BUIILD BACK BETTER
President’s Biden Build Back Better Agenda provides Latino communities with historic opportunities to achieve critical progressive social and economic goals we have been fighting to win for years. The initiatives contained in the agenda includes proposals that will lift millions of Latino kids out of poverty, provide loved ones with health and home-based care they need and deserve, and ensure that Latino parents have access to quality and affordable childcare. It also provides young children and young adults with equitable educational opportunities, citizenship opportunities for our hardworking immigrant families, and millions of green jobs for building clean energy, housing, and clean water. If passed by Congress, the proposals in the Build Back Better Agenda can change the trajectory of this country and the lives of millions of Latinos – but only if we collectively work together.
The Latinos for a Better Future coalition is dedicated to working to ensure passage of the Build Back Better agenda and to ensure inclusion of key priorities impacting Latino communities in the states and Puerto Rico. We focus on the opportunities presented by Build Back Better and the proposed Infrastructure Bill, as well as strategies for implementation that clearly prioritize Latino workers, businesses, families, and communities – including our immigrant communities.
As Coalition members, it is our duty to ensure that the provisions in Build Back Better do not exclude or negate the needs of Latinos residing in the mainland and Puerto Rico. While the provisions create important and clear benefits, our work is to ensure that Build Back better is fully responsive to our community and provides equitable access and benefit to all Latinos, including immigrant families.
Lower Prescription Drug Costs
Americans pay 2-3 times more for their prescription drugs than people in other wealthy countries, contributing to the fact that Latino individuals use 10 to 40 percent fewer medications than their White counterparts for the same illnesses. The plan will lower prescription drug costs for Americans by letting Medicare negotiate drug prices, so consumers are no longer at the whim of pharmaceutical companies.
Lower Child Care Costs
Four out of 10 three- and four-year-old Hispanic children are not enrolled in preschool or kindergarten programs. The plan will lower childcare costs and makes universal preschool a reality, providing parents access to high-quality programs in the setting of their choice. The Build Back Better Agenda would also institute 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, to help improve the health of new mothers and reduce wage loss.
Lower Health Care Costs
Nearly 10.9 million Hispanic people were uninsured in 2019 as coverage under the Affordable Care Act (even with the ACA’s premium subsidies) was too expensive for families, and 1.3 million people of color were locked out of coverage because their state refused to expand Medicaid. President Biden’s plan lowers health care costs for those buying coverage through the ACA by extending the American Rescue Plan’s cost savings, which helps 730,000 Latino people save an average of $50 per person per month and allowing 580,000 uninsured Latinos to gain coverage. The plan also adds dental, vision, and hearing coverage for the more than five million Hispanic people on Medicare and closes the Medicaid gap for low-income Americans.
Lower Higher Education Costs
Higher education is increasingly important to succeed in the 21st century economy, even as it has become unaffordable for too many families. The Build Back Better Agenda would provide two years of free community college—boosting the earnings of low-wage high school graduates by nearly $6,000 per year. The plan also increases the maximum Pell Grant award by nearly $1,500 and invests billions in subsidized tuition for low- and middle-income students at minority-serving institutions. The plan also invests in evidence-based strategies to strengthen completion and retention rates at institutions that serve high numbers of low-income students, particularly community colleges.
Lower Housing Costs
More than 55% of Latino renters pay over 30% of their income in rent. The Plan’s investments help lower housing costs and increase the supply of affordable housing through tax credits and government financing, including constructing and rehabilitating more than one million sustainable rental housing units and more than 500,000 homes working families can afford. It will also make investments to preserve existing public housing as well as remove lead-based paint from housing units.
Tax Cuts for Families with Children
21.2 percent of Hispanic people fall below the poverty line, struggling to pay expenses like food, rent, health care and transportation for their families. President Biden’s plan will extend the Child Tax Credit expansion in the American Rescue Plan, lowering taxes for middle class families by providing the families of more than 66 million kids and nearly 4.5 million Hispanic people in the U.S. a major tax cut – cutting the Hispanic poverty rate on the US mainland by 39 percent. This is especially critical for the 85% of Latino women who are either sole or joint-breadwinners for their families.
Tax Cuts for Workers Without Children
The agenda permanently extends the American Rescue Plan’s increase to the Earned-Income Tax Credit from $543 to $1,502. This will benefit roughly 17 million low-wage workers on the US mainland, including cashiers, cooks, delivery drivers, food preparation workers, and childcare providers.
The U.S. has chronically underinvested in workforce development, and millions of jobs have been going unfilled in growing sectors such as construction and health care. Through high-quality career and technical education pathways and Registered Apprenticeships, the Build Back Better Agenda will invest in training programs that will prepare millions of American workers for high-quality jobs in growing sectors. .
Clean Energy Jobs
To position the U.S. to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice, the plan would create good-paying, union jobs, establish an energy efficiency and clean energy standard, expand, and extend clean energy and electric vehicle tax credits, and enlist a new Civilian Climate Corps. As part of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, the Build Back Better Agenda would also restore American manufacturing with R&D investments—including critical investments to compete on clean energy.
Investments in Teachers and Schools
Schools face an estimated teacher shortage of 100,000, undermining the education of our children and students of color. Only 9 percent of our nation’s public school teachers are Hispanic, even though Hispanic students make up 27 percent of all public elementary and secondary students. The agenda will advance educational equity by upgrading school infrastructure, addressing teacher shortages, and improving teacher preparation, increasing the diversity of the teacher pipeline, and expanding free school meals to an additional 9.3 million children during the school year and helping families purchase food during the summer.
Click below to read about the President’s Full Build Back Better Agenda: