Friday, Nov. 19 — Today, U.S. Rep. Don Beyer of Northern Virginia, Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after the House passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376).
“Today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House is a landmark moment for this country. These fully paid-for investments will deliver economy-wide gains for decades to come, advancing economic growth that is stronger, more stable and more broadly shared. Together, the Build Back Better Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are pro-growth investments that will materially improve the economic well-being of communities across the country by lowering household costs for workers and families, creating millions of new jobs and addressing the existential threat of climate change.
“The Build Back Better Act will extend the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), our single most effective policy to address childhood poverty. It is projected to reduce childhood poverty by over 40%. Not only does the CTC boost families’ incomes in the short term, helping the families of 61 million children meet their everyday needs, but over the longer term, this extra income in childhood will boost labor force participation and overall economic productivity.
“The coronavirus pandemic triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression, and it laid bare the fragilities in our workforce support systems; the Build Back Better Act will address the deficiencies that constrict our economic potential. In the near term, access to affordable child care, universal pre-k, and paid family and medical leave will drive economic growth as workers can fully participate in the labor market knowing their care needs are met. The benefits of these programs will also extend far into the future: Investment in early childhood education alone is estimated to generate up to $9 for every $1 invested, creating significant benefits not just for participating families but also the economy as a whole.
“Together, the Build Back Better Act and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represent the largest federal investment in American history to combat the impacts of climate change, including addressing the historical legacy of environmental racism in rural and urban communities. The bill’s climate provisions, a number of which I wrote or co-wrote, make historic investments in clean energy transmission, research and development of green technologies, electric vehicle charging, public transit and clean water infrastructure. We are lowering energy costs for families, reducing our country’s reliance on foreign oil, improving health outcomes and bolstering against future energy shocks. Building climate resilience will lower the impact of extreme weather events, which climate change is making the new norm, and create good jobs in communities all across America.
“The Build Back Better Act represents the most significant investment in housing affordability in decades, which will reduce housing costs for hundreds of thousands of low- and middle-income families. In response to our nation’s affordable housing crisis, the increased rental subsidies will help 300,000 of the lowest income renters afford safe and stable housing. In addition, by providing first-generation homebuyers with down-payment assistance, investing billions to repair our aging public housing developments and adding much-needed additional capital to support new affordable housing construction, these investments will help narrow wealth disparities and help make our housing market more equitable.
“The Build Back Better Act will reduce out-of-pocket expenses for households by expanding access to affordable health insurance coverage, reducing prescription drug costs, and closing the Medicaid coverage gap. Millions of families will pay lower monthly premiums and spend less on doctor’s visits and prescription drugs.
“Through tax reform that asks the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share, the Build Back Better Act will be both fully paid for and will reduce the deficit in the long term. In a climate of growing corporate concentration and power, the new corporate minimum tax, based on a proposal I wrote with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Angus King, will help level the playing field by ensuring that big multinational companies do not pay less in taxes than small businesses. The Build Back Better Act abides by President Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes on the middle class and raises revenue with a surtax on income over $10 million based on a proposal I co-wrote with Senator Chris Van Hollen. New funding for tax enforcement will help catch tax cheats without burdening law-abiding taxpayers.
“Alone, any one of these investments—which will spur job growth, provide tax cuts for working families and materially improve the economic well-being of millions—would be monumental. Taken together, the Build Back Better Act and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act represent a fully paid-for, fundamental reshaping of the U.S. economy, rebuilding from the bottom up and the middle out.”