The Build Back Better plan had a strong start when it was first proposed, but the legislative battle for its existence has led to a media-driven ratings drama that is by turns frustrating and boring, with the constant reminder that the threat to democracy at the hands of Republicans is still very much alive.
There are progressives who want the plan to be more substantial, while the more moderate Democratic senators are primarily concerned with how much they can vote for and effectively sell to their base. Meanwhile, the GOP has done just about all in its power to obstruct the plan from passing and stoke the fears of their voting base by calling it an evil communist plot.
Inevitably, when Build Back Better does pass, there will be cuts made from its original form, and we’re beginning to see what those look like. For example, paid family leave will be cut from the initially proposed 12 weeks to four weeks, while vouchers will likely be offered for vision and dental care, rather than full coverage. There will also be an increase for funding of child care centers and Pell grants – suggesting that the package is considerably more ambitious than a number of media outlets would have us believe.
Any negotiations on the package would have to be substantial, and once enacted, the final version will have accomplished goals that Democrats have been looking to accomplish for over 30 years. Even if it’s not an automatic wish list, Build Back Better sends the country forward in the right direction, one that America’s other political party has no interest in following – and would gladly reset course if it had its way.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making