Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act. This landmark legislation would do much to confront the root injustices that have left so many of our dear neighbors more vulnerable than others. We must build back an economy that provides dignified employment for all, that respects our shared environment and that leaves the world a better home for our children and grandchildren.
Now the Senate needs to pass the bill, and your advocacy is needed. Please take action by:
About the Build Back Better Act
The bill would address the following:
- Immigration: Enact the temporary protection of the parole provisions for those residing continually in the US since 2010, and the recapture of unused visas, along with supplemental funding of $2.8 billion for US Citizenship and Immigration Services to adjudicate immigration benefits and reduce case processing backlogs.
- Child Tax Credit: Fund a one-year extension of the child tax credit for households earning up to $150,000 a year by providing direct cash payments from the IRS for their children. The program provides a monthly child cash allowance of $300 per child under 6 years of age and $250 for each child between 6 and 17 years old. The Build Back Better bill would also make the refundability of the tax credit permanent. Separately, the measure would continue the expanded earned income tax credit for 17 million low-wage workers. The estimated cost is $200 billion.
- Universal Pre-K: The federal government would expand access to preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, with funding for the next 6 years. This would mean free pre-school for more than 6 million children.
- Childcare: For the next six years, it helps subsidize childcare for families, making it free for some of the lowest-income families and caps childcare costs at 7% of annual income for many other families.
- Medicare benefits: The framework would expand Medicare coverage to include a hearing benefit, at an estimated cost of $35 billion.
- Expands affordable health coverage: In states that have refused to adopt the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, this bill will provide coverage through 2025 for people with incomes below the poverty line and by extending the current increase in premium tax credits for marketplace coverage, also through 2025.
In most cases, the new investments in Build Back Better would not be permanent policies. Our federal legislators will need to extend them in the future. There is great confidence that these investments will pay large dividends for the country and prove themselves worthy of being continued.