Congressman García Votes to Pass the Build Back Better Act

November 19, 2021
Press Release

Congressman García Votes to Pass the Build Back Better Act

The bill makes transformative investments in affordable health care, child care, and housing;

tackles the climate crisis; and provides lasting protections for immigrants.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) voted to pass H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, a transformative investment to lower child care and health care costs for millions of American families, protect immigrant families, expand affordable housing, and tackle the climate crisis. 

Congressman García issued the following statement upon passage of the bill:

“Today’s historic vote brings us one step closer to delivering long overdue, transformative investments for working class communities like those I represent in Chicago’s Northwest and Southwest sides, the western Cook County suburbs, and across the country. The costs of child care, health care, and rent have skyrocketed while wages have stagnated and working class families — especially Latino and Black families — need relief more than ever. The Build Back Better Act will lower everyday costs for families, expand public services, address the climate crisis, and combined with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, create 2 million jobs each year over the next decade. It is a powerful step toward addressing the historic neglect communities like mine have faced.

“Though this bill delivers urgently needed relief to undocumented immigrants, it falls short of the path to citizenship that I fought for and that immigrants deserve. It gives up to 7 million undocumented immigrants the ability to receive work permits, travel, and live without fear of deportation. It means families separated for 20 years can finally be reunited, workers can speak out against abuses without fear of retaliation, and immigrants can wake up every morning with some peace of mind. That’s why I was the first Member of Congress to say I would not support a relief package that did not include meaningful immigration reform. I will not stop fighting until we achieve a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants and every immigrant gets the chance to stay in the country they call home. 

“This bill, combined with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Biden signed earlier this week, makes historic investments in communities across the country to create jobs and strengthen our economy. Though the Build Back Better Act falls short in many ways for immigrants, working people, and our planet, it is nevertheless a transformational step. I am proud to vote for this bill and will keep fighting for relief and resources for immigrants, working people, and families across the country. 

The Build Back Better Act includes:

  • Relief for families: Extends the expanded Child Tax Credit from the American Rescue Plan, providing $300/ month for each child under 6 years old and $250/ month for children 6-18;
  • Health care equity: Lowers drug prices and expands Medicare to cover hearing;
  • Safe, affordable housing: Invests in rental assistance, public housing, and down payment assistance for first-generation homebuyers;
  • Access to child care: Ensures universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds and funds to guarantee that the vast majority of families pay less for child care;
  • Paid leave: Establishes 4 weeks of paid family leave for all workers;
  • Investments in higher education: Provides funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) and increases the maximum Pell Grant;
  • Nutrition assistance: Invests in child nutrition programs that will address food insecurity, including expanding free school meals and food assistance for children during the summer;
  • Lead-free homes: Funds programs to replace lead pipes and lead paint;
  • Robust infrastructure investment: Further invests in our infrastructure by enhancing public transit access to affordable housing, building a national high speed rail network, and accelerating the deployment of broadband;
  • Funds to combat the climate crisis: Encourages investment in clean energy technology and green jobs.

The Senate will now consider the Build Back Better Act under the budget reconciliation process, meaning the bill cannot be filibustered and only needs a simple majority of votes to pass.

More information about the Build Back Better Act can be found here.

 

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