Costa votes to Build Back Better for the future

Nov 19, 2021
Press Release

(WASHINGTON DC) - Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) released the following statement after the House passed the H.R. 5776 -- Build Back Better Act, a once-in-a-generation package of legislation that invests in the livelihoods of the American people: from lowering everyday costs that burden working families, expanding affordable healthcare, creating jobs, and combatting the threats of climate change. 

“The Build Back Better Act makes game-changing investments that benefit the San Joaquin Valley, including funding to help build a medical school, repair our canals, and complete high-speed rail,” Costa said. “This could be the most significant investment in our nation’s middle class for generations. This historic bill creates more equitable opportunity in the day-to-day lives of Americans -- it’s a win for California, the San Joaquin Valley, and our nation.”

The Build Back Better Act includes the following priorities, taken from legislation introduced by Rep. Costa:

  • $500 million for medical education in underserved areas, which would benefit UCSF-Fresno and UC Merced in the construction of a distributive model medical school in the Valley.

  • $50 million for canals and solar-canal projects, which would benefit California’s deteriorating water conveyance system while also investing in clean energy to address climate change.

  • $10 billion for high-speed rail, which would work toward the completion of California’s construction in the Valley.

In addition, Rep. Costa was instrumental in ensuring family-owned farmers and small businesses were not negatively impacted by the Build Back Better Act by successfully working to remove changes to the stepped-up basis, estate tax, and 1031 like-kind real estate exchanges. Californians will also benefit from changes to the SALT tax.

The Build Back Better Act lowers costs and fights inflation because it is fully paid for by making big corporations and wealthy Americans pay their fair share. No one making under $400,000 will pay a penny more in taxes.

The Build Back Better plan also does the following:

Expands Access to Quality Healthcare

  • Creates 4,000 new Medicare-supported graduate medical education (GME) slots in 2025 and 2026. This will increase the number of healthcare professionals in communities like Fresno that need them most.

  • $500 million in funding for schools of nursing in underserved areas, such as the San Joaquin Valley.

  • $500 million for the Nurse Corps, which offers nursing students financial assistance in exchange for committing to work in areas with a critical shortage of nurses.

  • Closes the coverage gap in the Affordable Care Act to allow up to 4 million uninsured Americans to get coverage.

  • Provides 12 months of continuous Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility to postpartum women, and children already enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.

  • Expands access to home- and community-based care, including raising wages of caregiving jobs.

  • Lowers prescription drug costs, insulin prices will be capped at $35 per month and imposes tax penalties if drug companies increase their prices faster than inflation.

  • Creates a new, out-of-pocket cap in Medicare on prescription drug costs at $2,000


Invests in Families and the Middle Class

  • Makes the Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanently refundable.

  • Extends for one year the Child Tax Credit (CTC) with payments of $300/month per child under 6 or $250/month per child ages 6 to 17.

  • Provides access to childcare to over 2.2 million young children in California per year, while ensuring families pay no more than 7% of their income on high-quality childcare.

  • Expands rental assistance, supplies housing construction, and rehabilitates nearly 1 million affordable housing units nationwide.

  • Expands up to four weeks of paid leave for new parents, workers dealing with serious medical conditions, and workers who need to care for a loved one with a serious medical issue.


Improves Access to Education

  • Provides universal, high-quality, free preschool for every three- and four-year-old in America.

  • Invests $10 billion in proven child nutrition that will bolster the fight against child hunger. 

  • Invests in training programs that will prepare workers for high-quality jobs in public health, childcare, manufacturing, IT, and clean energy.

  • Increases Pell Grant awards by $550 and supports Hispanic serving institutions like Fresno State, UC Merced, Merced College & Fresno Pacific University.

  • Provides an additional $300 million to the Emergency Connectivity Fund to ensure students, school staff, and library patrons have devices to connect to the internet remotely.


Invests in Agriculture and Water

  • $28 billion to expand environmental incentives, and promote conservation efforts.   

  • $12 billion in debt relief and loan modification for farmers in need.

  • $2 billion in agricultural research to advance the American food and agriculture system.

  • $1 billion in investment for the new Rural Partnership Program, grant funding for rural communities to support job growth.

  • $600 million to the Maritime Administration to support more sustainable port infrastructure and supply chain resilience.


Combats Climate Change

  • $26.95 billion in forestry programs to ensure public and private lands can combat wildfires and extreme weather conditions.

  • Creates a new Civilian Climate Corps to help conserve our public lands, bolster community resilience, and address climate change.

  • Invests $1 billion in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure.

  • Invests $5 billion in replacing certain heavy-duty vehicles, such as refuse trucks and school buses, with zero emissions vehicles through a new grant program at the EPA.

  • Invests $5 billion through Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for states, municipalities, and Indian Tribes to develop and implement plans to reduce climate pollution.


Fixes Our Broken Immigration System

  • Provides temporary protections and work permits for 7 million undocumented individuals, including Dreamers, Temporary Protection Status (TPS) holders, essential workers, and 1 million farmworkers.

  • Individuals must pass a background check and have lived-worked in the U.S. for more than 10 years.  

 A fact sheet of the Build Back Better Act can be found here.

A fact sheet of the Build Back Better Act investments in California can be found here.