Human Rights Campaign Urges the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Biden-Harris Build Back Better Framework

by Henry Berg-Brousseau

The Build Back Better Framework will deliver meaningful outcomes for LGBTQ+ people and families, building an America in which all can thrive.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) encouraged the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Biden-Harris Administration’s Build Back Better Framework, the most transformative investment in the American middle class in generations and the largest expansion of affordable health care in a decade. Build Back Better, if passed, would be momentous for LGBTQ+ individuals and their families as LGBTQ+ people in America are more likely to live in poverty (21.6%,) than their non-LGBTQ+ peers (15.7%).

“The Human Rights Campaign commends President Biden for the bold vision of the Build Back Better framework and urges the U.S House of Representatives to pass it,” said Human Rights Campaign Senior Vice President, Policy & Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “Families in the United States are facing challenges every day. Whether it is struggling to put enough food on the table or being able to access paid family leave, the investments in the Build Back Better legislation will help struggling families recover from the pandemic and recession and help create an economy that works for everyone. With 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ Americans living in poverty, these programs will be a game-changer in addressing the LGBTQ+ community’s lower educational attainment, higher unemployment and lack of health insurance coverage.”

Specifically, the framework:

Makes transformative investment in children and caregiving:

  • The average yearly cost of preschool is $8,600. For LGBTQ+ families with children, who are more likely to be living in poverty than non-LGBTQ+ families, these costs can be prohibitive.
    • The Build Back Better Framework ensures that the vast majority of working LGBTQ+ families of four who earn less than $300,000 will pay no more than 7% of their income on child care for children under 6.

Includes the largest expansion of affordable health care in a decade:

  • LGBTQ+ people have long faced challenges to accessing health insurance coverage and health care that is both respectful and high quality. And too many LGBTQ+ people have fallen into the “coverage gap” because their state refused to expand Medicaid.
    • President Biden’s framework advances health equity for LGBTQ+ people by closing the Medicaid coverage gap and lowering the health care costs for individuals buying coverage through the ACA.

Generational efforts to bring down costs and strengthen the middle class:

Supporting workers and their families

  • Fewer than half of employer-paid leave policies cover parents of all genders equally or are inclusive of the many ways families welcome a child -- including through childbirth, adoption, or foster care.

  • Even for LGBTQ+ workers whose employers do have formal paid leave policies, 1 in 5 respondents in a national survey said they were fearful of requesting leave out of fear it would disclose their LGBTQ+ identity.
    • The Build Back Better framework contains 4 weeks of paid leave and expands the definition of family to reflect what America’s families truly look like, including chosen family.

Investing in affordable housing

Promoting nutrition security

  • LGBTQ+ households experience food insecurity at nearly twice the rate of non-LGBTQ+ households and data shows that 13% of LGBTQ+ adults live in a household where there was often not enough to eat in the past seven days
    • The Build Back Better Framework expands access to free school meals during the school year and provides students with resources to purchase food over the summer, ensuring that the nutritional needs of children being raised in LGBTQ+ families are met.

Cutting taxes for families with children

  • Over 36% of LGBTQ+ people lived in a household that had difficulty paying for usual household expenses, compared to 26% of non-LGBTQ+ people.

  • LGBTQ+ people are more likely to be living in poverty because of the effects of discrimination, bias, and denial of economic opportunity and children of LGBTQ+ parents are especially vulnerable to poverty.
    • President Biden’s framework will extend the Child Tax Credit, lowering taxes for families by providing the families of more than 66 million kids in the U.S. a major tax cut.

Investing in higher education and workforce training

  • Education beyond high school is vital in the 21st-century economy, but it has become unaffordable for many, particularly LGBTQ+ young people who may lack support and financial assistance from family
    • The Build Back Better Framework would increase the maximum Pell Grant while investing in training programs that will prepare millions of Americans for high-quality jobs in growing sectors, particularly LGBTQ+ workers who may face bias or discrimination when seeking a job.

Supporting community violence interventions

  • The toll of community violence overwhelmingly falls on people of color, and uniquely impacts LGBTQ+ communities, especially transgender women of color who continue to face epidemic levels of violence.

  • LGBTQ+ people are 6 times more likely than non-LGBTQ+ individuals to experience violence by someone who is well known to them and approximately 2.5 times more likely to be the victim of violent crime at the hands of a stranger.
    • The Build Back Better Framework will support evidence-based intervention programs that train at-risk individuals for jobs and provide wraparound supports to prevent violence and assist victims.

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