President Joe Biden’ Build Back Better Act passes the U.S. House of Representatives, heads to U.S. Senate

President Joe Biden. – Official White House photo

Special to The Dallas Examiner

 

On the morning of Nov. 19, the United States House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, H.R. 5376, President Joe Biden’s economic plan to create jobs, reduce costs, make our country more competitive, and give working people and provide some financial relief to lower and middle class working families.

“The Build Back Better Act is fiscally responsible,” Biden stated. “It reduces the deficit over the long-term. It’s fully paid for by making sure that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share in federal taxes. It keeps my commitment that no one earning less than $400,000 a year will pay a penny more in federal taxes.”

Congressman Colin Allred, TX-32, said he voted in favor of the bill because it would lower the cost of prescription drugs, will expand access to low-cost health care coverage for close to 1 million Texans, and provide paid family leave, universal pre-K and help make child care more affordable.

“The Build Back Better Act will make transformative investments in the middle class and working families across North Texas,” Allred stated. “It will also take historic steps to address the climate crisis and help Texas, and the nation, lead the way on clean energy and the good jobs that go with it.

“I was raised by a single mom, who was a Dallas school teacher. Any one of these provisions on its own would have been so helpful to our family, and combined, will deliver real relief to help lower health care costs, lower the cost of raising a family and help folks get a good job.”

The provision of universal pre-K, funding to tackle child poverty and hunger and lower costs for families were among the many reason the National Education Association has advocated for the passage of, what it called, historic legislation.

“No matter what we look like or where we’re from, everyone deserves a shot at the American dream. But for too many working families, the American dream just gets farther and farther away from them,” said NEA President Becky Pringle. “With President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to take meaningful action on long-ignored challenges ranging from how we educate our youngest generation, ensure no child goes hungry, care for those who are ill or have fallen on hard times, or securing protections for immigrants. The failure to act for too long has limited the opportunities of millions of Americans, particularly in Black, Brown, and Indigenous, and rural communities. The time to act is now.”

Following the passage of the act, faith and community leaders applauded how the historic legislation will fight poverty and increase opportunity for vulnerable children and families while lowering costs, creating good-paying, union jobs, and dealing everybody into the economy.

“Supporters of the #PoorPeoplesCampaign, this morning when you see the House voting on the #BuildBackBetter plan, you see the work of all of you who marched and pushed and told your stories, saying voting against this plan was voting against you,” tweeted Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, co-chair for the Poor People’s Campaign

Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-conveners for the National African American Clergy Network also tweeted her response.

“National African American Clergy Network of denominations & independent church leaders applaud Biden Admin & House of Rep for passing the transformational Build Back Better Bill including vital Child Tax Credit, Affordable Housing & HBCU infrastructure support,” she wrote.

Nobel Prize-winning economists and independent ratings agencies have confirmed, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Build Back Better Act are fully paid for, will reduce the deficit, and ease inflationary pressures by making the wealthiest individuals and corporations pay their fair share and stopping them from cheating on their tax bills.

Moreover, leading economists and independent experts on Wall Street have confirmed that it will not add to inflationary pressures. Instead, it will boost the capacity of our economy and reduce costs for millions of families.

 

Here are some key parts of the act:

  • It lowers your costs to save you money on things like prescription drugs and health care and housing.
  • It gets Americans back to work by providing child care and care for seniors so workers can get back on the job knowing their loved ones have the care they need.
  • It cuts taxes for working families and the middle class – including extending the Child Tax Credit that is already helping the families of more than 61 million children and getting us closer to cutting child poverty in half this year.
  • It provides universal pre-Kindergarten for every 3-and 4-year old in America and makes education beyond high school more affordable – with historic investments in Pell Grants and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Instituions and other Minority Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities.
  • Together with the bipartisan infrastructure law, it makes the most significant investment in our fight against the climate crisis ever by creating jobs that build a clean energy future for our children and grandchildren.

 

Later that morning, while Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to plumbers and pipefitters in Columbus, Ohio about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, she addressed the passage of the Build Back Better Act, saying it was “about roads and bridges, it’s about broadband, it’s about making sure our babies can drink clean water, and so, getting the lead out of those pipes.”

“And the House, this morning – talked to Nancy Pelosi and congratulated her and Joyce Beatty and so many others – the House passed the bill just this morning,” Harris stated. “And they had a long night.

“And the president and I – I’ll tell you, we are confident – and I just talked to him before I came to Ohio – we are confident that the Senate will do the same.  So, we’re determined to get it done.”

She went on to say that when it passes the Senate, it will deliver on the administration’s commitment to equity.

“Above all, it puts us on the path to build our economy back better than before by rebuilding the backbone of America: working people and the middle class,” Biden stated.

“I thank Speaker Pelosi and the House leadership and every House member who worked so hard and voted to pass this bill. For the second time in just two weeks, the House of Representatives has moved on critical and consequential pieces of my legislative agenda.”

He said the act was now be headed to the United States Senate, where he hoped it would pass as soon as possible so he could sign it into law.

Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said the nation was set to turn a corner through the passage of the bill.

“On the other side lies a better and brighter future where our most basic needs – child care, home care, health care and housing – aren’t privileges, but rights,” Saunders said.

“Through Build Back Better, millions of working families will now be able to afford quality child care and home care; early childhood education will be universal; prescription drug costs will no longer force families to sacrifice groceries or rent for life-saving medicines; and affordable housing can start to become a reality.

 

“We cannot turn this corner towards a better future without the Senate. There is no reason for delay and there is no time for quibbling or partisan games. Working people have waited long enough. The Senate must do its job for the American people and pass the Build Back Better Act as soon as possible.”

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