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Care workers rally in D.C., call on Congress to pass Biden's $1.75T social spending bill

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Care workers rally in D.C., call on Congress to pass Biden's $1.75T social spending bill
Members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MomsRising and the Service Employees International Union gather on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday during a rally in support of care economy investments in the Build Back Better Act. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Representatives of the care economy participated in a march at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, calling for federal lawmakers to pass a $1.75 trillion social spending bill that they say would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The "Care Can't Wait" rally was organized and attended by a number of organizations, including the Service Employees International Union, National Domestic Workers Alliance and MomsRising. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also attended the event and spoke, saying that President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act will invest in families and jobs for care workers.

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"You're right -- care can't wait. Care has been waiting long enough," Pelosi said.

"It's about family. It's about value in work. It's about respecting the workers. We cannot build back better unless we respect the dignity and work of our workers."

RELATED Congress returns: House to vote on $1.75T social spending plan as Senate eyes defense funding

A woman attends a rally on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday in support of care economy investments in the Build Back Better Act, an event hosted by the National Domestic Workers Alliance, MomsRising and the Service Employees International Union. Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI

Pelosi has said the House plans to vote this week on the bill, which has been at the center of infighting among progressive and centrist Democrats. They seek to pass the legislation in the Senate without Republican approval through the budget reconciliation process. Moderate Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., have opposed the bill's original $3.5 trillion price tag -- while progressives wanted to pass the Build Back Better Act with the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which passed earlier this month and was signed by Biden on Monday.

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The Build Back Better Act includes billions for universal pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds, child care, healthcare for older Americans and an extension of the Child Tax Credit. The package also includes funds to tackle climate change and increases taxes on corporations and individuals making more than $400,000 annually.

April Verrett, president of Service Employees International Union Local 2015 said passing the social bill would help the care industry reshape the U.S. economy.

"Only by passing the Build Back Better Act can Congress ensure a more equitable economy, especially for the Black, Latina, white, Asian American Pacific Islander, Indigenous and immigrant women hit hardest by the pandemic," she said in a statement emailed to UPI.

"It's time to deliver for workers, working families, seniors and people with disabilities by bringing these historic investments in home and community care, support for child care, paid leave and all our communities."

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