Chairman Yarmuth Opening Statement at Virtual Markup of the Build Back Better Act
Washington, D.C. — Today, Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, gave the following opening statement during the House Budget Committee’s virtual markup of the Build Back Better Act, A bill to provide for reconciliation pursuant to title II of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2022, S. Con. Res. 14.
The Budget Committee released legislative text for the Build Back Better Act and a report underscoring the need for these transformative investments to meet the needs of the American people and address longstanding deficits in our communities.
Chairman Yarmuth’s remarks, as prepared, are below:
I want to start by thanking the Members and staff of this Committee, our colleagues in the Senate, Leadership, and the White House who have worked together on this legislation. I particularly want to thank the 13 Committees of jurisdiction who, collectively, spent more than 165 hours marking-up this reconciliation package and debating more than 850 amendments. The intensity of their work is commendable, but it also reflects the intensity and urgency of the challenges we face as a nation.
Decades of disinvestment in our nation and the American people have resulted in serious deficits in our society, spanning nearly every sector: from child care to the climate crisis, education to energy, housing to health care. And the ongoing COVID pandemic and economic fallout have only exacerbated these crises. We are at an inflection point for our nation. The futures of millions of Americans and their families are at stake. They can no longer afford the costs of neglect and inaction — the time to act is now.
That is why we are here today. The Build Back Better Act meets the immediate and long-term needs of the American people while addressing glaring gaps in our economy and society.
These long-overdue investments will ensure our economy works for all Americans, and will deliver the largest tax cut for the middle class in history. The bill will extend the expanded Child Tax Credit while making sure the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share.
Its investments in child care, health care, higher education, universal pre-K, housing, and more will lower costs and expand opportunities for working families. And it will create millions of jobs for American workers.
This reconciliation package provides resources at the scale needed to finally tackle the climate crisis, strengthen our resilience, and protect our communities. It will position the United States as a global leader in innovation and clean energy.
Each of these investments on its own would make a powerful impact and better the lives of working families. Together, they are transformational.
That’s why the American people — Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — overwhelmingly support these investments.
And it’s also why 15 Nobel Prize-winning economists and other experts back this pro-growth agenda. They cite how this plan will make our tax system more equitable, ease longer-term inflationary pressures, and help more Americans participate in the economy.
Our nation, our economy, and our constituents cannot afford to wait any longer for these investments. The time is now to Build Back Better.
As far as the process for today, the role of the Budget Committee is straight forward — to combine the reported text from individual Committees into one reconciliation package and report it out. The bill cannot be amended during this mark-up, however motions to instruct may be offered and debated. With that, I yield to the Ranking Member for his opening statement.
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