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Pallone on House Passage of the Build Back Better Act

November 19, 2021
Press Release
The bill lowers prescription drug costs, permanently bans offshore drilling, and funds the World Trade Center Health Program

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) released the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act:

“Today, the House passed once-in-a-generation legislation that invests in the American people, responds to the great challenges of our time, and builds a better future for generations to come. 

“I’m pleased this historic bill invests in my home state of New Jersey. The Build Back Better Act provides robust investments for coastal states like New Jersey to tackle the climate crisis and accelerate our transition to a clean economy. I’m proud the bill includes my proposal for a permanent ban on offshore drilling along the Atlantic Coast, because there’s no logical reason to put our coastal communities along the Jersey Shore at risk with unnecessary and dangerous drilling. The bill’s $6 billion investment in coastal resiliency – modeled after my Living Shorelines Act – will help effectively mitigate future flooding while benefiting local economies.

“The bill also renews our commitment to never forget the sacrifices first responders made on September 11, 2001 by ensuring that the World Trade Center health program is fully funded and can continue to provide medical treatment and monitoring.

“At a time when American families are struggling to make ends meet, the Build Back Better Act builds on our efforts to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans, including millions unfairly caught in the Medicaid coverage gap. 

“It also makes prescription drugs more affordable by finally giving Medicare the ability to negotiate lower drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies. Seniors will also pay no more than $2,000 a year in out-of-pocket costs for their drugs, and the legislation penalizes Big Pharma companies that unfairly raise prices.  

“We expand health care access for children, mothers, and seniors by permanently reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, improving maternal health care, and providing, for the first time, comprehensive hearing benefits under Medicare Part B. The legislation also makes a historic commitment to home- and community-based care so seniors and people with disabilities can get the care they need in their homes.

“The Build Back Better Act also aggressively tackles the worsening climate crisis. It makes historic investments to move us toward a clean energy economy while also producing millions of good paying American jobs. 

“The new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will accelerate innovation in low- and zero-emission technologies, while also prioritizing the needs of environmental justice communities.  Rebates for homeowners to electrify and make their houses more efficient will save them money and reduce emissions. Investments in a 21st century electric grid will get more renewable energy online. 

“The legislation will also drive down pollution from the oil and gas industry through a new Methane Emissions Reduction Program. Substantial investments in electric vehicle charging stations and clean heavy-duty vehicles like school buses, will serve the dual purpose of slashing our carbon emissions while helping American manufacturing stay globally competitive. We simply cannot wait any longer to combat the climate crisis – bold action is needed now.

“The Build Back Better Act will provide significant financial relief to American families well into the future while also creating millions of good paying American jobs as we transition to a clean energy economy. I’m thrilled we are one step closer to seeing this legislation signed into law.” 

Specifically, the Build Back Better Act will deliver for New Jersey with:

  • $6 billion investment in coastal resiliency to combat the effects of rising sea level rise and major flooding events.
  • A permanent ban on new offshore drilling along the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, and Eastern Gulf of Mexico that Rep. Pallone has been fighting to pass for decades.
  • $555 billion over 10 years in clean energy and climate investments.
  • An additional $10 billion for the full replace of lead services lines in drinking systems throughout the country. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill included an initial $15 billion.
  • $2.86 billion in funding for the World Trade Center Health Program to ensure that the program can continue to fulfill the commitment to provide medical treatment and monitoring to more than 110,000 9/11 responders and survivors.
  • An increase on the deduction cap for state and local taxes from $10,000 to $80,000 to ensure that states are not punished for funding schools, public transit, emergency services, and other critical government operations.

The Build Back Better Act also delivers critical investments in American families, students, and children by:

  • Providing free, high-quality, universal preschool for three- and four-year-olds so that children can live happier, healthier, and more productive lives and dramatically lowering the cost of child care for hardworking families.
  • Establishing a universal and permanent family and medical leave program with four weeks of paid parental, family caregiving, and medical leave.
  • Extending the enhanced Child Tax Credit for eligible families that was included in the American Rescue Plan for one year through the end of 2022.

Click HERE for a fact sheet on key provisions in the Build Back Better Act that came out of Pallone’s Energy and Commerce Committee. Click HERE for an overall summary of the bill.