Washington, D.C. – After months of negotiation, the House passed the $1.75 trillion social policy and climate change bill, better known as President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan. The bill is now headed to the Senate for approval, and consequently to Biden’s desk. The Build Back Better Plan was proposed by Biden as part of his promise to rebuild the backbone of the country, the middle class. If passed, the plan will be a step forward to meet climate goals, create millions of jobs, and grow the economy. This article will explain the different areas that the plan covers, and what it will mean to you and your community.
Childcare and preschool
As the White House prides to describe the BBB plan, “It is the most transformative investment in children and caregiving in generations.” The plan includes universal preschool for all three and four-year-olds, it expands access to high quality preschool, and it is set to serve more than 6 million children. It also compromises with the middle class and will ensure that families pay no more than 7% of their income on child care, while also working with states to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care that will serve about 20 million children per year.
Paid family leave
Currently, the U.S. is one of the few countries without a national paid family and medical leave program. With the approval of the BBB plan, a new federal paid leave benefit program will be introduced, where people will now be able to get 4 weeks of paid leave. The goal of the national plan would be to make it so workers can take paid time off when needed, for reasons such as the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a sick loved one or for their own health needs.
The BBB would make the biggest investment in American history into the Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV), and would help nearly 300,000 extremely low-income families pay for rent. More than $7 billion of the proposed funding targets families who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking. Rose, 62 from Watsonville, shared her excitement for this new project, “My husband just retired, he worked in agriculture all his life and the money he receives is not enough to pay a rent in California, we have been struggling since, I have high hopes that the BBB will help our family, and many more in similar situations.”
One of the components of the BBB plan is reducing the cost of health care. It is expected to make meaningful progress in covering millions of people who lack health care by closing the Medicaid coverage gap and reducing premiums for people buying coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also seeks to reduce the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to directly negotiate the price of drugs so that consumers do not have to pay the prices established by the pharmaceutical companies.
The BBB plan expands the Child Tax Credit for a year. Households earning up to $150,000 per year will receive monthly payments of $300 per child under six and $250 per child ages 6 to 17. Full refundability of the Child Tax Credit is made permanent. Continues monthly advanced payments. Great news is that the BBB plan restores the eligibility for children with ITINs. The Build Back Better Act would keep the increased amounts through 2022 and keep the credit fully refundable.
This may be the immigration reform of this generation. More than 30 years have passed since the last one. If this plan is approved, as is – more than 7 million undocumented immigrants will benefit, as they will be able to apply for work permits, travel abroad and obtain driver’s licenses. In addition, they would be protected against deportation for up to ten years. This reform would help more than 4.2 million essential workers, 2 million Dreamers, 500,000 people who have temporary protected status and up to 2 million family members of US citizens who could obtain an easier path to citizenship.