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Senator Murray: “When the storm has passed, we rebuild…and if we are doing our jobs right, we build them back even better, so we are ready when crisis strikes again. That’s exactly what this budget is about.”

Senator Murray: “Democrats are listening. We know what families are going through. We know they want us to act. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

***WATCH SENATOR MURRAY’S FLOOR SPEECH HERE*** 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, as Senate Democrats released the text of the budget resolution that the Senate is expected to vote on later this week, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, spoke on the Senate floor to outline her priorities in the major legislative package.

The budget resolution would provide broad instruction and set the stage for both the House and Senate to put together the legislative details for the overall budget reconciliation bill.

“After a pandemic and an economic crisis shouldn’t we rebuild our public health departments? Shouldn’t we rebuild our economy? Shouldn’t we address the deep-seated inequities that have made things so much worse for so many people? Shouldn’t we help families get child care, paid leave, health care, housing, and citizenship? Shouldn’t we build back our nation stronger and fairer?” Senator Murray said during her speech on the Senate floor. “That’s not a trick question, and it shouldn’t be a hard one either. The answer is obvious to anyone who has been listening to people back home. Democrats are listening. We know what families are going through. We know they want us to act. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

During her speech, Senator Murray emphasized the need for Congress to finally make critical investments in families that address long-standing needs that have gone unmet for too long.

As a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Murray played a pivotal role in negotiating and advancing the budget resolution. As Chair of the Senate HELP Committee, Senator Murray is leading the Democratic Caucus in shepherding through key priorities like making child care affordable and establishing universal pre-k, a comprehensive national paid leave program, free community college, a historic investment in home and community-based care, a critical investment in public health infrastructure and workforce and job training, and building on the largest expansion of health care since the Affordable Care Act.

As a voice for Washington state, Senator Murray has called for a landmark investment in climate action, and reiterated her determination to secure major provisions to address the climate crisis through the budget process. Senator Murray was one of the first Senators to support immigration reform through reconciliation and has been one of the leading voices pushing for a historic boost for the supply of affordable housing.

Read the summary on the reconciling instructions here.

Read the resolution text here.

Senator Murray’s full remarks as prepared are below.

“Thank you, M. President.

“When disaster strikes—a tornado, an earthquake, a wildfire—the first thing we do is work to keep people safe.

“But that’s far from the last thing we do.

“When the storm has passed, we rebuild.

“We rebuild homes, schools, hospitals, businesses, communities.

“And if we are doing our jobs right, we build them back even better, so we are ready when crisis strikes again.

“That’s exactly what this budget is about—rebuilding our country stronger and fairer.

“We need to pick up where the infrastructure package leaves off by making bold investments in all of our infrastructure.

“In addition to building roads, bridges, and even broadband, we need to build our public health infrastructure and help local health departments expand their capacity, modernize their data and lab systems, and more.

“We need to build our affordable housing infrastructure to make sure every family can keep a roof over their head, and doesn’t need to break the bank doing so.

“We need to build our school infrastructure to make sure schools don’t have lead pipes or mold, and do have adequate lighting, electricity, and AC systems—not to mention so many other resources students need to learn and grow, like libraries and gyms.

“And we need to build our climate infrastructure.

“The climate crisis is here and it is an existential threat.

“If we don’t take this opportunity to protect our planet for current and future generations we may not get another one.

“Of course, rebuilding is about more than just infrastructure—we have to build a stronger, fairer country for workers and families too.

“Our nation is stronger when no worker has to choose between a paycheck and taking care of themselves, a child, or a loved one who is seriously ill, and every worker can afford to take time off after giving birth, a partner’s delivery, or adopting a child.

“Which is why we must establish national paid leave.

“Our nation is stronger when every parent can get quality, affordable child care, every young learner gets a strong start with quality early learning programs, and every adult learner can pursue a higher education.

“Which is why we need to expand quality, affordable child care, and establish universal pre-k.

“And why we need to open the doors of higher education to even more people, starting by providing tuition-free community college.

“Our nation is stronger when older Americans and people with disabilities have the care they need to live independently in their communities. 

“Which is why we need to invest in home and community based services and ensure the workers that provide this critical care get fair pay and better benefits.

“Our nation is stronger when health care is truly a right and not a privilege.

“Which is why we need to extend the huge health care expansion we made in the American Rescue Plan—which has already helped 138,000 people in Washington state save on average $90 on their health care coverage.

“And we need to keep pressing for further progress toward universal coverage.

“And of course, our nation is stronger because of contributions of so many hardworking immigrants.

“Which is why we need a fair pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented residents living here, including DREAMers, farmworkers, those with temporary protected status, and the many essential, undocumented workers who do so much to keep our country running.

“After a wildfire, would we leave the fire department in ashes? The schools? Businesses? Homes?

“Of course not.

“So, after a pandemic and an economic crisis shouldn’t we rebuild our public health departments?

“Shouldn’t we rebuild our economy?

“Shouldn’t we address the deep-seated inequities that have made things so much worse for so many people?

“Shouldn’t we help families get child care, paid leave, health care, housing, and citizenship?

“Shouldn’t we build back our nation stronger and fairer?

“That’s not a trick question, and it shouldn’t be a hard one either. The answer is obvious to anyone who has been listening to people back home.

“M. President, Democrats are listening.

“We know what families are going through.

“We know they want us to act.

“And that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

“Thank you.”

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