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Chairman Yarmuth’s Floor Remarks in Support of the Build Back Better Act

Nov 18, 2021

Washington, D.C.— Today, Kentucky Representative John Yarmuth, Chair of the House Budget Committee, delivered remarks on the House Floor in support of the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). Remarks as prepared are below: 

M. Speaker, The bill before us today marks a triumph for our nation. After months of negotiations within our caucus, our committees, with our colleagues in the Senate, and with the White House, I am proud to present the most consequential legislation for American families since the New Deal.

The Build Back Better Act makes historic investments over 10 years to overhaul and reimagine entire sectors of our economy and society so that everyone – not just those at the top – will benefit from a growing economy. This bill delivers the most transformative investment in children and caregiving in generations; the largest effort to combat climate change in American history; the biggest expansion of affordable health coverage in a decade; the most significant effort to bring down costs and strengthen the middle class in generations; investments and key reforms to make our tax system more equitable – and more.

To be clear:

If we were only making the largest investment in child care in the nation’s history, saving most working American families more than half of their spending on child care, that would be a major victory for the American people.

If we were only guaranteeing universal pre-school for all three-and four-year olds, the first expansion of basic public education in our country in 100 years, that would be a major victory for the American people.

If we were only making our nation’s largest investment ever to combat the climate crisis, that would be a major victory for the American people.

If we were only capping annual out-of-pocket prescription drug costs under Medicare at $2,000, saving more than a million seniors an average of $1,200 a year, that would be a major victory for the American people.

If we were only expanding the Affordable Care Act so that those who have been locked out of Medicaid can get good coverage, and then requiring all insurance companies to provide insulin for no more than $35 a month, that would be a major victory for the American people.

If we were only making the single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing in U.S. history, that would be a major victory for the American people.

If we were only providing one of the largest middle class tax cuts in our nation’s history that would be a major victory for the American people.

But in this bill, in the Build Back Better Act, we don’t just do one of those. We do all of them.

Each of these investments on its own will make an extraordinary impact in lives of American families. Together, they will be transformational.

And here’s the kicker. Because our tax system has been so unjust, so tilted to benefit the well-off and the well-connected, we can pay for all this by simply making our tax code more fair.

It’s a hell of a deal.  It’s why Nobel Prize-winning economists and other experts back this paid for and pro-growth agenda, citing how it will make our tax system more equitable, ease longer-term inflationary pressures, and help American families build a much stronger future.

That’s what governing should be about. It’s not a game. We aren’t elected to make a scene. We are elected to make a difference… and to make the lives of the people we serve better. 

Enacting this legislation will be a momentous achievement for Congress, but more importantly, it will change lives. Save lives. And deliver on the promise of the American Dream for generations to come.

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