The transformative Build Back Better Act makes historic investments in affordable childcare, universal pre-k, paid leave, home and community based care, affordable housing, health care, climate action, and immigration reform while extending the Child Tax Credit and beginning to make corporations and the richest Americans pay their fair share
WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) voted today to pass a historic $1.85 trillion Build Back Better package that makes unprecedented investments in working people, families, and communities across America. This transformative legislation delivers critical funding for life changing programs including high-quality childcare where most families pay no more than seven percent of their income, universal preschool, paid family and medical leave, home and community based care, affordable housing, health care, aggressive action to take on the climate crisis, extending the Child Tax Credit, and immigration reform. While creating millions of good-paying jobs, the bill is paid for by making the largest corporations and wealthiest Americans begin to pay their fair share in taxes.
The popular Build Back Better Act provides the largest expansion of universal and free education since the establishment of public high school. With a historic investment of more than half a trillion dollars, the package is also the largest effort to combat climate change in American history. Additionally, the legislation includes the largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing while allowing Medicare to cover hearing care for the very first time since the program was established in 1965.
“This historic Build Back Better Act delivers on our promise to provide transformative investments in working people across America that will allow them to wake up feeling differently about their daily lives and the opportunities their families have,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “While operating with the slimmest of majorities and zero Republican votes, Democrats continue to take decisive action to lift up communities throughout this country and make unprecedented investments in progressive priorities including affordable housing, bold climate action, and strengthening the care economy. We will keep leveling the playing field for working families as we not only build back better but fairer.”
The Build Back Better Act passed the House of Representatives with no Republican votes. It now moves to the Senate before going to President Joe Biden’s desk. It includes the following investments:
- Universal Preschool for All 3-Year Olds and 4-Year Olds: $400 billion for childcare and universal preschool that expands access to free, high-quality preschool for more than six million children.
- Affordable, High-Quality Childcare: $400 billion for universal preschool and high-quality childcare that limits childcare costs to no more than seven percent of income for families earning up to 250 percent of state median income. This will expand access to around 20 million children.
- Paid Family and Medical Leave: $194 billion to provide four weeks of paid family and medical leave to people across America for the very first time.
- Home and Community Based Care: $150 billion for affordable, high-quality care for hundreds of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities. This will allow people to stay in their homes and communities by strengthening an existing program through Medicaid and ending the backlog while improving working conditions for home care workers so they make $15 an hour.
- Historic Climate Action: $555 billion for aggressively combating the worsening climate crisis. This includes clean energy tax credits ($320 billion), investments in climate resilience to address extreme weather and establish a Civilian Climate Corps ($105 billion), investments and incentives for clean energy technology ($110 billion), and clean energy procurements to provide incentives for the government to purchase next generation technologies ($20 billion).
- Health Care, Medicare Expansion, and Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs: $165 billion for making health care more affordable and accessible for millions of people. This includes allowing Medicare to cover hearing benefits for the very first time ($35 billion) and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. It also includes Affordable Care Act tax credits ($130 billion) to cover three million people who would otherwise be uninsured and to make tax credits available through 2025 to four million uninsured people in uncovered states.
- Affordable Housing: $150 billion for building, preserving, and improving more than one million affordable rental and single-family homes including public housing.
- Extended Child Tax Credit: $200 billion for extending the highly-successful Child Tax Credit and extending the current expanded Earn Income Tax Credit for childless workers. This extends the Child Tax Credit’s monthly payments for more than 35 million households earning up to $150,000. It also makes the refundability of the Child Tax Credit permanent.
- Humane Immigration Reform: $100 billion for humanely reforming the immigration system while protecting Dreamers, TPS recipients, and essential workers and easing the immigration backlog.
- Leveling the Playing Field By Making Corporations and the Ultra-Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share: While not raising taxes on small businesses and anyone making less than $400,000, the legislation includes a 15 percent Corporate Minimum Tax on large corporations and a one percent surcharge on Corporate Stock Buybacks. It also invests in IRS enforcement and includes a Global Minimum Tax and other provisions to stop rewarding corporations for shipping jobs overseas. Additionally, it asks the highest income Americans to pay their fair share with a new surtax on multi-millionaires and billionaires and other provisions.
- Higher Education and Workforce Development: $40 billion for reducing costs and expanding access to higher education and workforce development. This includes raising the maximum Pell grant, making DACA, TPS, and DED recipients eligible for Pell grants, providing support to HBCUs, HSIs, MSIs, and TCUs, and investing in workforce development.