MECEP statement on House passage of Build Back Better

With the House poised to take a vote on the Build Back Better legislation, we are one step closer to delivering policy advances that will help families meet everyday challenges like paying rent and putting food on the table, affording child care and preschool, securing health coverage, and paying for college. The Maine Center for Economic Policy applauds Representative Pingree for supporting this historic step forward in delivering solutions to real problems Maine workers and families face, from paying for child care to affording basic household expenses.

It’s time for Congress to get this bill over the finish line.

By extending the increase in the Child Tax Credit amount through 2022 and permanently ensuring that the full tax credit is available to children in families with the lowest incomes, this legislation will significantly reduce child poverty, especially among Black and Latino children and children in rural communities. In Maine, 213,000 Maine kids benefit from this expanded program.

“It’s helped us through several difficult times in our lives,” said Beth from New Gloucester. “Made the difference between whether we were going to feed our family and save our house or end up on the streets.”

The House version of the bill also includes a paid leave program, a critical support that would enable workers — particularly low-paid workers, women, and workers of color — to take paid time off from work to care for a new child or an ill loved one or to attend to their own health issue. We hope the Senate will protect the House-passed paid family and medical leave program and limit the state and local tax deduction.

This recovery legislation takes significant steps toward creating a more equitable, healthy and bright future for our communities, with investments in child hunger reduction, affordable housing, child care access and affordability, home care for seniors and people with disabilities, universal pre-K and college affordability.

Build Back Better includes international tax haven reform, minimum corporate profits tax and surcharge on ultra-high incomes. While an increase to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction will predominately benefit people with wealth, on the whole Build Back Better is paid for by one of the most progressive tax packages considered by Congress in decades.

While we acknowledge and appreciate Representative Golden for standing up for tax fairness, we must move forward with this once in a lifetime opportunity to change the lives of Mainers for generations.

It’s time for our congressional delegation to deliver for the people of Maine and move swiftly to pass Build Back Better.