Yesterday President Biden and Congressional Democrats announced a framework for the Build Back Better (BBB) Act. This is the human infrastructure bill that will accompany investments in hard infrastructure, focusing on the needs of America’s families as they emerge from the pandemic and work to advance in the economy by providing historic investments in caregiving, early education, and the financial stability of families. JFF believes Build Back Better is critical to our nation’s short-term and long-term recovery and we urge Congress to pass this historic legislation.
Build Back Better is critical to our nation’s short-term and long-term economic recovery.
To address the needs of American families, the framework includes free preschool for all three- and four-year-olds, an extension of the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and an extension of the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for around 17 million individuals in low-wage jobs. The bill also invests in our nation’s education and workforce systems to better support American learners and workers.
These policies represent critical pieces necessary for an equitable recovery and investment in our current and future workforce.
The proposed framework would provide a total of $40 billion for these efforts, including:
- Increases in the maximum Pell Grant by $550 for more the more than 5 million students enrolled in public and private non-profit colleges, including DREAMers.
- Increased investments for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and federally-designated minority-serving institutions.
- Investments in evidence-based practices that help more students complete their degrees or credentials.
- Expanded access to high-quality in-demand training through sector-based opportunities and proven approaches like Registered Apprenticeships.
- Increases in annual spending on workforce development by 50 percent for each of the next five years.
The final bill is a compromise, and by definition a compromise means you don’t get everything you want.
JFF is pleased to see these policies included in the Build Back Better framework—they represent critical pieces necessary for an equitable recovery and investment in our current and future workforce. However, JFF joins many others in its disappointment over the loss of free community college, larger, needed investments in the nation’s workforce development system, and other key provisions, including paid family leave.
We also recognize that the final bill is a compromise, and by definition a compromise means that you don’t get everything you want. With this in mind, we support this Build Back Better framework and call on Congress to act quickly to pass this important legislation for our nation’s families.