this to mean that our lives and future are not valued.
But we refuse to become apathetic. The midterms are around the corner and we will remember this moment. We call on party leadership to enact Build Back Better into law immediately.