Congresswoman Scanlon Votes to Pass the Build Back Better Act

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) issued the following statement on today’s passage of the Build Back Better Act by the U.S. House of Representatives:


“For too long, America’s economic policy has revolved around support for the rich and powerful rather than working people. With the Build Back Better Act, that finally changes. 


“The Build Back Better Act takes action to lower the everyday costs that burden working families — costs like child care, health care, prescription drugs, and housing. From Day One of the Biden administration, Democrats have worked to put more money in Americans’ pockets and give the middle class more breathing room as they weather the economic shocks that we’ve experienced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing recovery. The Build Back Better Act is the next step in our agenda to support American families by growing the economy from the bottom up and middle out. 


“Until we address the gaps in America’s ‘human infrastructure,’ a majority of Americans — particularly women and people of color — will be unable to participate in our country’s social, educational, and economic life. That’s why we need universal pre-K, better access to affordable child care, a dependable system of care for our seniors, and investments in higher education and workforce training. 


“This bill is going to help working people in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District and across the country. In addition to investing in the American people, it also gives them a tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.


“Importantly, the Build Back Better Act makes the largest investment to combat the climate crisis in history. It will cut pollution, reduce energy costs, and create good-paying jobs through a transformational investment in clean energy.


“Together, the investments included in the Build Back Better Act will grow America’s economy, advance equity in our communities, and position the nation to compete globally. All of this is paid for by making big corporations and the wealthiest pay their fair share.


“We have the chance to set a new path forward that creates real, sustained economic growth and benefits everyone — not just a lucky few at the top. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act swiftly and pass this essential legislation to prove that government can work for working people again.”


The Build Back Better Act will:


Lower Child Care and Family Care Costs

  • Limits child care costs for families to no more than 7% of income for families earning up to 250% of state median income. 

  • Extends for one year the current expanded Child Tax Credit for more than 35 million American households, with monthly payments for households earning up to $150,000 per year. 

  • Establishes a universal and permanent paid family and medical leave program, providing four weeks of paid parental, family caregiving, and medical leave.

  • Expands access to high-quality home care for older adults and people with disabilities.


Invest in Education and Workforce Development

  • Makes universal preschool a reality for all three- and four-year-olds in the country.

  • Increases the maximum Pell Grant by $550 for more than 5 million students and expands access to eligible students with DACA, TPS, and DED status.

  • Makes historic investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to build capacity, modernize research infrastructure, and provide financial aid to low-income students.

  • Invests $20 billion in proven programs to help workers secure good-paying jobs, including Registered Apprenticeships and other paid job training programs.

  • Addresses the nationwide teacher shortage by funding efforts to recruit and train educators, with a particular emphasis on educators from underrepresented backgrounds.


Lower Health Care Costs and Improve Access to Care

  • Extends the expanded Affordable Care Act premium tax credits through 2025, which is predicted to help more than 3 million people who would otherwise be uninsured gain health insurance. 

  • Closes the Medicaid coverage gap by expanding the ACA to cover 4 million uninsured Americans living in states that have refused to adopt the Medicaid expansion.

  • Allows Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. 

  • Creates a new, out-of-pocket cap of $2,000 on what seniors pay for their drugs in Medicare Part D.

  • Establishes a hearing benefit in Medicare, a crucial benefit for seniors.

  • Ensures Americans with diabetes don’t pay more than $35 per month out-of-pocket for their insulin.

  • Extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) permanently to ensure children have access to quality, affordable health insurance, regardless of their family’s income.


Combat the Climate Crisis

  • Invests $555 billion over 10 years in clean energy and climate investments.

  • Reduces greenhouse gas pollution by providing $29 billion for a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund that will enable nonprofit, state, and local climate finance institutions to leverage private-sector investments and rapidly deploy low- and zero-emission technologies — with at least 40% of investments in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

  • Accelerates the clean energy transition by funding grants, rebates, and loans to commercialize emerging clean energy technologies, reinvest in energy communities, support state and local climate pollution reduction plans, and reduce methane emissions and waste from oil and natural gas operations.

  • Saves the average American family hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs through green tax credits.

  • Addresses environmental and climate justice by supporting neighborhood equity, safety, and affordable transportation access; economic development for energy and industrial transition communities; community-led projects and capacity-building centers in low-income and disadvantaged areas to address the disproportionate harms of pollution and climate change; and nearly $20 billion for national service and workforce development in support of climate resilience and mitigation projects across the country.

  • Ensures clean energy technology — such as wind turbine blades, solar panels, and electric cars — will be built in the United States,


Invest in Veterans and Their Families

  • Provides $2.3 billion to Veterans Affairs (VA) for its capital investment portfolio, allowing VA to modernize its clinics and medical facilities.

  • Allocates more than $2 billion in funding for facilities leasing that will help VA address a backlog of medical facility leases — improving access to health care — and expand VA’s existing authority to lease vacant or under-utilized buildings to organizations that provide other services to veterans.

  • Secures additional funding for VA to modernize its method for managing veterans’ service records. making more veteran records available on day one of the receipt of a claim at VBA.

  • Provides funding to conduct an education and training program for health professional students and residents, increasing the number of health professions residency positions at VA medical facilities by up to 500 positions over seven years.

  • Establishes a grant for nonprofits to operate federal entrepreneurship training programs to assist veteran small business contractors.


Support American Small Businesses

  • Funds direct loan products through the Small Business Administration to increase access to capital.

  • Establishes a nationwide network of uplift incubators to spur economic development and grow the next generation of entrepreneurs in underrepresented communities and assist new businesses and small government contractors.


Pennsylvania-specific estimates on the impact of the Build Back Better Act are available here



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