This morning, the U.S. Senate voted to advance a budget resolution paving the way for a slate of investments with the power to improve lives, create a stronger and fairer economy, advance racial equity and ensure all people can share in the prosperity of our nation.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, underinvestment and systemic barriers to thriving meant that nearly 1 in 6 Kentuckians — including about 1 in 5 children and 1 in 4 Black Kentuckians — lived in poverty. And even as the pandemic thrust Kentucky families into deep hardship in 2020, the nation’s top billionaires saw their fortunes grow by leaps and bounds, and 55 of America’s largest, most profitable corporations paid nothing in federal income taxes.
This budget resolution creates a framework for the next round of recovery legislation on the path toward a more equitable, prosperous future for all Kentuckians. Based on accompanying materials, the plan enables Congress to cut costs for families on essentials like housing, food, childcare, health care and higher education, including by:
- Extending the American Rescue Plan’s landmark improvements to the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit;
- Improving access to high-quality and affordable child care and pre-school as well as home- and community-based care for older Americans and people with disabilities;
- Investing in housing and rental assistance;
- Expanding access to community college and other higher education opportunities;
- Making health coverage more affordable by permanently boosting assistance on the marketplace;
- Strengthening school and summer feeding programs;
- Establishing a national paid leave program for workers;
- Creating jobs tackling the climate crisis.
And by asking corporations and households with incomes over $400,000 to pay their fair share in taxes, it would begin to fix our lopsided tax code.
We applaud the U.S. Senate’s vision and commitment to American values of economic opportunity and equity. Once enacted, this budget will allow historic new investments in all Kentuckians, regardless of where they are from, the color of their skin or their parents’ incomes. Failing to pass robust legislation that this budget resolution enables is not an option, if we are to have a brighter future in Kentucky.