For Immediate Release:
August 25, 2021
Elaine Sanchez Wilson
– Yesterday, the House approved the budget resolution for the $3.5 trillion Infrastructure Budget Reconciliation bill
to enact President Biden’s Build Back Better
agenda. The Senate passed the resolution on Aug. 11. The agreement calls for $3.5 trillion in long-term investments into education, healthcare, immigration, and other infrastructure.
Specifically, the resolution allocates funding to:
- Make community college tuition-free;
- Increase the Pell Grant award and make investments in Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs);
- Extend the recent expansion of the Affordable Care Act in the American Rescue Plan;
- Invest in home- and community-based services to help seniors and persons with disabilities; and
- Establish a pathway to citizenship for certain undocumented immigrants.
Congress is expected to vote on the full package by the end of September.
“This bill is an important step toward helping Southeast Asian American students get the support they need, providing our elders with culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate care, investing in our caregivers, and creating a pathway to citizenship for some of our undocumented community members,” said Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of SEARAC. “While we are excited at the prospect of this robust bill, we also caution Congress against including language further criminalizing immigrant and refugee communities. We urge our leadership to instead look at bills like the New Way Forward Act
for guidance on these issues. SEARAC remains committed to working with Congress to ensure that this bill can help as many of our community members as possible.”
In July, Quyen wrote an op-ed for AsAm News about the importance of the American Jobs Act and why support for elders is necessary. You can view the op-ed here