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Neguse, Bennet laud House passage of Build Back Better, including $555 billion in climate spending

November 19, 2021, 12:17 pm

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse, whose district includes Vail and the eastern third of Eagle County, issued the following press release Friday after the U.S. House voted mostly on party lines to approve the nearly $2 trillion Build Back Better spending package to bolster the nation’s social safety net and its response to manmade climate change:

Joe Neguse

Today, Congressman Joe Neguse, released the following statement after passage of the Build Back Better Act through the House. Neguse, a member of House Leadership, served as a key broker on the deal to pass both Build Back Better and the bipartisan infrastructure bill which the President signed into law earlier this week. The plan includes his proposal to establish a 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps and make a historic investment in America’s forests through funds for wildfires prevention, watershed protection and public lands maintenance, as well as the universal pre-K program that he has fought for since first taking office.  

“Today as we pass the Build Back Better Act through Congress, our vision to launch a 21st Century Climate Conservation Corps and make historic investments in our forests and watersheds is one step closer to becoming a reality,” said Congressman Joe Neguse. “Through these proposals we are delivering billions for wildfire prevention, public land maintenance, climate action and job training programs that will put a new generation to work in our public lands. The Build Back Better Act will also make historic and transformational investments in our Colorado families by cutting taxes for working families and lowering costs on things like health care, childcare and eldercare. As the father of a 3-year-old, I know firsthand what the high cost of childcare means for so many families throughout our nation. With this plan we are delivering universal Pre-K and financial relief to parents throughout the country. We are delivering historic investments in affordable housing, rural broadband and taking meaningful, substantive action to tackle the climate crisis through an expansion of clean energy and electric vehicles. These proposals will have a meaningful impact on the lives of every Coloradan, and it’s critical the Senate complete consideration of this bill immediately and send it to the President’s desk for his signature.”

As the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law earlier this week, Neguse was credited by the White House as a key broker in finalizing the deal, and lauded for his work to address mistrust between the House and Senate over passage of the deal. 

In September, Congressman Neguse met with President Biden, alongside other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and advocated for the Civilian Climate Corps to remain in the final Build Back Better package. In July, Congressman Neguse led a group of over 80 bicameral House and Senate members in calling for their joint vision for a CCC. The Plan that passed today incorporates the standards laid out in this letter to ensure strong labor standards, workforce development and diverse recruitment. Over 30 Colorado mayors and County Commissioners expressed support for Congressman Neguse’s plan earlier this year,and over 45 local, state and national have endorsed the Neguse vision for a CCC. Several forestry organizations in California recently sent a letter to the California delegation in support of Neguse’s plan. 

The Build Back Better Act will: 

  • Establish the Climate Conservation Corps and make a historic investment in America’s forests. The plan includes over $45 billion for Neguse’s Climate Conservation Corps proposal, with $15 billion to support new jobs in our public lands and workforce training opportunities, and another $26 billion to fund forest restoration, watershed protection, wildfire prevention and more; 
  • Make the largest investment to tackle the climate crisis in history, through a $555 billion investment in clean energy, green tax credits and clean vehicles; 
  • Lower child care costs, saving families more than half their current spending on child care and providing universal pre-K for 3 and 4-year-olds;
  • Cut taxes for working families, by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit; 
  • Expand affordable housing through rental assistance, repairing public and assisted housing and increasing investments in HOME and CDBG affordable housing investments;
  • Add hearing coverage under the Medicare program—a priority Congressman Neguse has been advocating for over the last year; and 
  • Provide potential protection to over 7 million Dreamers, TPS recipients and essential workers.

The bill passed by a 220-213 margin, with one Democrat joining every House Republican in opposing the bill. The Colorado House delegation was split 4-3, with every Democrat voting in favor. U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Republican whose district includes the western two-thirds of Eagle County, voted against the legislation, which now has to be passed in the U.S. Senate by a simple majority.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat, issued this statement on Friday:

“It has been a long time since the American people saw the federal government working for them and believed that anything we did in Washington made any difference in their lives. With the Build Back Better Act, along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Americans will finally see themselves in the work we’re pursuing in Washington. 

“The Build Back Better Act will make the largest investment ever to fight climate change and protect America’s forests. It will make child care more affordable and preschool more available to millions of families across Colorado and the country. And it will continue the Child Tax Credit that has supported over 90% of kids in our state. The Senate now has an opportunity to strengthen the bill even further to support working families and grow the economy from the middle out.”

Conservation Colorado issued this statement:

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act. Representatives Jason Crow, Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse, and Ed Perlmutter voted in support.

Conservation Colorado deputy director Jessica Goad released the following statement in response:

“The Build Back Better Act is the transformative climate and environmental justice bill that Coloradans support and that our country needs. It will put the U.S. on the path to cutting our climate pollution in half by 2030 and invest directly in communities of color that are on the front lines of the climate crisis — all while creating millions of good-paying union jobs and saving people money on their energy bills. The U.S. Senate should act quickly to pass the Build Back Better Act and send it to President Biden’s desk. Colorado cannot wait any longer.”​​​

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