EdAction in Congress

EdAction in Congress December 5, 2021

Senate could vote on Build Back Better Act next week

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) would like to bring the Build Back Better Act to the floor the week of Dec. 13. “As soon as the necessary technical and procedural work with the Senate parliamentarian has been completed … the Senate will take up this legislation,” Schumer told reporters during a press conference last week.

“America is at a historic juncture,” NEA said in its most recent letter to Congress about the bill. “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity—a chance for meaningful action on long-ignored challenges—giving all children a strong start in early education, making child care more affordable, expanding affordable health care coverage, and more.”

The House-passed bill includes universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds; takes important steps to make child care and college more affordable; expands access to free school meals; extends the child tax credit that has cut child poverty in half; and provides more resources for educator recruitment and retention, HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions, and the E-Rate program. It would also make the single largest investment in affordable housing in U.S. history; increase access to affordable health coverage; and provide temporary protection and employment authorization for an estimated 7 million undocumented immigrants.

The sooner the Senate takes up the Build Back Better Act, the sooner this landmark bill can start bringing benefits to our students, educators, families, and communities. Failure to act by the end of the year would mean expiration of the expanded Child Tax Credit, which would in turn increase child poverty. The Build Back Better Act extends the credit through the end of 2022 and allows families to receive advance monthly payments of $300 per young child ($250 per older child), with Congress possibly considering a further extension. TAKE ACTION

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