House Passes Historic Build Back Better Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement after the Build Back Better Act of 2021, H.R. 5376, passed the U.S. House of Representatives:
“Today, House Democrats delivered for the American people! We have an opportunity to meet the urgent needs of working families in North Carolina and across our country and with this historic bill we are seizing that opportunity,” said Congressman Butterfield.
“The Build Better Back Act is a boon to our economy and an investment in the future of our nation. It’s a bold, once-in-a-generation effort to lower costs for working families - from health care to childcare. The Build Back Better Act demonstrates our commitment to our future, American families, and American workers.”
“I commend President Biden, Democratic leadership, my colleagues, and their staff for their fortitude and perseverance in fighting for the American people.”
For more information, please see: The Build Back Better Act Fact Sheet.
The Build Back Better Act:
Closes the Coverage Gap
- Currently, North Carolina and 11 other states have failed to expand Medicaid, leaving an estimated 207,000 North Carolinians in the coverage gap. The Build Back Better Act extends coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace to nearly 4 million uninsured individuals in non-expansion states. These individuals will qualify for coverage with $0 premiums and will receive cost sharing assistance through 2025.
Makes Historic Investments in Health Care Quality and Affordability
- Makes coverage considerably more affordable by extending the American Rescue Plan’s ACA Marketplace enhanced premium subsidies through 2025.
- Includes a new incentive for states to expand Medicaid by raising the federal share of the cost to 93 percent. This is in addition to the incentives in the American Rescue Plan.
- Adds hearing coverage to the Medicare program, beginning in 2023.
- Caps out-of-pocket costs in Medicare Part D, making prescriptions much more affordable for seniors.
Invests in Children and Families
- Ensures most families will not pay more than 7 percent of their income towards childcare.
- Provides universal pre-school for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
- Creates a universal and permanent paid family and medical leave program by providing four weeks of paid parental, caregiving, and medical leave.
- Extends the Biden Child Tax Credit by 1-year.
- Permanently ensures the Child Tax Credit is refundable, ensuring families who are most in need benefit from the credit.
Funds Maternal Health Programs
- Provides $100 million in funding to award grants to address social determinants of maternal health for pregnant and postpartum individuals.
- Provides $75 million in funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health to award grants to community-based organizations to address social determinants of maternal health for pregnant and postpartum individuals.
- Provides $170 million in funding to award grants to accredited schools of nursing to grow and diversity the perinatal nursing workforce.
Expands Broadband Affordability and Accessibility
- Provides $300 million to the Emergency Connectivity Fund to ensure that students, school staff, and libraries have adequate internet connectivity and devices at places other than schools and libraries.
- Provides $475 million to eligible households for new or refurbished computers, laptops, and other devices for free or reduced rates.
- Provides $295 million to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) pilot program designed to provide grants to public-private partnerships for projects that increase affordable broadband.
Combats the Climate Change and Invests in Green Energy
- Provides $555 billion over 10 years for clean energy and climate investments.
- Ensures clean energy technology, including wind turbine blades, solar panels, and electric cars, will be built in the United States, creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs.
- Invests over $320 billion in renewable energy and energy efficiency tax incentives to meet the goal of reducing US carbon emissions by 50% below 2005 levels by 2030.
- Extends green energy incentives and tax credits that will save the average American family hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs.
Invests in Our Nation’s Research Infrastructure
- Promotes diversity in science by providing $200 million for research capacity building at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).
- Provides $675 million for National Science Foundation (NSF) research awards, traineeships, scholarships, and fellowships across all STEM disciplines and $25 million to ensure demographic diversity in NSF initiatives.
- Provides $5 million to support the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity to improve diversity across the Department’s research, development, and demonstration activities.