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Strickland Votes for the Build Back Better Act to Invest in Women, Working Families, and Caregivers

November 19, 2021

Washington, DC– Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

“When we invest in women, families, and caregivers, we power an economic recovery that benefits all of us,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland. “With the Build Back Better Act, Congress will deliver life-changing benefits for families in the South Sound and across our nation - all without adding to the national debt. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join me and vote in favor of this transformational bill that will address housing, lower health care costs, affordable child care and in-home care, education, climate change and much more.”

This transformative package will:

  • Reduce Housing Costs and Expand Housing Options: 487,000 renters in Washington are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent, while homeownership remains out of reach for many families. This package invests $150 billion nationwide with targeted funding streams for new construction and preservation of housing, rental and down payment assistance, sustainable and resilient housing, and fair housing enforcement, among other investments. The Build Back Better framework will expand rental assistance for Washington renters, while also increasing the supply of high-quality housing through the construction and rehabilitation of over 1 million affordable housing units nationwide. It will address the capital needs of the entire public housing stock in America and it includes one of the largest investments in down payment assistance in history, enabling more first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first home. 
  • Lower Health Care Costs: negotiating lower drug costs for seniors; halting Big Pharma’s outrageous price hikes above inflation; and expanding the ACA to make coverage more affordable for those who buy insurance on their own. In Washington, that means 108,000 uninsured people will gain coverage and 89,300 will on average save hundreds of dollars per year. 
  • Cut Taxes and Lower Costs for Families and Workers
    • The bill will extend Child Tax Credit (CTC) increases of $300/month per child under 6 or $250/month per child ages 6 to 17. Enable Washington to provide access to child care for 470,178 young children (ages 0-5) per year from families earning under 2.5 times the Washington median income (about $254,421 for a family of 4), and ensure these families pay no more than 7% of their income on high-quality child care. This will continue the largest one-year reduction in child poverty in history. And critically, the agreement includes permanent refundability for the Child Tax Credit, meaning that the neediest families will continue to receive the full Child Tax Credit over the long-run. Prior to the pandemic, 9% of children under the age of 18 in Washington lived in poverty. The bill will bolster financial security and spur economic growth in Washington by reducing taxes on the middle class and those striving to break into it. 
    • Provide a tax cut of up to $1,500 in tax cuts for 358,300 low-wage workers in Washington by extending the American Rescue Plan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion.
    • Enable Washington to expand access to free, high-quality preschool to more than 181,109 additional 3- and 4-year-olds per year and increase the quality of preschool for children who are already enrolled. Only 22% of the 233,030 3- and 4-year-olds in Washington have access to publicly-funded preschool.
    • Expand free school meals for an additional 5,000 WA students during the school year and provide 481,943 WA students with resources to purchase food over the summer.
    • Provides for Home and Community-Based Services with an investment of $150 billion to expand access to quality home-based care for millions of older adults and people with disabilities. This funding includes resources to improve our national care infrastructure by strengthening the direct care workforce.
  • Make the Largest Investment to Combat Climate Crisis in History: cutting pollution, reducing energy costs, creating good paying jobs with a transformational investment to ensure America leads the clean energy economy. The package will strengthen domestic manufacturing and supply chains for critical goods, benefiting American businesses, workers, consumers, and communities.
  • Invest 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.

 

For a Fact Sheet on the impact on Washington State, visit this link. For a comprehensive Fact Sheet on the impact nationwide, visit this link

Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland serves as Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and is the only African-American woman who serves on the House Armed Services Committee. She is one of the first Korean-American women elected to Congress and the first African-American to represent the Pacific Northwest at the federal level.

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