Chairman Neal Announces Markup of Build Back Better Act
SPRINGFIELD, MA—Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) announced that this week the Committee will begin consideration of legislative proposals under the budget reconciliation instructions. On Thursday, September 9, 2021, and Friday, September 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., the Committee will mark up measures spanning from universal paid family and medical leave and access to child care to strengthening retirement savings and trade programs that prioritize American workers.
“This grueling pandemic continues to deliver one-two punches in the form of the public health and economic crises, and the American people are counting on us to build back better,” Chairman Richard E. Neal said. “Later this week, the Ways and Means Committee will put an end to the idea that only some workers are worthy of ‘perks’ like paid leave, child care, and assistance in saving for retirement, and finally commit to investments that make these supports fixtures of the American workplace. We will also examine how we can commit resources to modernize a key trade program that supports American workers facing hardship due to international competition, and how to fund better protections for our nation’s elderly.
“This is our historic opportunity to support working families and ensure our economy is stronger, more inclusive, and more resilient for generations to come.”
Included in this week’s markup are investments that will:
Expand workplace supports by:
- Providing up to 12 weeks of universal paid family and medical leave for all U.S. workers;
- Reauthorizing the Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG) program to strengthen this effective health care job training program and making it available nationwide; and
- Investing in child care access and equity by:
- Ensuring that parents and caregivers have the most useful and up-to-date information on available child care options and helping them easily apply for slots;
- Funding the construction and remodeling of child care facilities to make them even safer and more aligned with public health guidelines; and
- Raising the wages of child care workers, who currently earn a median wage of $12.24 per hour and often live in poverty.
Strengthen retirement security by:
- Requiring employers without employer-sponsored retirement plans to automatically enroll their employees in IRAs or 401(k)-type plans; and
- Making the Saver’s Credit refundable so that those without any income tax liability are eligible to receive the benefit in the form of a contribution to their retirement account.
Improve elder health by:
- Expanding Medicare coverage to include dental, vision, and hearing benefits, quickly getting new vision and hearing services to beneficiaries in 2022 and 2023, respectively, to eliminate cost and coverage barriers to this care.
Protect the elderly and people with disabilities in nursing homes by:
- Funding elder justice programs that increase support for state and local Adult Protective Services offices and long-term care ombudsman programs to better prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation;
- Addressing the staffing shortages in long-term care facilities by providing funds for recruitment and retention, including wage subsidies, access to child care, tuition reimbursement, and student loan replacement; and
- Improving the accuracy and reliability of the data collected in these facilities to increase transparency for patients and their families, and strengthen the federal understanding of care quality and reimbursement, and study and update staffing – a key predictor of quality and safety.
Modernize and reform the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs by:
- Increasing benefits and expanding eligibility to meet the needs of today’s workers under TAA for Workers program;
- Reestablishing the TAA for Communities program to target support and initiate proactive outreach in trade-affected communities;
- Delivering additional funding to the TAA for Community Colleges and Career Training program to better support students served by community colleges;
- Expanding eligibility, improving outreach, and increasing funding for TAA for Firms to assist firms facing competition from abroad; and
- Improving outreach and increasing benefits for TAA for Farmers, which hasn’t received new funding in a decade.
A Section-by-Section of Subtitle A-E can be found HERE.
- Subtitle A. Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Universal Paid Family and Medical Leave
- Subtitle B. Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Retirement
- Subtitle C. Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Child Care Access and Equity
- Subtitle D. Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Trade Adjustment Assistance
- Part 1 of Subtitle E: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Pathways to Health Careers
- Part 2 of Subtitle E: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Elder Justice
- Part 3 of Subtitle E: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Skilled Nursing Facilities
- Part 4 of Subtitle E: Budget Reconciliation Legislative Recommendations Relating to Medicare Dental, Hearing, and Vision Coverage