Pascrell Votes for Historic Biden Build Back Better Bill
Blueprint for a new America, providing SALT relief for New Jersey families, clears House
Washington, November 19, 2021
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) today voted in favor of the Build Back Better Act, the most expansive positive government investment in its citizens since the New Deal and the Great Society. Rep. Pascrell gave a fiery speech yesterday in favor of the Build Back Better Act on the floor of the House.
“Last November, the American people put Democrats in charge to raise this nation from its knees. We were elected to act with urgency for the present and the future. Today we are doing that and moving America forward into the 21st Century,” said Rep. Pascrell. “Build Back Better will improve the lives of working men and women. This legislation will confront the powerful interests and rebuild this country inside and out. It will put us on the path to a planet-saving green economy. Our historic bill gives real, meaningful relief to middle-class Americans harmed by the GOP Scam SALT cap. In short: The Build Back Better Act is a blueprint for a modern America.
“Our nation should note the final vote as the split demonstrates the difference between our political parties. Only one party is making raising children affordable. Only one party is creating a green future that aids unions and supports domestic manufacturing. Only one party will close the tax gap and provide tax fairness for working Americans. That party is the Democrats. The other party does not give a damn about regular Americans and they showed it with this vote.”
Highlights of the legislation
State and local tax (SALT) deduction relief
BBB will raise the cap to $80,000 for 10 years, at which time the $10,000 cap is reinstated permanently. Rep. Pascrell has been a leading a critic in Congress of the Republican tax scam and has repeatedly assailed the capping of the SALT deduction. Pascrell is the lead sponsor of H.R. 1142, the bipartisan Stop the Attack on Local Taxpayers Act of 2019, which would remove the cap on federal SALT deduction and also raise the top personal income tax rate to where it was before the 2017 Republican tax scam. The bill is currently cosponsored by 47 House members. Companion Senate legislation, S. 437, is sponsored by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and currently cosponsored by 13 senators. Pascrell first authored legislation addressing importance of the state and local tax deduction in 2012. Pascrell recently offered several amendments on SALT fairness, including the amendment to eliminate the cap during Ways and Means Committee consideration of the 2017 tax bill.
Investments in children, families and caregiving
Universal Preschool for All 3- and 4-year Olds. BBB expands access to free high-quality preschool for more than 6 million children for six years. New Jersey impact: This will enable expanded access to more than 128,267 additional 3- and 4-year olds per year and increase the quality of preschool for children who are already enrolled. Today, only 27% of the 3- and 4-year olds in New Jersey have access to publicly funded preschool, and it costs about $8,600 per year for those who can’t access a publicly funded program.
Affordable High Quality Child Care. BBB limit childcare costs for families to no more than 7% of income for families earning up to 250% of state median income for six years. It would enable states to expand access to about 20 million children. New Jersey impact: This bill would enable the state to provide access to childcare for about 500,000 young children (ages 0-5) per year from families earning under 2.5 times the state median income (about $308,575 for a family of 4). The plan is expected to cover the families of 9 in 10 young children in the state. In New Jersey, the average annual cost of a childcare center for a toddler is $14,954, meaning that a New Jersey family with two young children would on average spend 23% of their income on childcare for one year.
Affordable, High-Quality Care for Hundreds of Thousands of Older Americans and People with Disabilities in Their Homes and Communities. BBB strengthens an existing program through Medicaid and ending the existing backlog and improving working conditions for home care workers. New Jersey impact: Approximately 88,000 uninsured people will gain coverage and 113,800 will on average save hundreds of dollars per year.
Expanded Child Tax Credit. BBB extends for one year the current extend Child Tax Credit (CTC) increases of $300/month per child under 6 or $250/month per child ages 6 to 17 for more than 35 million American households, with monthly payments for households earning up to $150,000 per year. New Jersey impact: This would provide up to $1,500 in tax cuts for 388,400 low-wage workers in New Jersey. Prior to the pandemic, 14% of children under the age of 18 in New Jersey lived in poverty.
Provide nutritious food options for children. BBB expands access to free school meals to an additional 177,000 students during the school year and providing 594,207 students with resources to purchase food over the summer. New Jersey impact: Approximately 10% of children in New Jersey live in food insecure households, harming their long-term health and ability to succeed in school.
Investments in clean energy and combatting climate change
History being made. With the fact that New Jersey experienced 23 extreme weather events that cost up to $50 billion in damages from 2010 to 2020, this bill marks the largest effort to combat climate change in American history.
Clean Energy Tax Credits ($320 billion)
Resilience Investments ($105 billion)
Investments and Incentives for Clean Energy Technology, Manufacturing, and Supply Chains ($110 billion)
Clean Energy procurement ($20 billion)
Affordable care for millions of hardworking Americans
Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credits. BBB extends the expanded Affordable Care Act premium tax credits through 2025, which is expected to help 3 million people who would otherwise be uninsured gain health insurance. Also makes Affordable Care Act premium tax credits available through 2025 to 4 million uninsured people in uncovered states. New Jersey impact: In New Jersey, it is expected 88,000 uninsured people will gain coverage and 113,800 will on average save hundreds of dollars per year.
Medicare expansion. BBB allows Medicare to add a benefit for hearing care.
Strengthening the middle class
Housing. BBB makes a $150 billion investment in housing affordability and reducing price pressures, including in rural areas. Funds go towards building, preserving, and improving more than 1 million affordable rental and single-family homes, including public housing, plus rental and down payment assistance. New Jersey impact: An estimated 580,000 renters in New Jersey are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent, while homeownership remains out of reach.
Education Beyond High School and Workforce Development. BBB reduces costs and expand access to education beyond high school by raising the maximum Pell grant by $550, providing support to Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Minority Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, and investing in workforce development, including community college workforce programs, sector-based training, and apprenticeships. New Jersey impact: The average cost of a 2-year degree in New Jersey is $5,498 per year, and $14,963 per year for a 4-year degree, straining many student budgets and 122,469 students in New Jersey rely on Pell Grants.
Earned Income Tax Credit for 17 Million Low-Wage Workers. BBB extends for one year the current expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers.
Trade Adjustment Assistance. BBB specifically includes language Rep. Pascrell introduced in the Improved Access to Trade Adjustment Assistance Act (H.R. 5258) to make it easier for fired workers to obtain federal assistance after their jobs are relocated.
Zero-emission nuclear power production credit. BBB provides a credit for the production of electricity from a qualified nuclear power facility.
Advanced Manufacturing Production Credit. BBB provides a manufacturing production credit for offshore wind and solar eligible components which are produced and sold. Eligible components include solar polysilicon, wafers, cells, and modules, and wind blades, nacelles, towers, and offshore foundations. New Jersey leads the way in both solar energy development and its burgeoning offshore wind industry.
Reinstatement of Superfund. BBB reinstates the Hazardous Substance Superfund Financing Rate on crude oil and imported petroleum products at the rate of 16.4 cents/per gallon, indexed to inflation, and reinstates the tax on taxable chemicals. This provision is made effective after December 31, 2021. Rep. Pascrell has long championed the reinstatement of Superfund and has sponsored legislation to achieve this result.
Possessions economic activity credit. BBB creates a new economic activity credit related to active businesses conducted in U.S. territories or possessions. Rep. Pascrell is a cosponsor of legislation incorporating these provisions for Puerto Rico and other territories.
Health Profession Opportunity Grants. BBB includes language Rep. Pascrell introduced in the Health Opportunities to Promote Equity (HOPE) Act (H.R. 4236) to guarantee each state has at least two HPOG grantees.
An analysis of the legislation is available here.
A comprehensive section-by-section breakdown of the Build Back Better Act is available here.