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Senator Murray, along with veteran leaders, outlined how the Build Back Better Act will help veterans and their families save money, secure affordable housing, pay less for child care, lower home care costs, and more 

Senator Murray: “Ultimately—Build Back Better is going to help our veterans by putting money back in their pockets, making child care affordable and accessible, making it more affordable to keep a roof over their heads, giving them the skills and tools they need to find a good-paying job, and so much more.” 

***WATCH VIDEO OF THE EVENT HERE***  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, held a press call with veteran leaders from Western Washington to discuss the ways the Build Back Better Act would lower costs and create opportunities for veterans and their families.

Senator Murray was joined by Cassie Gabelt Byard, Navy veteran and Government Affairs Liaison for Minority Veterans of America, Will Booth, veteran and Co-founder of SeeQuilLouw, and Brittney Hamilton, Executive Director at Operation Ward 57. 

“The Build Back Better Act we’re working on in the Senate will really make a concrete, positive difference for millions of families in Washington state, especially our veterans who feel some of the toughest challenges that all of our families are facing—like housing, getting a good-paying job, or child care—more acutely because of the sacrifices they made to serve our country,” said Senator Murray. “As the daughter of a World War Two veteran and Purple Heart recipient, I know just how important federal programs are for veterans and their families. So with Build Back Better I want to make sure everyone in our state has the support they need to succeed—and that we address the pressing issues our veterans are facing right now.”

During the call, Senator Murray and the other speakers highlighted how affordable housing and rental assistance in the Build Back Better plan would help veterans find safe, secure housing, how Senator Murray’s child care provisions in the bill would help veterans and their families find quality, affordable child care, how the continued Child Tax Credit expansion would give veteran parents some breathing room after they return from service to afford diapers, meals, and other essentials, how expanded workforce programs included in the bill would help veterans get more skills for good paying jobs, and more. Murray also stressed that Build Back Better takes steps to improve VA’s health care infrastructure, expand VA’s medical staff, and lease space for more community-based outpatient clinics to improve the care experience for veterans across Washington state.

“Ultimately—Build Back Better is going to help our veterans by putting money back in their pockets, making child care affordable and accessible, making it more affordable to keep a roof over their heads, giving them the skills and tools they need to find a good-paying job, and so much more,” continued Senator Murray.

"One of the main issues that has the ability to advance or hinder full spectrum progress in the veteran community is, as the Senator mentioned, affordable housing. Housing insecurity is by no means a new phenomenon in the veteran community or even our country at large," said Cassie Gabelt Byard, a Navy veteran and Government Affairs Liaison for Minority Veterans of America. "We applaud Senator Murray for her efforts in ensuring that the issue of housing insecurity is addressed as part of the Build Back Better package."

“Within SeeQuilLouw, we are seeing a greater number of folks asking for help, assistance, guidance, and safety—a safe space to commune with others and share their stories. Once they left the military, that bond was lost. And we’re working behind the scenes to make sure that that exists for them,” said Will Booth, veteran and Cofounder of SeeQuilLouw. “We appreciate anything from the federal level to continue to fund these programs so that our veterans and their families are cared for and have the services they need so they can live a stable life.”

“Besides affordable housing—affordable child care is vital for every parent in Washington State, including many of the veteran families that are on lower fixed incomes because of their disabilities. Not only does it help and enable them to find valuable employment, and contribute to their communities, but it allows them to get the medical care that they need,” said Brittney Hamilton, Executive Director at Operation Ward 57. “So we are very grateful for Senator Murray’s efforts on the Build Back Better budget, we do believe it can make a difference for all of these families moving forward. And at Operation Ward 57 we say, for the wounded the fight never ends and we really think this bill will take a big step to help ensure our veterans and caregivers no longer have to fight for the very care and services they’ve already earned.”

As Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Murray is leading the Democratic Caucus in shepherding through key priorities in the Build Back Better Act. A former preschool teacher, Murray has led the fight for affordable child care and pre-K since she first was elected to the Senate, and the Build Back Better child care and universal pre-K policies were modeled off of her Child Care for Working Families Act. Senator Murray has also led negotiations focused on lowering health care and education costs, strengthening public health infrastructureexpanding home- and community-based services, and been a vocal advocate for bold climate action in the legislation. Murray was also one of the most vocal advocates in the Senate pushing for the inclusion of paid leave, which was successfully included in the House version of the Build Back Better Act. 

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