Assistant Speaker Clark Celebrates Universal Pre-K, Lower Cost For Families in Build Back Better Act Passage

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In full transparency, the following is a press release from Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark’s office, submitted to SOURCE media.

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WASHINGTON, DC – Today, November 19, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (MA-5) released the following statement celebrating the passage of the Build Back Better Act. 

“The Build Back Better Act is a once-in-a-generation investment in families. It will help us recover today and rebuild a stronger tomorrow. With this bill, we are fundamentally improving the lives of workers, women, children, and seniors and ensuring that the wealthiest Americans and corporations pay their fair share. 

“When I first ran for Congress, I had a dream that every child in America could have access to a great start through universal pre-kindergarten. With today’s bill, what was once a moonshot will soon be reality. What’s more, we are lowering the cost of child care for 20 million families and finally honoring our child care workers with livable wages. This bill lowers the cost of prescription drugs so that families don’t have to decide between paying for food or rent and the medication they need. It extends the historic child tax cut, helping families make ends meet and lifting millions of children out of poverty. And it includes the largest investment in tackling climate change in our history, addressing climate injustice and supporting clean energy jobs and businesses. 

“This legislation is part of the Build Back Better agenda that will lower costs, lower taxes, create jobs, and build an America where everyone has a fair shot at success. I am deeply proud of the Democratic Caucus and grateful to the White House for their work to get this bill over the finish line. This is what’s possible when American families are front and center in Washington, D.C.”

The Build Back Better Act will:

  • Provide affordable, quality child care and universal pre-school: 
    • Expands the basic promise of free schooling in America for the first time in 100 years with universal pre-kindergarten for all 3- and 4-year olds, approximately 6 million children.
    • Slashes child care costs for families earning up to 250% of their state’s median income.
    • Raises the wages of providers and early educators. 
  • Investing in the Care Economy 
    • Expands access to affordable home care for older adults and those with disabilities. 
  • Lower health care costs
    • Caps annual out-of-pocket prescription drugs costs for seniors at $2,000.
    • Reduces the monthly cost of insulin to $35. 
    • Creates a pathway to coverage for more than 2 million people in the Medicaid coverage gap through subsidized private insurance.
    • Extends enhanced federal assistance to help people afford premiums under the ACA.
    • Expands Medicare coverage to hearing for seniors.

  • Combat the climate crisis:
    • Commits $555 billion towards fighting climate change, the single largest investment in climate action in American history. These transformational investments will put America on track to meet President Biden’s climate goal of reducing U.S. carbon emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030 while creating well-paid jobs in the emerging green economy.
    • Invests over $320 billion in tax incentives for clean energy, electric vehicles, clean buildings, advanced energy manufacturing, industrial decarbonization, and more. These tax credits will promote the development and deployment of green energy technologies and accelerate our transition to a sustainable economy.
    • Dedicates nearly $20 billion to build a 21st century Civilian Climate Corps, putting roughly 300,000 Americans to work tackling the climate crisis in their own communities with a living wage and strong benefits, while preparing them for good-paying careers in the green economy. 
    •  Devotes $12.5 billion in home energy efficiency and appliance electrification rebates, reducing home energy usage while saving the average American family hundreds of dollars per year. 
    • Advances environmental justice by investing $29 billion toward a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to finance community-driven climate initiatives. At least 40% of these investments will be made in low-income and historically disadvantaged communities disproportionately impacted by pollution and economic neglect. 

  • Extend the largest tax cut for families in U.S. history: 
    • Extends the American Rescue Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit through 2022 to provide families $300/month per child under 6 or $250/month per child ages 6 to 17. This will continue the largest one-year reduction in child poverty in history. 
  • Level the playing field
    • Makes the wealthiest pay their fair share and fights inflation by imposing a 15% minimum tax on the largest corporations and adding a surtax on individuals making more than $10 million a year. No one making under $400,000 will pay a penny more in taxes.

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