WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) voted to pass the Build Back Better Act. The Build Back Better Act supports families, climate change, and affordable care, while increasing jobs and opportunities around the country.
“Today, the House passed the historic Build Back Better Act. The magnitude of this bill cannot be summarized by a simple headline; there is so much in this legislation to help stabilize American families. The Build Back Better Act helps families raising children; those seeking better educational and employment opportunities; lowers prescription costs, expands affordable housing, childcare, and healthcare; provides paid family leave and addresses climate change. I have championed many of the provisions included in this package and am thrilled to see this vote pass. I am grateful for President Biden’s vision to Build Back Better in a way that benefits those who are often left behind,” said Congresswoman Hayes.
The Build Back Better Act supports Connecticut in the following ways:
Lowering the Cost of Child Care and Universal Pre-School
The Build Back Better Act will ensure that no family of four making under $300,000 will pay more than 7% of their income on childcare. expand the availability of high-quality childcare, and raise wages for childcare workers. The Build Back Better Act invests in securing universal preschool, which helps prepare as many as 6 million children for happier, healthier, and more productive lives.
Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid
The Build Back Better Act includes funding to permanently extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which ensures that low-income children always have access to quality, affordable health insurance.
Child Tax Credit
The Build Back Better Act extends the enhanced Child Tax Credit for an additional year. Over 350,000 Connecticut families are projected to be eligible for the tax credit, totaling $127 million for Connecticut families. The bill provides a tax cut by extending the American Rescue Plan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion.
Universal Paid Family Leave
The Build Back Better Act guarantees four weeks of paid family and medical leave starting in 2024.
Medicare Hearing Coverage
The Build Back Better Act adds new comprehensive hearing benefits to Medicare Part B including coverage of hearing aids for individuals with moderately severe, severe, or profound hearing loss. With the Build Back Better Act about 124,800 people in CT-05 stand to gain from adding a hearing benefit.
Helping Older Americans and Individuals with Disabilities
The Build Back Better Act would cap out of pocket drug costs for seniors at $2000 per year.
The Build Back Better Act provides more than $1 billion for Older Americans Act programs to extend vital services that help vulnerable Americans stay safe, healthy, and independent and additional investments to help people with disabilities learn, work, and thrive in their communities.
Home-and Community-Based Services
The Build Back Better Act invests $150 billion to expand access to quality home-based services and care for millions of seniors and people with disabilities. It strengthens the direct care workforce by investing $1 billion to fund the recruitment and retention of direct care workers, including raising wages and creating training opportunities to help address the direct care workforce shortage, and improving provider payment rates.
Makes Insulin Affordable
The Build Back Better Act would cap the monthly cost for every Connecticut resident to $35 per month for their insulin prescription, or $420 annually. Connecticut residents currently spend anywhere from $1,200 to $20,000 annually.
Lowering Health Care Costs
The Build Back Better Act closes the Medicaid coverage gap to help millions of Americans gain health insurance, extend through 2025 the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance premium reductions for those who buy coverage on their own, and help older Americans access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare. The bill helps 26,000 uninsured people in Connecticut gain coverage and 40,700 save hundreds of dollars per year.
Addressing Climate Change
The Build Back Better Act makes the largest ever investment in our clean energy economy—across buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, agriculture, and climate smart practices. These investments are crucial to Connecticut, which has experienced 15 extreme weather events, costing up to $5 billion in damages, from 2010 to 2020.
The Build Back Better Act appropriates $280 million to provide grants to public-private partnerships for projects that increase access to affordable broadband service.
The Build Back Better Act provides over $10 billion combined for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – two of the most popular and prominent agricultural conservation programs throughout New England. These programs protect farmlands and wetlands through conservation easements and provide one-year contracts to Connecticut producers for the implementation of conservation programs.
Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles
The Build Back Better Act invests $5 billion in replacing heavy-duty vehicles, such as school buses, with zero emission vehicles. This funding builds off $2.5 billion secured by Congresswoman Hayes for the replacement of diesel school buses in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Congresswoman Hayes has fought for the national deployment of clean school buses since her first term in Congress, when she introduced the Clean School Bus Act with then Senator Kamala Harris.
Lowering the Cost of College
The Build Back Better Act invests $20 billion to strengthen higher education and lower the cost of college by increasing the value of Pell Grants by $550. This increase would bring the maximum grant award to $7,045. In Connecticut, 47,500 students receive Pell Grants.
The Build Back Better Act invests $10 billion in child nutrition programs which bolsters the fight against child hunger. In Connecticut, these investments mean expanding access to free school meals to an additional 62,000 students during the school year and providing nearly 270,000 students with resources to purchase food over the summer.
State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) Expansion
The Build Back Better Act repeals the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT) cap instated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 by increasing the deduction limit from $10,000 to $72,500 per year.
The Build Back Better Act invests $20 billion in training programs that prepare Connecticut workers for high-quality jobs in fast-growing sectors like public health, childcare, manufacturing, IT, and clean energy.
Increases Affordable Housing
The Build Back Better Act invests over $100 billion to expand rental assistance for Connecticut renters, while also increasing the supply of high-quality housing through the construction and rehabilitation of over 1 million affordable housing units nationwide and includes one of the largest investments in down payment assistance in history, enabling more first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first home.
The Build Back Better Act provides $2.86 billion in funding for the World Trade Center Health Program to ensure that the program can continue to fulfill the commitment to provide medical treatment and monitoring to more than 110,000 9/11 responders and survivors.
The Build Back Better Act provides $2.3 billion for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs to update clinics and medical facilities. West Haven VA in Connecticut would stand to benefit from these investments, helping to better serve veterans in Connecticut.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.