Former president says framework brings ‘the America we know closer to the America we believe in’
“In a country as large and diverse as ours, progress can often feel frustrating and slow, with small victories accompanied by frequent setbacks,” Mr Obama said in a statement on Thursday. “But once in a while, it’s still possible to take a giant leap forward. That’s what the Build Back Better framework represents.”
“Today I’m pleased to announce after months of tough and thoughtful negotiations … we have an historic economic framework … that will create millions of jobs, grow the economy, invest in our nation and our people, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, put us on a path not only to compete but to win the economic competition for the 21st century against China and every other major country in the world,” Mr Biden said at the White House after returning from a meeting with Democratic lawmakers.
Mr Obama said the framework is a “testament to President Biden and Democrats in Congress who have worked tirelessly to forge this agreement, and to the activists and ordinary Americans who have fought for years, sometimes longer, to bring the America we know closer to the America we believe in”.
The 44th president said that if the plan becomes law, “families everywhere will be able to afford childcare, and millions of children will get a stronger start through universal preschool. Historic investments in clean energy will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help us once again lead the world in the fight against climate change”.
He said millions of Americans would get proper healthcare and even more will “save money on their premiums”. Mr Obama said the new initiatives would be paid for by “asking the wealthiest Americans to pay more of their fair share in taxes”.
He noted that the plan is significantly smaller than what many had hoped and worked for, with some progressives initially proposing a plan with a top line of more than $6 trillion. Mr Obama said everybody not getting what they want is the “nature of progress in a democracy”.
“The good news is that it represents the best chance we’ve had in years to build on the progress we made during my administration and address some of the most urgent challenges of our time,” he added.