December 9, 2021

Build Back Better

By Glenn

President Joe Biden won the 2020 election by promising that America would Build Back Better.  Slowly, the Democratic Congress has been fulfilling that promise.

A big step occurred last month.  Democrats crafted a bi-partisan infrastructure bill.  It included $110 billion for building, repairing, and replacing roads, bridges and bicycle paths.

The infrastructure bill also included the expansion of broadband, or high speed internet, services.  This funding is especially important to rural areas. 

Private companies don’t want to pay the upfront costs of running cable to low density populations.  Few customers mean investors would have to wait years for a return on investment.  This reality has left rural American behind.

Biden, however, followed the approach used by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the New Deal.  FDR did not wait for the private sector to deliver electricity or telephone services.  The Federal government paid for the lines and reaped the rewards as rural areas grew.

Private companies are already bidding for these infrastructure projects.  When they start the work, millions of Americans will have a steady paycheck.

The second half of the Build Back Better Plan is still being negotiated in Washington.  On November 19, Democrats in the House, without a single Republican vote, approved their version of the plan.

The House Democratic Bill significantly improves the financial position of millions of Americans.  For example, it increased the Federal subsidies for individuals and families to buy private health insurance. 

It also made Health Insurance more affordable in states like Texas.  Texas Republicans had blocked federal dollars to expand Medicare.  If the Senate agrees with the House plan, individuals can bypass the Republican road block and get help directly when buying insurance.

The House Build Back Better bill makes child tax credits permanent.  During the Covid 19 pandemic, Democrats gave families with children a monthly $300 credit.  House Democrats know it is expensive to raise children and want this tax credit extended past January.

Another substantial improvement for Texas families would be the creation of a preschool program.  Many parents struggle to work and pay for childcare.  This provision would expand preschool programs in public schools, community-based programs, and Head Start programs.

Now, we have to wait on the Senate to act.  Every Republican is opposing the Build Back Better program.  Two conservative Democrats are hesitant, but they have been negotiating the final bill.  Once the Build Back Better bill passes both Houses of Congress, President Biden will deliver a big win for American families.

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