This morning, after months of negotiation, the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives advanced the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). The Maine Democratic Party celebrates the inclusion of policy provisions that will bring down the costs of child care, preschool, higher education, housing, and health care for working families; combat the climate crisis; and keep our economic recovery going.
“Build Back Better will remove barriers that have held back Maine families for decades. Expanding the Child Tax Credit and lowering costs for child care will strengthen our state’s economy by allowing Maine parents to get back to work. Lowering the cost of higher education, expanding successful job training programs, and reducing carbon pollution will, in turn, ensure a brighter future for our children,” said Drew Gattine, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “We are excited to see this bill move forward to the Senate and hope that the final legislation will be the strongest version possible.”
As currently drafted, Build Back Better includes language that will bring the following benefits to Maine:
- Lower Taxes for Working Families: This bill will extend the expanded Child Tax Credit up to $300 per month per child and provide a tax cut of up to $1,500 for 85,000+ workers in Maine by extending the American Rescue Plan’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expansion.
- Lower Child Care Costs: This legislation will provide access to child care for 70,000+ young Maine children per year from families who earn under 2.5 times the median income, ensuring these families pay no more than 7% of their income on high-quality child care. It will also expand access to free, high-quality preschool to 16,000+ additional Maine children annually and will increase the quality of preschool for those who are already enrolled.
- Affordable Higher Education: The average cost of higher education in Maine strains many student budgets. To help unlock the opportunities of an education beyond high school, the current language will increase maximum Pell Grant awards by $550 for students at public and private non-profit institutions, supporting the 18,000+ students in Maine who rely on Pell.
- Workforce Development: The bill will invest in training programs that will prepare Maine’s workers for high-quality jobs in fast-growing sectors like public health, child care, manufacturing, IT, and clean energy. Maine’s community colleges will have the opportunity to benefit from grants to develop and deliver innovative training programs and expand successful ones.
- Reduced Carbon Pollution & Investments in Green Jobs: This bill will cut pollution, reduce energy costs, create good-paying jobs with a transformational investment to ensure America leads the clean energy economy.