Framework Includes Bennet-Championed Child Tax Credit, Forestry and Conservation Investments
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet released the following statement welcoming President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better framework, which includes historic provisions to extend the expanded Child Tax Credit and invest in America’s forests and conservation programs:
“After decades of spending $5.6 trillion on two wars in the Middle East and $5 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest people in America, we finally are on the cusp of making historic, overdue investments in the American people. We will make the Child Tax Credit available to nearly every family in America. We will make a generational investment in our National Forests. We will make an historic step toward meeting our climate goals, even as we recognize there’s more to do.
“With this framework, we’re showing the American people that Washington can work for them. We don’t have to accept childhood poverty as a permanent feature of our economy, and we can show that our democracy can address our greatest challenges from climate change to income inequality. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to get this across the finish line.”
Bennet-backed Colorado priorities in Biden’s framework include:
- Expanded Child Tax Credit: The framework extends for one year the current expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) for more than 35 million American households, with monthly payments for households earning up to $150,000 per year. It makes refundability of the CTC permanent so that the poorest families in America can continue to receive the benefit and will dramatically reduce child poverty in this country. Bennet authored the bill to expand the Child Tax Credit, which Biden signed into law for one year in the American Rescue Plan Act.
- Investing in Forest Restoration, Wildfire Resilience, and Conservation: The framework provides historic forestry and conservation investments to address wildfire risk, protect our watersheds, and improve resilience. As Chair of the Agriculture Committee's subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation, and Climate, these investments were modeled after Bennet’s Outdoor Restoration Partnership Act.
- Clean Energy Tax Credits: The framework includes ten-year expanded tax credits for utility-scale and residential clean energy, transmission and storage, and clean passenger and commercial vehicles, reflecting the Clean Energy for America Act, which Bennet co-sponsored and helped advance through the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Based on provisions Bennet championed, these credits will now be accessible to rural electric cooperatives, public power companies, and tribal governments.
- Investments and Incentives for Clean Energy Technology, Manufacturing, and Supply Chains: The framework includes targeted incentives to spur new domestic supply chains and technologies, like solar, batteries, and advanced materials, while boosting the competitiveness of existing industries, like steel, cement, and aluminum. It includes versions of Bennet’s Onshore Wind American Manufacturing Act which he recently introduced with U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and his Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act which he introduced with U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) – these provisions will boost American wind and solar manufacturing.
- Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credits: The framework extends the expanded Affordable Care Act premium tax credits through 2025, similar to Bennet’s Medicare-X Choice Act. Experts predict that more than 3 million people who would otherwise be uninsured will now gain health insurance.
- Transitioning Communities and Rural Electric Coops: The framework includes critical investments for supporting rural electric coops as they increase their deployment of clean energy. It also includes funding to drive economic development and diversification in rural communities around the country through the Rural Partnerships Program, which offers critical support for communities as the country transitions from fossil fuels.
- Medicaid Coverage for Pregnant and Postpartum Women: The framework requires states to cover full benefits for pregnant and postpartum women for 12 months following pregnancy. Bennet called on leadership to include these provisions with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
- Preventing Profitable Corporations from Paying Nothing in Taxes: The framework includes a 15% corporate minimum tax on large corporations, based on Bennet’s legislation with U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Angus King (I-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
- Earned Income Tax Credit: The framework extends for one year the current expanded Earned Income Tax Credit for childless workers for 17 million low-wage workers. Bennet authored the bill to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit with U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, which Biden signed into law for one year with the American Rescue Plan Act.
- Education Beyond High School and Workforce Development: The framework reduces costs and expand access to education beyond high school by raising the maximum Pell grant by $550, providing $6 billion in institutional aid to support low-income students attending Historically Black Colleges & Universities (“HBCUs”), Hispanic Serving Institutions (“HSIs”), and Tribal Colleges and Universities (“TCUs”), and investing $20 billion in workforce development for adults and youth, including community college workforce programs, sector-based training, and registered apprenticeships, similar to Bennet’s Student Apprenticeship Act.
- Transformative Investment in Children and Caregiving: The framework provides universal and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds and increases the quality of preschool for many more children already enrolled, expanding access to more than 6 million children per year. In addition, it makes the largest investment in child care in the nation’s history. The framework ensures that the vast majority of working American families of four earning less than $300,000 per year will pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care for children under 6. Bennet worked with Senate leadership to help states like Colorado expand access to high-quality, affordable child care to about 20 million children per year – covering 9 out of 10 families across the country with young children.
- Nutritious Meals to Support Healthy Children: To improve child nutrition, the framework includes $10 billion to expand free school meals by allowing nearly 9 million more children to access meals during the school year through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) and provides a $65 per child per month benefit to the families of 29 million children to purchase food during the summer. Bennet worked with Agriculture Committee Chair Stabenow to make sure that the 1 in 6 children in Colorado that lack adequate nutrition have access to healthy meals.
- Immigration: Bennet continues to work with Senate leadership to find a way forward on immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation bill. He continues to lead the Senate effort to bring certainty to the hard-working producers and farmworkers who have sustained the nation.