Disagreements between progressive and moderate factions of the Democratic party must be resolved before final vote can take place.
The White House released a $1.75 trillion framework Thursday for the “Human Infrastructure Plan,” also known as the Build Back Better Act. The framework marks a significant reduction from the originally anticipated $3.5 trillion package, but still represents one of the largest federal investments in social spending programs in history. However, timeline for final passage remains unclear. Legislative text is still in draft form, and key moderates Sens. Manchin and Sinema have still not committed to voting for the bill. Progressives in the House remain united against advancing the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure bill until they receive more details and a guarantee of passage of the Build Back Better Act. It is likely the bills will move together in the House to ensure both factions are satisfied.
The President’s framework notably included $150 billion for home and community-based services. This money would set up a permanent FMAP increase for states if they agree to expand HCBS eligibility and services and improve wages for direct care workers. This represents an historic investment in HCBS, but until the Build Back Better Act is passed nothing is final. That is why Lutheran Services in America continues to advocate for key provisions that would help address the acute workforce shortage and expand access to home and community-based services. Specifically, we are advocating for a final package that includes:
- $150 billion to incentivize states to deliver or improve home- and community-based service programs, including through increasing wages and benefits for direct care workers;
- $1.48 billion for a grant program funding strategies to recruit and retain direct care workers; and
- the provisions of the WORK NOW Act to create a $50 billion grant program supporting nonprofits in paying wages and benefits.
Please join us in this effort through our advocacy alert.
By Sarah Dobson, Senior Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, and Josh Dubensky, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network