November 23, 2021

House Passes Build Back Better Legislation
After months of wrangling, the House finally passed a key piece of President Biden’s domestic agenda, the sweeping $1.7 trillion Build Back Better spending bill. The bill is the most substantial reformation of the social safety net in decades. In her speech on the House floor prior to the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said this: “Much has been said on this Floor. But the facts are these: following the vision of President Biden, guided by the expertise and energy of our Chairs, Members and staff, we have a Build Back Better bill that is historic, transformative and larger than anything we have ever done before. We are Building Back Better. With the passage of the Build Back Better Act, we, this Democratic Congress, are taking our place in the long and honorable heritage of our democracy with legislation that will be the pillar of health and financial security in America.”
The bill passed narrowly along party lines at 220 to 213. All but one Democrat, Representative Jared Golden, voted in favor of the package, with all Republicans voting no. Rep. Golden voted no signaling opposition to a provision to raise the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes. Some of the major provisions in the bill include historic investments in fighting climate change, lower prescription drug prices, expand Medicare coverage, provide universal pre-kindergarten and increase affordable housing.
Biden Administration Deploys American Rescue Plan Funds to Protect Americans from Rising Home Heating Costs; Calls on Utility Companies to Prevent Shut Offs This Winter
The Biden administration called on states, localities and tribes to plan early and coordinate across programs to effectively use historic American Rescue Plan resources to address home energy costs this winter. The White House also called on utility companies that receive public dollars to prevent devastating utility shut-offs this winter and help expedite the delivery of unprecedented federal aid.
The White House sent invitations for a call with representatives from governors' offices to discuss ways to distribute the funds and coordinate across programs. Speakers on the call included White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and governors of Connecticut, Maine, Michigan and Minnesota.