U.S. Bishops’ Chairman Grateful to Senate for Passing Infrastructure Bill, Signals Need for Additional Action

August 10, 2021

WASHINGTON - Following passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in the U.S. Senate, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of the Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement:

“We are grateful for the bipartisan efforts of members of the Senate to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. As the bishops wrote to all members of Congress in April,[1] we are especially interested in how the package affects those on the margins of society and protects God’s creation. Aware that our environmental challenges are too big for any one bill, we are pleased that the legislation reflects an integral ecology, with historic investments in public transit, rail, bridges, and clean drinking water, and emphases on climate change mitigation, carbon capture and climate resilience. It is also very good to see expanded broadband internet access and the creation of new jobs.

“There are also some areas, highlighted in our April letter, that we urge Congress to continue working together to address. These include investing in decent housing and rental assistance, continuing the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, making the Child Tax Credit permanently refundable, expanding access to in-home care for family members, ensuring quality and affordable childcare options, paid sick leave, parental leave, and other supports for families, as well as legalization and a path to citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status/Deferred Enforced Departure holders, migrant agricultural workers, and other undocumented essential workers. In addition, as Pope Francis recently emphasized, we continue to call for universal access to good and affordable healthcare.[2]

“We continue to be resolute in our insistence that no taxpayer funding go to abortion. It is critical that any proposal to expand health care coverage avoid an expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion. We also note with disappointment that a provision in the current legislation would advance a false understanding of gender and sexuality, and we affirm that Catholic institutions must be free to serve everyone with respect and dignity in accordance with our beliefs.   

“As work continues, we ask Congress to give consideration to these views and work together to promote the common good and the dignity of every human person.”

 Media Contacts:

 Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3200

View this release on the USCCB website