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Larson Votes for Transformational Investment for Americans

November 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) released the following statement after voting for the Build Back Better Act, a transformational package for working Americans, families, seniors, and the entire country. As a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, Larson helped author many of the provisions in the bill, including his Clean Hydrogen Production and Investment Act.

“The COVID pandemic has exacerbated many of the problems that American families face today. It has underscored the issues facing working American families who have been struggling to make ends meet. Today, the House took a significant step forward to remedy the problems these families have faced and give them the boost they need to recover,” said Larson.

“On passage of the bill, families will continue to receive on average $430 a month back into their pockets from the expanded Child Tax Credit. They will save more than $14,000 a year in child care, while universal pre-K will save families $8,600 a year. For the first time, we are creating a national paid family and medical leave program, giving families the ability to stay home when medical or familial reasons arise,” Larson continued. “It also helps seniors by lowering prescription drug prices and expanding Medicare to include hearing coverage. The Act tackles our global climate crisis head-on by making the largest investment in the history of climate initiatives to boost American jobs now and into the future. It includes $4 billion to help reconnect and revitalize neighborhoods like Hartford’s North End. This legislation will be a transformational investment in the American people. It’s time to get this bill to President Biden’s desk.”

More on the Build Back Better Act:

Tax Cuts for Connecticut:

  • Cuts taxes for Connecticut residents: Increases the limit for the state and local income tax deduction from $10,000 to $72,000 through 2031.  

 

Support for Children and Families:

  • Creates a national paid family and medical leave program for the first time. Starting in January 2024, workers will be eligible for up to four weeks of paid leave.
  • Cuts taxes for families and workers. Prior to the pandemic, 13% of children under the age of 18 in Connecticut lived in poverty. The Build Back Better framework will bolster financial security and spur economic growth in Connecticut by reducing taxes on the middle class and those striving to break into it. The framework will extend Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments of $300/month per child under 6 or $250/month per child ages 6 to 17. This bill 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. The framework will also provide a tax cut of up to $1,500 in tax cuts for 160,900 low-wage workers in Connecticut, including for seniors for the first time, by extending the American Rescue Plan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion.
     

Investments in Child Care and Early Education:

  • This is the largest investment in child care and early education in history.
  • Provides access to affordable child care. Child care is a major strain for families in Connecticut, where the average annual cost of a child care center for a toddler is $16,000. This means that a Connecticut family with two young children is currently spending on average 13% of their annual income on child care. The lack of affordable options also makes it difficult for parents, and especially mothers, to remain in their jobs, contributing to the 21% gender gap in workforce participation between mothers and fathers in Connecticut. Build Back Better will enable Connecticut to provide access to child care to nearly 180,000 young children (ages 0-5) per year for families earning under 2.5 times the Connecticut median income (about $302,000 for a family of 4), and ensure these families pay no more than 7% of their income on high-quality child care.
  • Provides universal, high-quality, free preschool for every 3- and 4-year old in America. Today, only 8% of the 61,500 children aged 3 and 4 in Connecticut have access to publicly-funded preschool. For those who can’t access a publicly-funded program, preschool costs about $8,600 annually per child. Build Back Better will enable Connecticut to expand access to free, high-quality preschool to more than 56,000 additional 3- and 4-year-olds per year and increase the quality of preschool for children who are already enrolled. Parents will be able to send their children to the preschool setting of their choice—from public schools to child care providers to Head Start—leading to lifelong educational benefits, allowing more parents to go back to work, and building a stronger foundation for Connecticut’s future economic competitiveness.
  • Provides nutritious food options for children. 14% of children in Connecticut live in food insecure households, harming their long-term health and ability to succeed in school. Build Back Better will ensure that the nutritional needs of Connecticut’s children are met by 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.

Lowering Health Care Costs:

  • Expands health care coverage and lower costs. Health care should be a right, not a privilege, and residents of Connecticut facing illness should never have to worry about how they are going to pay for treatment. In CT-01, families already saved an annual average of $1,174/household thanks to health insurance premium tax credits through the American Rescue Plan. Build Back Better will extend  these insurance premium reductions, and help older Americans access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare. In Connecticut, that means 26,000 uninsured people will gain coverage and 40,700 households on average could continue to save hundreds of dollars per year. In addition, the Build Back Better Act will support maternal health and invest in national preparedness for future pandemics.
  • Lower prescription drug prices. By allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for certain prescription drugs and including a cap on out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries, the Build Back Better Act includes Rep. Larson’s proposal to make drug prices more affordable to Americans who need their prescriptions to get and stay healthier.

Lowering Costs for Seniors:

  • Expands traditional Medicare plans to cover hearing.
  • Support families with long-term care needs. The need for high-quality, accessible, and affordable care for older Americans and disabled Americans is only growing, but high costs and care shortages leave many to rely on family for unpaid caregiving. Build Back Better will expand access to home- and community-based care to more of Connecticut’s senior citizens and disabled citizens, and improve the quality and wages of caregiving jobs.

Addresses the existential threat of climate change:

  • Makes the largest investment in history to combat climate change in American history. From 2010 to 2020, Connecticut experienced 15 extreme weather events, costing up to $5 billion in damages. Build Back Better will set the United States on course to meet its climate targets—a 50-52% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030—in a way that creates good-paying union jobs, grows domestic industries, and advances environmental justice. This represents the largest ever single investment in our clean energy economy—across buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, agriculture, and climate smart practices in our lands and waters. This section includes Rep. Larson’s Clean Hydrogen Production and Investment Tax Credit Act, which will incentivize the development of clean hydrogen and supports Connecticut's green energy industry. And it will create a new Civilian Climate Corps that will enlist a diverse generation of Nutmeggers in conserving our public lands, bolstering community resilience, and addressing the changing climate, all while putting good-paying union jobs within reach. In clean energy and in other sectors, Build Back Better will also strengthen domestic manufacturing and supply chains for critical goods, benefiting American businesses, workers, consumers, and communities.

Invests in Education and Job Training:

  • Makes education beyond high school more affordable and accessible. The average cost of a 2-year degree in Connecticut is $4,515 per year, and $14,550 per year for a 4-year degree, straining many student budgets. To help unlock the opportunities of an education beyond high school, Build Back Better will increase maximum Pell Grant awards by $550 for students at public and private non-profit institutions, supporting the 47,500 students in Connecticut who rely on Pell Grants. Pell grant money will also not be taxed. It will also invest in Connecticut’s 11 minority-serving institutions and the students they serve, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs).
  • Trains America’s workers for the jobs of the future. Of the world’s biggest economies, the United States is second to last in investing in workforce development, and funding for federal job training programs has dropped by almost half since 2001. Build Back Better invests in training programs that will prepare Connecticut’s workers for high-quality jobs in fast-growing sectors like public health, child care, manufacturing, IT, and clean energy. 12 public community colleges in Connecticut will have the opportunity to benefit from grants to develop and deliver innovative training programs and expand proven ones.
  • Reinvigorates Our Medical Workforce: Build Back Better reauthorizes and expands the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program to provide grants training for local, low-income workers for high demand jobs. Connecticut’s Health Profession Opportunity Grants, including the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board in Franklin and The Workplace Inc in Bridgeport, are doing the important work of training home healthcare aides to care for this population and others. 

Expands Affordable Housing:

  • Reduces housing costs and expand housing options. 237,000 renters in Connecticut are rent burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent, while homeownership remains out of reach for many families. Build Back Better will 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. 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.
  • Addresses Crumbling Foundations. This legislation creates the Neighborhood Homes Investment Tax Credit, which creates a new investment tax credit to spur investment in home rehabilitation. Thanks to the efforts of Rep. Larson and Rep. Joe Courtney, this credit will apply to the rehabilitation of owner-occupied homes impacted by crumbling foundations.

Reforms our Nation’s Broken Immigration System:

  • Provides seven million eligible individuals, including 1.6 million “Dreamers” (including 4,000 in CT) and 360,000 Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients (including 3,200 in CT) with temporary reprieve to live and work in the United States until September 30, 2031.
  • It allows 379,000 unused employment-based and family-sponsored visas from previous years to be used.
    • It also prevents the future loss of unused employment-based visas, allowing them to roll over to family-based categories in future years.
  • It gives the opportunity to reapply for the diversity lottery to 40,000 individuals who were unable to complete the process due to Trump administration executive orders.
  • Allows individuals already in the US and otherwise eligible for Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status to begin the application process as they wait for a visa number to become available. It also prevents dependent children from aging out of eligibility for LPR status.
  • Allows immigrants who are in the US to receive an exemption from numerical visa limits and adjust their status to LPR if their immigrant visa petition has been approved for two years and they pay a supplemental fee.

 

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