September 15, 2021

Groups including Americans for Tax Fairness, Small Business for America’s Future, AFL-CIO, Invest in America, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Main Street Alliance, SEIU, AFSCME, UFCW, MomsRising, Paid Leave for All, NRDC Action Fund, Climate Power, applaud House Ways and Means proposal as important step to delivering on President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and rewarding work, not wealth

Washington, D.C. — Following the House Ways and Means Committee’s recently announced proposal to pay for President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, a broad coalition of organizations applauded the plan as an important step to meeting the President’s commitment to paying for this agenda by ensuring the American tax code rewards work, rather than wealth, so that we can build our nation back better for everyday families and workers. 

Building Back Together Executive Director Danielle Melfi has called the Ways and Means plan a “significant and positive step forward in the process,” while groups such as Americans for Tax Fairness described the plan as “significant momentum in the right direction.” Research shows the American public is firmly behind the President’s plan to make critical investments in rebuilding the middle class, and supports his commitment to paying for this agenda without raising taxes by a single cent on working and middle class families making under $400,000 a year. 

Read the full statements below: 

Americans for Tax Fairness’ Executive Director Frank Clemente: “Chairman Neal’s tax plan is an important step forward to creating a fairer tax system, where corporations and the wealthy contribute more to better serve the common good. The $2.2 trillion this plan will raise from corporations and the wealthy provides a down payment on what they should contribute if we had a truly fair tax system. President Biden proposed raising more than $3.5 trillion over 10 years from the rich and corporations, and the Ways and Means Committee plan gets us about two-thirds of the way there. The $2.2 trillion represents significant momentum in the right direction, and we hope before the bill is taken up by the full House and when the Senate acts, much more can be done to create a fairer tax system and build back better. To put that $2.2 trillion in perspective, it is a little more than the $1.9 trillion lost from the Trump-GOP tax cuts, which is mostly benefiting the rich and corporations. Moreover, the country’s 700-plus billionaires saw their total wealth increase by $1.8 trillion, or 62%, since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Their skyrocketing wealth increase over 17 months could finance one-half of the proposed $3.5 trillion ten-year investment plan, and they would still be as rich as they were before the pandemic.” 

Small Business for America’s Future’ Co-Chair Anne Zimmerman: “If enacted, the tax reforms proposed today, including raising the tax rate for corporations and the wealthy, would be a positive step toward correcting the sweetheart deal given to large corporations under the Trump Tax Cuts and creating a tax code that is more fair to small businesses. Small business owners are eager to see these types of reforms because they level the playing field for Main Street businesses, ensure corporations pay their fair share and provide revenue for investments, like infrastructure, that will help strengthen the economy. In a Small Business for America’s Future’s survey of over 1,000 small business owners, 77% said the tax code favors large corporations over small businesses, 75% say large corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes, 76% say small businesses are harmed when large businesses or corporations use loopholes to avoid paying taxes, and a majority say they do not believe raising taxes on Americans making over $400,000 a year would harm small businesses. Small business owners are the backbone of the nation’s economy, driving economic growth and job creation. Creating an equitable tax code that drives investment in our economy is vital to supporting Main Street during the pandemic and in the future.” 

AFL-CIO: “The House Ways and Means plan would raise $2.2 trillion from fairer taxes on the wealthy & corporations—we commend Chairman Neal and Committee Democrats for making a good start but working people need the full $3.5 trillion proposal put forth by President Biden. So the House plan needs to be strengthened.” 

Invest in America Senior Advisor Zac Petkanas: “President Biden took office with a promise to deliver for working families, prioritize Main Street over Wall Street, and rebuild the middle class. The Ways and Means Committee’s draft plan is a critical step towards accomplishing these goals. The revenue raised from ensuring the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes will pave the way for a once-in-a-generation investment in child care, education, housing, and more that will create millions of jobs and lower costs for American families — all without raising taxes by a single dollar on those making less than $400,000 a year.”

Environmental Entrepreneurs, Director of Federal Advocacy Sandra Purohit: “The cost of going small is too high. Climate change is already costing the U.S. economy tens of billions every year. Partially restoring the tax rate for large corporations so America can build an economy to withstand climate change and create millions of good-paying jobs, is the fiscally responsible thing to do.”

Main Street Alliance: “When it comes to what #SmallBizNeedsNow, investing in  programs that support communities vs protecting the loopholes that make our tax system unfair, Main Street Alliance knows we need to #RewardWorkNotWealth for our communities to thrive. These are critical POPULAR programs. Small Biz Support for programs like #paidleaveforall and #childcare even go UP when tied to making the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share.” 

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry: “It’s time to reward work, not wealth. Pres. Biden’s #BuildBackBetter plan makes sure the rich and corporations pay their fair share (without raising taxes on those making less than $400,000) and invest in working people. Let’s get it done!”

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME): “It’s past time for the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share so we can #BuildBackBetter and make investments in things like child care and elder care, and repair our roads and bridges.” 

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW): “America’s essential workers on COVID frontlines need action to expand paid leave, affordable child care, lower prescription drug costs and more. Congress must make sure billionaires pay their fair share in taxes so we can Build Back Better for all our country’s working families.” 

MomsRising: “The budget bill advancing through key committees in the U.S. House of Representatives is a tremendously welcome response to the most pressing issues facing America’s moms and families. From paid leave to child care to the Child Tax Credit to tax fairness and more, it takes major steps forward that will strengthen families, communities, businesses, and our economy. This is smart, responsive policy that America’s moms and parents applaud. Moms are thrilled that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal’s plan is a historic tax cut for the middle class. It will not raise taxes for people earning less than $400,000 per year. It will, however, raise $2.2 trillion from the wealthy and corporations, which will provide a down payment on what they would pay if our country’s tax system were fair. America needs a tax system in which the wealthiest individuals and corporations contribute fairly to make our country stronger and more successful. The Committee’s mark-up was a historic, significant, and very welcome step on the road to paid family/medical leave for all working people in this country. During and after the pandemic, working people need paid family/medical leave so they can recover from serious illness and care for family members in crisis, or welcome a new child, without sacrificing their financial security. This win-win-win policy doesn’t just boost our families, but also our businesses and economy.”

Paid Leave for All: “The wealthiest Americans and corporations, many who profited in a pandemic, shouldn’t pay zero in taxes. If they pay their fair share we can Build Back Better and pass policies that will drive economic growth and lift us all. #PaidLeaveForAll” 

NRDC Action Fund: “The Build Back Better agenda proposes easing the burden on the middle class by asking the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share to prepare America to compete in a changing global economy. Rebuilding our country’s infrastructure with an eye toward sustainability, electrification and reducing carbon pollution will create millions of good jobs and put us in a position to lead the world to a more stable climate future.”

Climate Power: “Working families, America’s middle class, low-income individuals, and people on the frontlines of environmental injustice are not the reason our climate is at the brink of collapse. It should not be on them to fix this problem. The House Ways and Means Committee’s proposal shows how Congress can meet the Climate Test while ensuring corporations pay their fair share instead of leaving everyday Americans to pay for the mess polluting corporations have made. The investments laid out by the Ways and Means Committee will create millions of clean energy jobs, ramp up new technology and clean energy manufacturing, while cutting climate pollution in half in the next decade. The Build Back Better Act is a win for working families, a win for cutting costs, and a win for our climate.”

Building Back Together Executive Director Danielle Melfi: “As Congress returns from August recess and gets to work on passing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, it’s clear that American families are firmly behind the President’s plan to make critical investments in rebuilding the middle class. Not only do Americans understand that the Build Back Better agenda won’t cost working and middle class families a dime, and that it will in fact, lower their taxes — they also support his plan to pay for these investments by repealing the Trump tax handouts to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations. The President’s commitments to continuing to bolster economic growth and giving working and middle class families a historic tax cut are both much needed and deeply supported by the American people. Yet while the Build Back Better agenda centers everyday, working Americans, Republicans in Congress have consistently come down on the side of the wealthy and well-connected. Republicans would rather protect Big Pharma’s ability to price-gouge sick Americans than give Medicare the freedom to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. They are working to protect tax cuts for the ultra-rich and to allow some of the most profitable corporations to pay $0 in taxes at the expense of lowering the costs for elder care and delivering on historic tax cuts for middle class families. That’s why it’s critical that Congress works to deliver on the President’s agenda. The House Ways and Means Committee’s current proposal marks a significant and positive step forward in the process to ultimately ensuring our tax code and economy rewards work, rather than wealth, so that we can build our nation back better for everyday families and workers.”

Mary J. Novak, Executive Director, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice: “For years, tax-dodging corporations, the ultra-wealthy and an army of K Street lobbyists have rigged the tax code to keep the most privileged from paying their fair share of taxes. Meanwhile, the chasm between low-wage workers and the richest 1% has widened to heights that are unsustainable over the past decade — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. NETWORK calls on Congress to raise at least $4 trillion in revenues through progressive tax policies in the Build Back Better bill. This revenue is needed to fund long overdue investments in advancing racial and gender equity by improving the economic security of Black, Brown, and Native American women and families and fostering shared prosperity and economic growth. As Pope Francis says, we must say ‘thou shall not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality.”