Rep. Peters Votes YES on Historic Bill to Reduce Costs for American Families, Invest in the Future of the U.S.
November 18, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the Build Back Better Act, the most robust investment in middle-class families in over 70 years, and the most significant climate legislation in American history. The comprehensive package will strengthen America’s middle class and the U.S. economy by reducing everyday costs for working Americans, building the clean energy economy of the future, and investing in families and children. The historic bill includes several of Rep. Peters’ top legislative priorities, including his plan to reduce prescription drug prices, $555 billion to reduce climate pollution, and an expanded child tax credit to drastically reduce child poverty.
“The Build Back Better Act, once done, will be a comprehensive response to the economic and social challenges that have plagued American families the last several years. The critical investments in clean energy and American families will continue to stimulate our economy and get people back to work, all while lowering taxes and not adding to our national deficit,” said Rep. Peters. “The bill is predicted to generate 1.5 million jobs per year for 10 years, ease inflationary pressure, and generate revenue to help pay for these once-in-a-generation investments. Though the legislation is still a work in progress, I look forward to making sure the final version sets our nation and children up for a prosperous future.”
Rep. Peters brokered a landmark deal between the White House, House and Senate to allow Medicare to directly negotiate lower drug prices from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
“The compromise deal to lower drug prices fulfills a goal that Democrats have worked toward for nearly 30 years. It is, without a doubt, one of the most consequential components of this bill,” continued Rep. Peters. “Modeled after the framework I released with Rep. Kurt Schrader this summer, the plan establishes an out-of-pocket cap for seniors for the first time ever, claws back excess profits from big pharma, encourages marketplace competition and increases transparency in the health care system. It does this while preserving the investment in scientific innovation America is known for, which means our country will continue to be on the leading edge of creating new cures for the toughest and rarest diseases.”
The Build Back Better Act invests $1.75 trillion in America’s future. It provides:
Historic Investments to Tackle the Climate Crisis
- Significantly reduces climate pollution by providing more than $300 billion in tax incentives to support clean energy, holding companies accountable for wasted methane pollution and rapidly deploying zero-emission technologies through a new $29 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
- Reduces energy bill costs and advances renewable energy through $19 billion in home energy efficiency and electrification rebates for consumers, $15 billion to support development of innovative technologies and $2.9 billion to create a clean and reliable 21st century electricity grid.
- Prepares communities for extreme weather events through historic investments in coastal restoration, public lands, forest management, wildfire threat reduction, soil health and agricultural conservation.
- Supports clean transportation options including advanced, sustainable port infrastructure, high-speed rail projects and cleaner aviation fuels.
- Accelerates the use of zero-emission vehicles through $12.5 billion to support domestic auto manufacturing, clean heavy-duty vehicles, zero-emissions vehicle infrastructure, along with $9 billion to electrify the federal and U.S. Postal Service vehicle fleets.
- Addresses environmental and climate justice through nearly $20 billion for national service and workforce development in support of climate resilience and mitigation projects and $3 billion for community-led projects that address environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change.
- Bans further oil and gas drilling in the federal waters in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Eastern Gulf.
Monumental Step Toward Universal Affordable Health Coverage
- Lowers the cost of prescription drugs by allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, reducing out-of-pocket co-pays, establishing a $35 out-of-pocket maximum for insulin, and creating a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit for seniors’ expenses in Medicare Part D, among other transformational reforms.
- Extends the expanded ACA Premium Tax Credit, reducing premiums for 9 million Americans. Experts predict that this will help more than 3 million people who would otherwise be uninsured gain health insurance.
- Reduces out-of-pocket costs by providing enhanced cost-sharing reduction assistance to low-income individuals and creating a new Health Insurance Affordability Fund, which will allow states to establish a reinsurance program or help with reducing out-of-pocket costs.
- Strengthens Medicaid by expanding access to behavioral and maternal health services and making other program improvements.
- Permanently extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to ensure children have access to quality, affordable health insurance, regardless of their family’s income.
- Invests in the Health Profession Opportunity Grant Program to train tens of thousands of Americans across the country for health professions, expanding opportunities for workers while addressing local health care workforce shortages.
- Rebuilds and improves the Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical facilities and invests in the VA’s health care workforce to deliver 21st century care to our veterans.
Life-Changing Investments in Families and Children
- Lowers child care costs for working families to put affordable, high-quality child care within reach.
- Establishes free high-quality universal pre-school programs for all three- and four-year-olds.
- Extends the expanded Child Tax Credit, first enacted in the American Rescue Plan, to make sure nearly 40 million American families – covering almost 90 percent of children – continue to receive this tax cut. It will also ensure lower-income families are permanently eligible for full benefits, helping to cut child poverty nearly in half.
- Extends the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to provide financial support to millions of low-wage workers, including millions of essential workers.
- Addresses our nation’s urgent housing needs, including the homelessness crisis, by investing $150 billion with targeted funding streams for new construction and preservation of housing, rental and down payment assistance, sustainable and resilient housing, and fair housing enforcement, among other investments.
- Provides for Home and Community-Based Services with an investment of $150 billion to expand access to quality home-based care for millions of older adults and people with disabilities. This funding includes resources to improve our national care infrastructure by strengthening the direct care workforce.
- Provides supply chain investments of $5 billion to safeguard our economy and support domestic job growth.
- Invests in workforce development to support dislocated workers, support youth apprenticeships, and more.
- Increases the maximum Pell Grant by an additional $550 per person for more than 5 million students and expands access to Dreamers.
- Supports Small Business Administration programs with an investment of $5 billion to increase access to capital, foster entrepreneurial development, expand federal procurement opportunities and drive innovation.
Fiscal Responsibility and Inclusive Growth
- Ensures large, profitable corporations pay their fair share. The bill requires companies that report over $1 billion in profits to shareholders to pay at least a 15 percent tax rate on those gigantic profits. It is fundamentally unfair for large, highly profitable companies to pay nothing in federal taxes, as they have done in recent years, while working Americans like nurses and firefighters pay taxes with every paycheck. The bill also imposes a 1 percent excise tax on publicly traded U.S. corporations for the value of their stock buybacks, which enrich their shareholders rather than invest in their companies or workers.
- Ensures the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share by improving the tax code to prevent tax avoidance. The improvements include imposing a 5 percent surtax on individuals with incomes over $10 million and an extra 3 percent surtax on incomes over $25 million, which applies to the richest 0.02 percent of taxpayers. The bill also closes loopholes that some wealthy taxpayers have used to avoid paying the 3.8 percent Medicare tax on their trade or business income.
- Makes critical investments to close the more than $7 trillion projected 10-year tax gap that is largely a product of tax evasion by the wealthy. The bill ensures the wealthy pay the taxes they owe by strengthening the IRS’s ability to audit those with the highest incomes. This investment will not only help build a more equitable tax system but also help close the tax gap and generate savings to pay for historic investments.