National Women’s Law Center Responds to Framework Deal on Build Back Better Act

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the White House released a framework deal of the Build Back Better Act with historic investments in women, families, and caregivers.

The following is a statement from Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center:

“This framework brings our country closer to a more fair and just economy for workers and families. These historic investments in child care and home and community-based services, affordable housing, the establishment of universal pre-kindergarten, and the expanded Child Tax Credit are the product of the labor of generations of organizers, advocates, and lawmakers. And these investments are paid for by making the ultra-wealthy and large corporations pay a fairer share in taxes. As this bill makes its way through Congress, we are determined to fight for the priorities not included in this framework–including universal access to paid family and medical leave and access to permanent, comprehensive health benefits for all women, especially those who are low-income or elderly. We cannot miss this opportunity to meet the demand we are hearing from women in this country on those critical issues. And we know and will fight to ensure that Congress can pass a package worthy of women’s paid and unpaid work and sacrifice.”

The pandemic continues to take an immense toll on the working lives of women, families, and caregivers. According to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center:

  • The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly jobs report shows that the economy gained 194,000 jobs in September 2021. However, women experienced no net job gains and actually went backward last month: while men gained 220,000 jobs in September, women lost 26,000 jobs.
  • 309,000 women ages 20 and over left the labor force entirely last month, meaning they are no longer working or looking for work. This was the biggest drop in women’s labor force participation since September 2020, when 863,000 women left the labor force. Meanwhile, 182,000 men ages 20 and over joined the labor force last month. Women’s labor force participation is at its lowest since 1988.
  • In September 2021, more than 1 in 3 unemployed women ages 20 and over (36.0%) had been out of work for 6 months or longer. Among unemployed women ages 16 and over, 33.8% had been out of work for 6 months or longer, including 30.3% of unemployed Asian women, 34.6% of unemployed Black women, and 36.1% of unemployed Latinas.

According to an analysis from the National Women’s Law Center and The Center on Poverty & Social Policy

  • Over the entire life course, access to affordable child care could increase the lifetime earnings for women with two children by about $94,000, which would lead to an increase of about $20,000 in private savings (contributions plus growth) and an additional $10,000 in Social Security benefits. It would also boost the collective lifetime earnings of a cohort of 1.3 million women by $130 billion
    • For Black mothers in deep poverty, child care reform will result in a lifetime net increase in income of $108,000.