Last week, the UFCW applauded the new Build Back Better legislative framework for the historic investment it would make in American workers and families.
“Today’s new Build Back Better framework sends a clear message that this White House is committed to investing in America’s essential workers and their families,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “Frontline workers in grocery stores and meatpacking plants have faced some of the highest COVID risks throughout the pandemic as they stepped up to keep our food supply chain strong when we needed it most. This plan honors the incredible sacrifices and service of these workers and their families.”
Key provisions of the legislative framework include:
• Expanded Child Tax Credit: Extend for one year the current expanded Child Tax Credit for more than 35 million American households, with monthly payments for households earning up to $150,000 per year. Make refundability of the Child Tax Credit permanent.
• Universal Preschool for all 3- and 4-year Olds: Expand access to free high-quality preschool for more than 6 million children. This is a long-term program, with funding for six years.
• Affordable High Quality Child Care: Limit child care costs for families to no more than 7% of income, for families earning up to 250% of state median income. It enables states to expand access to about 20 million children. Parents must be working, seeking work, in training or taking care of a serious health issue. This is a long-term program, with funding for six years.
• Affordable, High-Quality Care for Hundreds of Thousands of Older Americans and People with Disabilities in Their Homes and Communities: Strengthening an existing program through Medicaid and ending the existing backlog and improving working conditions for home care workers
• Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credits: Extend the expanded Affordable Care Act premium tax credits through 2025. Experts predict that more than 3 million people who would otherwise be uninsured will gain health insurance. Also make Affordable Care Act premium tax credits available through 2025 to 4 million uninsured people in uncovered states.
• Housing: $150 billion investment in housing affordability and reducing price pressures, including in rural areas. Funds go towards building more than 1 million new affordable rental and single-family homes, rental and down payment assistance, and public housing.
• Education Beyond High School and Workforce Development: Reduce costs and expand access to education beyond high school by raising the maximum Pell grant, providing support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (“HBCUs”), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Minority Serving Institutions (“MSIs”), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (“TCUs”), and investing in workforce development, including community college workforce programs, sector-based training, and apprenticeships.
• Earned Income Tax Credit for 17 Million Low-Wage Workers: Extend for one year the current expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers.
“With action to make child care more affordable, expand health coverage, and increase access to education and training for good jobs, this Build Back Better framework is putting money back in the pockets of hard-working Americans and finally making sure that corporations pay their fair share,” Perrone added. “America’s middle class was built by unions and the hard-working men and women who have been keeping our country strong throughout the pandemic. This Build Back Better framework is delivering on President Biden’s promise to invest in American workers and families. As our nation’s largest union for food and retail workers, the UFCW is urging Congress to quickly pass this essential bill so that millions of workers and families can get the critical support they need.”