For some reason, Squad member and fellow Dem Rashida Tlaib didn’t seem too interested in *her* president’s speech last night:
Rashida Tlaib barely interested in the speech.
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) March 2, 2022
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) March 2, 2022
That’s probably because she had her mind on her own response to the speech, which is being called a “gift to the GOP”:
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 2, 2022
We regret for inform her that BBB is dead:
A) Tlaib response to Biden. Pushes Build Back Better: It fights climate change with major investments in clean renewable energy, green jobs, and clean water that would transform our communities.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 2, 2022
If only Dems controlled the House and Senate. Oh, wait:
B) Tlaib: It would uplift our nation by preserving and building affordable housing, and investing in children and families with affordable childcare, universal pre-k, paid leave and free community college.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 2, 2022
Watch for yourself:
Rough transcript via Happy Scribe:
I have been taking care of people all my life. My service in Congress is guided by my roots. That’s why I’m committed to standing up for our communities that just want the opportunity to thrive in the richest country in the world. It shouldn’t be this hard for so many to have a good life. Tonight, I am proud to deliver a response on behalf of the Working Families Party.
The Working Families Party is a voice for the multiracial working class, fighting for a nation that cares for all of us. I’m a lifelong Democrat. I’m also part of the Working Families Party because I believe that our government must put the needs of working families first in difficult times. We must never lose sight of each other’s humanity. Two years ago, we couldn’t have imagined a pandemic that has taken nearly a million lives here at home, in nearly 6 million across the world.
It also threw tens of millions of Americans, our neighbors, out of work. And it exposed our inhumane, profit driven healthcare system as our essential workers were pushed to the breaking point and hospitals ran out of beds. When President Biden took office just over a year ago, he took action. He started getting shots and arms. He acted quickly to deliver emergency relief.
Congress approved direct relief checks. We helped our working parents. We stopped evictions. We sent resources to our schools and our local and state governments. We show the potential of an administration and Congress that can act together at the scale of the challenges we all face.
We showed how our government can be in the service of the working class majority, not just the wealthy few. And it worked. President Biden and Congress stopped what could have been an economic resolve. Not a single Republican, not one voted for the relief package. We created 6 million new jobs.
And I am inspired to see empowered workers demanding fair wages, stronger benefits, and human dignity. After the emergency response, we had a chance to do so much more. So when President Biden laid out the visionary Build Back better agenda to create an America where we all have an opportunity to thrive, people got excited. We had a chance to begin to dress decades of rising inequality and injustice. President Biden’s bill back better brought people together.
We saw for the first time people who want to see childcare in the same room with those combating climate change folks working on housing justice in the same room as those working on health care. President did that build Back Better? Did that build Back Better increases access to health care and lowers prescription drug costs. It funds home and community based care for our elders and people with disabilities. Each of these investments would be lifechanging.
It also fights climate change with major investments in clean, renewable energy, green jobs and clean water that would transform our communities. It would uplift our nation by preserving and building affordable housing and investing in our children and families with affordable childcare universal, PreK paid leave and free community College. And these are popular investments that would be paid for by making the wealthy and giant corporations pay their fair share. No one, no one fought harder for President Biden’s agenda than progressive. We rallied together with our supporters, held town halls in our communities, engaged new people, and we even played hardball in Congress.
But two forces stood in the way. A Republican Party that serves only the rich and the powerful, and just enough corporatebacked Democratic obstructionists to help them succeed. Some important parts of the President’s agenda became law with the infrastructure bill, but we campaigned on doing even more. Roads and bridges are critical, but so are child care and prescription drugs. And we shouldn’t have to choose people like India Beckham, a mother of seven children in my district who is the sole provider for her family.
The expanded Child Tax Credit helped her catch up on bills and meet her family’s basic needs. But now that lifelong is gone and we can’t give up on her and millions of people like her, with the majority of the build back better agenda stalled. Mr. President, our work is unfinished. We are ready to jumpstart our work again.
We still have time to lower costs for working families and preserve a livable planet for our grandchildren. But we must act now. The superrich got richer during the pandemic, while Miss Beckham and others face higher costs and new barriers that will forever alter their children’s future. I want us to imagine just imagine a government where corporate donors don’t drive healthcare climate, education and poverty policies, where the working families of our nation really call the shots. It’s time.
It’s time we had a majority in Congress to fight for us, a working families majority. No matter who you are, where you’re from, most of us want the same things. A good paying job, a safe community, clean air and water, good schools, and a brighter future for our families. Enough to thrive, not just survive. So what would a working families majority do?
We’d work with President Biden to deliver for you and your family. We guarantee healthcare as a basic right, because after two years of this pandemic, we can allow corporate profits to determine who lives and who dies. We’d stand up to big Pharma and insurance companies, and we’d make drug prices for lifesaving medicine like insulin, actually affordable. And we’d make abortion care a phenomenal right, so that no Supreme Court could ever take it away. We’d pass the In Child Poverty Act that Representative Montre Jones and I introduced so that parents like India Beckham and millions more could provide for the basics that every child needs to thrive.
We’d fight. We’d fight together for respect for all of our workers. That means a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour that rises with inflation, the freedom to join a Union without harassment or intimidation in paid and family medical leave for our workers. From the baristas at home in my home community in Great Lakes Coffee to the teachers in Minnesota to the Amazon workers in Alabama, workers are speaking up for a voice and dignity on the job. I saw what a Union meant for my family growing up as my father was a member of the United Auto Workers.
This smile. This smile is because of the UAW. They ensure that our family have access to dental care. So this is our time. This is our time to take on corporate polluters who get rich poisoning us.
And we fight for environmental justice. With the Green New Deal, we rebuild our country by creating millions of Union jobs in the clean energy industry of the future. Imagine turning the Rust Belt into a Green Belt that is a center of American jobs and innovation for the next century. And we’d ensure clean air and water because I know we can’t build back better if our children can’t live healthy lives. A working family’s majority would take on skyrocketing housing costs, which had left half a million Americans homeless on any given night, and millions more struggling to pay the rent.
That means building millions of accessible new, affordable homes and providing long overdue rental, down payment and home repair assistance. We would provide a real path to citizenship for our people, who want nothing more than to contribute to our nation. We would transform our broken immigration system into one where immigrants are welcomed, not vilified.
Over the past few days, we have all watched in horror as Russia launched an illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine. We stand with the people of Ukraine. The United States and our allies must work together towards an immediate ceasefire and the diplomatic resolution to help save lives. We must pursue targeted sanctions that put pressure on Russia’s billionaires, not the everyday Russians who have no choice in this conflict and are courageously protesting the war as we speak. We need a humanitarian response to this crisis, and we must welcome Ukrainian refugees from all walks of life to the United States.
And I know we can’t seek peace by continuing to spend three quarters of a trillion dollars every year on weapons of war, making defense contractors and in companies wealthier. We must put human rights and dignity first and prioritize cooperation and diplomacy to address the challenges that no one nation can confront alone, like pandemics and climate change.
Nothing is more important than keeping the people we love free from harm. We all deserve to be safe in our neighborhoods. The path to community safety is investing in what people need to thrive, like access to jobs, quality education and real opportunities. We can’t police away homelessness, poverty or mental health crisis in our country. Care, care, not more criminalization is how we ensure lasting safety for all.
And we should end the war on drugs, fund legal defense, and enact criminal justice reforms like ending qualified immunity that would transform our discriminatory legal system. And we should add a justice for working people to the Supreme Court by confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson without delay. Over the last two years, the richest people in America doubled their wealth as profits skyrocket. Corporations have the nerve to blame inflation while increasing prices on essential goods and services. This is more than simply corporate greed.
It’s extortion. We need to tax billionaires and megacorporations that dodge their fair share. And we need to fight back against unchecked corporate power that increasingly shape our lives. Those policies I named they are popular. But we have a system that makes it too easy for elected officials to answer to donors instead of their constituents.
Disproportionate representation in the Senate distorts the Democratic will of the people. The filibuster, a tool perfected to defend Jim Crow, continues to be used to block progress. We must abolish it in the Senate like the House did more than a century ago. Republicans are trying to destroy our political power of working class families, and they’re willing to tear down our democracy to do it. They say the violent insurrection on January 6 is, quote, legitimate political expression and that corporate Super Pac spending dominating our elections is just free speech.
The Republicans Act like the real danger to our democracy is having enough voting booths in black neighborhoods, mail imbalance, fair district lines. If we really want a democracy that responds to the will of the people, then we need voting rights protection and democracy reforms immediately while we continue building supporting Congress. President Biden uses his executive power now to take action to deliver for the people. He can cancel federal student loan debt, which would be a lifeline for millions of Americans, and a transformative economic stimulus. And he can ban federal fossil fuel leasing, drilling, direct federal agencies to reject permits for new fossil fuel projects and regulate carbon emissions.
He can fix our labor rules right now to allow more workers to access overtime pay. And he can change how we calculate the poverty line so that more Americans become eligible for life saving federal benefits. And you can take action to break up pharmaceutical monopolies that make lifesaving medicines affordable. The midterm elections are coming up fast, and this year we can elect working families majority. We all need.
We know what happens when the Republicans take power. They protect the rich, target and target the rest of us. They attack and undermine voting rights, women’s rights, workers rights, immigrants, people of color in our LGBTQ community, and they block progress on climate change. So if you voted or knocked on doors or donated in 2020 to defeat Trump, I implore you. Pay attention, because this year is just as important and we need everybody to help.
Blocking the far right is just not enough. We also need to elect the next generation of working families Champions. It starts with staying engaged and voting in every election, in every primary for candidates who will put working people first. I know that we can get closer to the world we all deserve when we build a bigger movement, bring people in, not cast them out. I was taught by a pastor in Detroit that we aren’t a country that is divided.
We are disconnected. We must connect on the dreams we have for our children, the hopes we have for our communities and so much more. When we connect with one another, building our solidarity we can outwork the hate and show that the very people show them who basically want to ensure that we never have a seat at the table. We can show them that we aren’t going anywhere. So I want you to think of the people you love.
The place you call home. For me, it’s my two boys, my family, the communities I represent. Who is it for you. That’s who you’re fighting for. And I want for them what we want for all Americans.
The opportunity to thrive and flourish. A country where no one person’s dream is too big to become a reality. I know it’s possible when we all come together. So if you’re ready to be part of our movement join us. Join us by texting Wi nwen to 30403 working families are the majority we will win a nation that can truly stand up for all of us.
Thank you. Thank you so much for joining me this evening. Have a wonderful night.