Activists demonstrate in favor of Build Back Better legislation.

Outside of the U.S. Capitol building last Thursday, activists deliver 4.5+ million signatures to Congress in support of home care, paid leave and child care to be included in President Biden’s Build Back Better budget reconciliation package. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Unbendable Media)

Arizona home care workers descended on their state capital Wednesday, calling on Congress to invest billions of dollars in the care economy.

“Home care workers show up every day for our clients. If I don’t show up, my clients don’t get the help they need,” home care worker Nelia Calda said. “Now, we’re demanding that Arizona’s senators and Congress members show up for us, and bring the budget bill over the finish line with an investment in care that will change millions of lives.”

Home care workers and consumers have been ratcheting up pressure on lawmakers in recent days as Congress battles over President Joseph Biden’s proposed $3.5 trillion budget. Moderate Democrats, including Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, are pressing for a much smaller budget.

Biden’s Build Back Better plan called for $400 billion in additional funds for home-and-community-based services, but that amount could be sliced by more than half.

Arizona’s home care workers argue the full $400 billion is needed to prop up their wages wages and benefits because nearly 20% of them are currently living below the poverty line.