The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better bill on the morning of November 19. Assuming it will also pass the Senate, this bill may do more to reduce hunger and poverty than any other legislation in my lifetime. Together with the other two big economic packages that have been enacted this year, it will make our nation’s economy more just, sustainable, and prosperous for years to come.
Here are my favorite provisions in the Build Back Better bill:
an extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit, including language that makes permanent a change that allows the Credit to reach the poorest families. The expanded Child Tax Credit has already helped to reduce hunger and poverty below pre-pandemic levels, and it would be tragic not to continue it.
important expansions of federal health insurance, including insurance for two million people with no insurance in the 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid.
universal preschool for three- and four-year old children. Studies have shown that quality preschool dramatically improves how children fare in school and in life.
The House bill also makes state and local taxes deductible - in effect, a big tax reduction for many high-income people. I hope the Senate decides to take that provision out of the package.
But the rest of the package is focused on help and opportunity for struggling Americans. Congratulations to President Biden and the Democrats.
We have cause to start celebrating Thanksgiving a week early.