WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, issued the following statement upon passage of the Build Back Better Act through the House of Representatives:

“The Progressive Caucus entered the negotiations around President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda with a clear vision: this transformational legislation should deliver immediate, tangible change in the lives of working people. We articulated at the beginning of the process the need for significant investments in five critically important priority areas: climate action, affordable housing, improving health care while lowering drug prices, lifting up our immigrant workers through humane reforms, and the care economy including universal child care, pre-K, home-based care and paid leave.

“Throughout the process, we worked with House and Senate leadership, committee chairs, and the White House to ensure these priorities made it into the Build Back Better Act. When others cut the size of the package, we insisted that all of these critical priorities be funded robustly, even if for a shorter time. Most importantly, we insisted that the Build Back Better Act had to move forward with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, so that no one was left behind.

“Just six weeks ago, by refusing to leave anyone behind and insisting the two bills pass the House together, we were able to allow space for President Biden to get negotiations started between the two Senators and the CPC. We were able to get a framework announced that had our progressive priorities in it, and get progressives coalesced around that framework. We were able to get full legislative text for a bill that is largely pre-conferenced with the Senate. We were able to get a vote on the rule to move Build Back Better forward. And most importantly, we were able to get a public commitment from the five Democrats who needed more information that we would pass the Build Back Better Act this week. That is exactly what has happened today.  

“At every step of the way, the Progressive Caucus kept our eyes on the prize of successfully delivering on President Biden’s entire agenda. This is truly one of the most transformative and progressive packages in recent history, and it comes at a time when Americans are waiting for us to deliver on our promises to provide relief to working and poor people across the country. We salute the tremendous leadership of President Biden, both in articulating the vision to start with, and in leading negotiations, as well as the work of our colleagues who kept their word today. We also thank the Speaker for her leadership all along the way.

“While this version of the bill isn’t everything we want or that our communities deserve, we recognize that this transformative piece of legislation was developed with the slimmest of margins in the House and Senate, and under the strict rules of budget reconciliation. Despite those margins, we continued to push for the most we could get for the American people, and we are proud of what we achieved. This legislation will deliver real, long overdue and urgently needed results to working people, and it begins to level the playing field so that corporations and the wealthiest Americans finally pay their fair share in taxes.

“Our work will not stop until the Build Back Better Act passes the Senate without any weakening of these popular provisions. We call on the Senate to quickly pass this bill and send it to the President’s desk as soon as possible. It’s time to deliver.”

The Build Back Better Act includes: 

  • $150 billion federal investment in housing, the largest in our history, for one million new and improved affordable housing units as well as housing vouchers;

  • Universal preschool for 3 and 4 year-olds in the largest expansion of public education since the K-12 system was originally created;

  • High-quality child care, where no family pays more than 7 percent of their income; 

  • A half-trillion dollar investment in taking on climate change, with meaningful reductions in carbon emissions and Justice 40 measures that get us on the path to a clean energy future; 

  • A Civilian Climate Corps to create green jobs in communities most impacted by climate change;

  • Improved health care through Medicare expansion of hearing aids, as well as subsidies for low-income families in states that have not expanded Medicaid;

  • Provisions to cap insulin costs, allow Medicare to negotiate down the prices of some of the most expensive drugs, limit out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors, and penalties for pharma companies that increase prices faster than inflation;

  • Funding for home-based care for seniors and people with disabilities, and to raise the wages of in-home care workers;

  • Four weeks paid family and medical leave, the first national investment in paid leave in American history;

  • Provisions to provide Dreamers, TPS holders, essential workers, and farmworkers protection from deportation, work permits, access to benefits, and freedom to travel.