CAPAC Chair Statement on House Passage of Build Back Better Act

Nov 19, 2021 Issues: Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment, Economic Development, Healthcare, Housing, Immigration

Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives voted to pass H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, President Biden’s $1.75 trillion legislation to invest in families, health care, climate change mitigation, affordable housing, small businesses, immigration, and other infrastructure. CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement:

“Today, we have demonstrated our commitment to passing transformational assistance for the American people. I am proud that, after months of negotiations and compromises from all sides, our hard work resulted in legislation that will significantly benefit AAPI individuals and families across the country.

“The Build Back Better Act will make some of the largest investments in AAPI communities in our country’s history, from affordable child care and paid leave to home-based care and climate change. But even as we make it easier for parents to go back to work, families are continuing to struggle with high prices and soaring healthcare costs. That’s why this landmark bill makes the Child Tax Credit permanently refundable, ensuring that the neediest families continue to receive this support over the long run. This bill provides much-needed relief to our AAPI immigrant communities by providing work permits and protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who have been here prior to 2011, and addresses our burgeoning visa backlog by recapturing family and employment based visas.

“This bill will also make historic investments in affordable housing, small business relief, higher education, and healthcare that will have direct benefits our communities, including expanding coverage for uninsured AAPI families, address skyrocketing drug prices, and adding hearing coverage for AAPI people on Medicare.  

“While the Build Back Better Act is a truly transformational piece of legislation, I know that there are still many other priorities that were not included or were pared down, including providing a pathway to citizenship for millions of AAPI immigrants, including DACA recipients, TPS holders, farmworkers, and more. We will not stop fighting for these outstanding priorities for our communities, but I remain proud of the work we have done in the House to pass this bill, which would make these needed investments in AAPI families and communities across the nation, and I encourage our colleagues in the Senate to pass it swiftly.”

Highlights of the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act are below:

Support for Families and Workers

  • Ensures middle-class families pay no more than 7% of income on child care
  • Enables states to expand child care access to about 20 million children per year
  • Improves Medicaid coverage for home care services for seniors and people with disabilities
  • Extends the Child Tax Credit through 2022, making it permanently refundable
  • Provides up to 4 weeks of paid family leave with a progressive wage replacement rate
  • Extends the American Rescue Plan’s tripling of the Earned Income Tax Credit for 17 million low-income, childless workers

Immigration

  • Includes $100 billion to provide relief to immigrant communities
  • Provides work permits, access to some federal benefits, and protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants who have been in the country since before January 1, 2011
  • Reduces visa backlogs by recapturing about 300,000 unused Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visas from Fiscal Years 1992-2021
  • Allows for individuals with approved visa petitions to file their green card applications before a visa number becomes available, upon payment of a fee, allowing them to receive work authorization and prevent dependent children from aging out of eligibility for LPR status
  • Recaptures diversity visas lost to the Muslim Ban and COVID travel restrictions

Small Businesses

  • Includes $5 billion in investments to improve capital access
  • Includes $276 million to authorize the Community Advantage Loan Program
  • Creates a new Direct Lending program at the Small Business Administration to ensure that the most disadvantaged businesses are not left behind 

Health Care

  • Provides temporary enhanced Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace cost-sharing reduction assistance to low-income Americans, essentially closing the Medicaid coverage gap caused by states that have not expanded Medicaid
  • Extends ACA subsidies for those who have filed for unemployment through 2023
  • Requires Medicaid programs to provide 12 months of continuous coverage to postpartum women
  • Provides states with incentives to cover Certified Community Behavioral Health Care Clinics
  • Reauthorizes and expands the Health Professions and Opportunity Grant Program to assist states, territories and tribal communities in training local, low-income workers for high demand jobs.
  • Permanently authorizes funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Extends Medicare coverage to include hearing services
  • Provides $7 billion to support core public health infrastructure activities and expand the role of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Allows Medicare to negotiate prices for the 10 most expensive medicines in the program
  • Redesigns the Medicare Part D program to cap senior’s out of pocket expenses at $2,000, eliminate the coverage gap
  • Caps the monthly price of insulin at $35 for those on Medicare or with private insurance
  • Institutes inflation rebates, which will help keep drug companies from exponentially increasing their prices year after year

Climate Change

  • Tax incentives to promote clean energy that will lower rooftop solar costs by 30%
  • Extends the Investment and Production tax credits for renewable sources of energy
  • Expands the electric vehicle tax credit
  • Establishes a Civilian Climate Corps with enough funding to employ over 300,000 corpsmembers
  • Ensures that rebates to individuals to install water conservation measures in their homes are excluded from taxable income

Education

  • Provides $3 billion in a competitive grant program to improve the research capacity and research and development infrastructure at four-year Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), including AANAPISIs
  • Invests $6 billion in institutional aid grants to HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs, including AANAPISIs, to strengthen their academic, administrative, and fiscal capabilities and award need-based financial aid to low-income students

Housing

  • Invests in the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than 1 million affordable homes
  • Addresses the capital needs of public housing stock
  • Invests in expanding housing vouchers to hundreds of thousands of new families
  • Improves the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to expand access to additional affordable housing financing