WASHINGTON–Congressman Andre Carson, one of Indiana’s two Democratic representatives in Washington, says he supports the Build Back Better Act because he believes it will inject money into the economy and will solve some problems for working families. Many Republicans believe the bill’s writers are trying to solve too much, with taxpayer money.
“I think it’s a travesty that we don’t have paid family and medical leave and we force workers to choose between their families and careers. That is a moral failing,” said Carson, who said the bill builds its leave provisions based on ideas from countries that are historically more generous, but provide the leave with taxpayer dollars.
The same would happen here, if the bill passes. Carson promises you would not feel the effect financially, unless you make over $400,000.
Some Republicans have disputed that claim, saying the Build Back Better Act’s $1.75 trillion or higher price tag will exacerbate the inflation situation, causing Americans who make the least to hurt the worst.
Carson is confident after speaking with economists that America will be seeing inflation subside about the time that the money provided by the various programs in the BBA flows into the economy.
“There are…economists who say these concerns (inflation) are overstated,” he said. “Government spending, it will be spread over a number of years, starting next year. The funds and the money will start flowing into the economy probably by 2023. I think inflation will probably hit a moderation point, according to the economists we’ve met with, probably late next year or the beginning of 2023.”
Carson, a member of the Progressive Caucus and the New Democrats, said he and his colleagues are still waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to score the bill and say whether or not the office believes the bill will be truly paid for with the revenue stream coming from wealthy Americans and corporations.
“If those numbers are grossly inconsistent I think some of our moderate colleagues will raise additional points. And, this thing still has to go to the Senate, which could create additional hurdles,” he said. Those hurdles include the possibility that one of Carson’s favorite provisions, paid leave, will be negotiated out. For the bill to pass the Senate with no Republican support, all 50 Democrats, including moderates, would have to vote yes.
In addition to paid leave, other provisions that Carson says are important include expanding Pell grants and helping minorities pay for college, lowering child care costs, establishing free, high-quality pre-school and helping pay for in-home care for the elderly, in addition to extending the Child Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.
While Democrats see those provisions as essential and believe tax-payer dollars should be used to fund them, many Republicans reject that notion, objecting to the BBA on the grounds that it overly burdens both taxpayers (in an argument about whether those affected will truly only be the wealthiest) and what government was set up to do.
Carson said he believes the right messaging, perhaps a softer sell to Americans, would convince more people that the bill is necessary.