October 14, 2021

Duckworth at WH Event with VP Harris: Congress Must Invest in Working Families & Care Workforce to Build Back Better


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today participated in a virtual #CareCantWait roundtable with Vice President Kamala Harris, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance Ai-Jen Poo and four Americans with experience in caregiving. Duckworth, Harris and Poo discussed the urgent need to invest in care policies such as the child tax credit, home and community-based services (HCBS), child care and paid family leave. Video of the event can be found here.

Key quotes:

  • “Seniors and people with disabilities—who have already been disproportionately impacted by this deadly pandemic—should not be forced to abandon their home services for group settings where there are far higher risks of illness and death.
  • “As a mom who works outside of the home, I know how difficult it can be to balance everything, making sure I make it through our weekday morning routines, hustling to get my six and three-year old on the school bus on-time, all the while trying to argue about what they want for lunch, or don’t want for lunch. And making sure that I get myself ready as well, to head to the Capitol to vote or introduce a new piece of legislation for America.”
  • “We must do our best to protect the dignity, health and financial stability of these Americans. Beyond this, we must remember the other caregiving crisis, the lack of paid leave for our working families.

Duckworth has been a strong advocate for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). In September, Duckworth penned an op-ed with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on why Congress must back President Biden’s historic investment in home care workers. In March, Duckworth and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) successfully included $12 billion in dedicated emergency funding for State Medicaid HCBS in the American Rescue Plan that passed the Senate.

In December of last year, Duckworth helped Casey introduce the HCBS Relief Act, legislation that would provide increased funding for home and community-based services by providing dedicated Medicaid funds for HCBS, which would reduce the need for people with disabilities and older adults to move into congregate settings. Duckworth is also an original co-sponsor of the Better Care Better Jobs Act, legislation that would implement President Biden’s $400 billion investment in HCBS, and a leading champion in Congress of fulfilling the President’s HCBS request in the Build Back Better Act.