Build Back Better

“Build Back Better”

Recovery Legislation Resources

This webpage serves as a central repository for advocates engaged in the recovery debate or who want to find ways get involved. This is likely our one shot in this Congress to pass transformational policies that help address racial disparities in health, housing, and income. This opportunity may not come again for years, if not decades.

What Is The Recovery Debate?

The recovery debate refers to the economic recovery legislation that policymakers will consider this year (also referred as Build Back Better). This process started with President Biden laying out his priorities in the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. Now it’s up to Congress to write and pass legislation.

Congress must take this opportunity to help ensure everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, or immigration status, has the things they need to prosper and thrive:

  • Security and health, through access to affordable health coverage and housing
  • The support workers with low-paying jobs or few prospects need to get by and get ahead
  • Help for parents and families so that all children can reach their full potential.
  • Investments paid for by making corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share of federal taxes – just like everyday families

How Will This Legislation Move Forward?

Economic recovery legislation will move forward via a reconciliation package. This means the package will require a simple majority to pass (which can be reached with all 50 Senate Democrats plus Vice President Harris as a tie-breaking vote).

To begin the reconciliation process, Congress must pass a new budget resolution, which they did in August. A budget resolution is not law. It’s a blueprint outlining a list of priorities, with very topline information. In this case, the budget resolution is an indicator of Democrats’ and President Biden’s top policy goals. While it is not binding, it does provide us a strong accountability tool to hold members of Congress – particularly Democrats – responsible for delivering on those goals in reconciliation legislation.

Want to learn more about the reconciliation process?

  • Graphic from the Congressional Research Service (taken from this report):

State by State Impact of Build Back Better Plan

As the intense negotiations move forward in the next few days, it is critical that you push your delegation to ensure the final Build Back Better (BBB) package includes your top priorities – all of which are proven effective policies to increase opportunity and reduce racial and economic disparity. Use these state-by-state numbers to make the case for these policies priorities in your state.

  • Child Tax Credit (CTC)-
    • Benefits for children in your state from making the full CTC permanently available to children in families with the lowest incomes, broken down by various racial and ethnic categories (Table 1)
    • State one-pagers from the National Immigration Law Center and the Children Thrive Action Network on how children in immigrant families would be impacted.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)- Benefits for working adults without children in your state from permanently extending the EITC expansion, broken down by race and ethnicity (Table 2)
  • Medicaid Coverage Gap and Health Premium Tax Credits-
    • Table 1 of CBPP’s report shows the number of people who would gain coverage in your state and the percent decline in non-elderly uninsured if these health insurance provisions in the Build Back Better plan were enacted
    • Data on the impact of reductions in marketplace premiums (which would be extended under Build Back Better) for older people in your state above 400% of poverty,(Table 1)
    • State factsheets about the Medicaid coverage gap in non-expansion states to make the urgent case for closing the gap by recovery legislation.
  • RevenuesState by state breakdown of how few individuals would face tax increases under the House Ways and Means Committee bill’s tax provisions to pay for Build Back Better
  • Housing Vouchers- Breakdown of households and people that would be helped by the voucher expansion under Build Back Better (Table 1).
  • Child Nutrition- Breakdown of children eligible for Pandemic EBT benefits in your state (Table 5), which would be extended under Build Back Better to help families afford groceries in the summer
  • Paid Leave- State by state data by the Women Effect Action Fund and Time’s Up Now for certain states.
  • Child CareTable 1 shows the potential weekly child care savings for a family in each state at 135 percent of the state medium income under Build Back Better

Resources to Support Your Efforts

  • Federal Scoop Newsletter – Keep up to date with the latest developments in Congress by checking out the “Latest Updates” section on our website
    • If you haven’t already, make sure you are subscribed to the newsletter to receive these updates directly in your inbox!
  • Issue by Issue Overview – Check out CBPP’s landing page that includes analyses of top priorities Congress should include in recovery legislation.
  • Talking Points designed to help you craft messages to your members of Congress, such as memos, sign-on letters, or meetings with them or their staff
  • Messaging document to help you craft public-facing messages and respond to common attacks on Build Back Better
  • Messaging Guide: Funding Our Future by Raising Federal Taxes on the Wealthy and Corporations – Includes topline messages for raising revenue from the wealthy and corporations, narrative guidance, sample language about state-specific benefits of raising revenue, and responses to the common pushback about the “economic benefits” of low taxes.
  • Americans for Tax Fairness resources – national poll on President Biden’s tax planscompilation of other polling on tax issues, and letter to the editor toolkit
  • Housing Vouchers Toolkit – This toolkit includes talking points on housing vouchers and suggested activities to build support for expanding housing vouchers
  • The Urgent Need for Unemployment Insurance Reform – one-pager explaining the permanent unemployment insurance reforms needed in recovery legislation
  • Social media graphics on how recovery legislation can advance racial equity
  • Child Tax Credit Outreach Resources – One recovery priority is extending the temporary Child Tax Credit expansions in the American Rescue Plan. Outreach to help people claim their CTC payments will help make this policy a success, which makes a huge difference for individual families and strengthens the case to extend these temporary provisions so families don’t lose out on this benefit. This resource page includes FAQs; guides to the IRS Non-filer form and Child Tax Credit Update Portal; an outreach toolkit with messaging, outreach materials, social media posts, and templates; and a separate toolkit highlighting immigrant eligibility for the Child Tax Credit and Economic Impact Payments that is translated into five languages. 

Highlight of Amazing Work Happening

  • News story citing West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy on what BBB would mean for West Virginia
  • More than 400 economists argue in this letter that a permanent expansion of the Child Tax Credit will have tremendous benefits for kids and their families
  • 17 Nobel Prize-winning economists wrote in support of the Build Back Better agenda
  • Colorado Fiscal Institute op-ed on how the climate and tax policies in BBB would be good for Coloradans
  • Michigan League for Public Policy  and Michigan Community Action op-ed on how BBB offers an opportunity to invest in long-term solutions that will make a real and lasting difference for Michigan workers and families
  • Op-ed in Arizona by a local mom sharing how her family benefits from the monthly Child Tax Credit checks
  • Ohio Association of Foodbanks letter to the editor on why Congress should pass recovery legislation that makes permanent investment in relief programs that have helped Ohioans
  • Maine Equal Justice Partners story collection survey to capture Mainers’ experience with the Child Tax Credit
  • Paid Leave Works for West Virginia “fast facts” infographic
  • Hawaii Appleseed op-ed: “Invest In Human Infrastructure, Not Just Roads And Bridges