Build Back Better Act (Reconciliation)
Immediate Action Needed
Action Needed: Advocates are urged to contact their Members of Congress immediately to support the House Build Back Better Act, a historic investment in anti-poverty programs. It is critically important to reiterate the impact these provisions will have on children and families in the Member’s District/State. House and Senate champions must stay strong in protecting the overall package, especially anti-hunger and anti-poverty provisions. Members of Congress who are demanding a reduction in the size of the package must be held accountable and warned of the harmful consequences to the health and welfare of constituents back home. Stay tuned on FRAC’s Action page.
Child Nutrition Provisions: On September 10, the House Education and Labor Committee voted out its portion of the Build Back Better Act, adding nearly $35 billion in additional Child Nutrition Programs funding.
The child nutrition provisions in the Build Back Better Act, outlined below, would ensure children have access to the nutrition they need year-round during and after the impacts from the pandemic:
- Expand the number of schools that would be able to offer free meals to all students through the Community Eligibility Provision.
- Give states the option to implement the Community Eligibility Provision statewide.
- Allow all states to conduct Medicaid direct certification.
- Extend Summer EBT nationwide for students who receive free or reduced-price school meals
- Provide $500 million for school kitchen equipment grants.
- Provide $634 million for a Healthy School Meal Incentives demonstration project.
Additional Anti-Poverty Provisions: The House Ways and Means Committee extended the American Rescue Plan’s Child Tax Credit (CTC) one-year expansion, and notably, allows immigrant children with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to qualify for the CTC again. The House Committee on Financial Services invested $90 billion for new rental assistance vouchers, $80 billion to preserve public housing, and $37 billion in the National Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve homes affordable to people with the lowest incomes. The Build Back Better Act includes other critical anti-poverty investments, such as paid family and medical leave, expanded access to health care coverage, and affordable child care.
Next Steps: As other House committees mark up their portion of the bill, deliberations on the overall reconciliation package continue with House and Senate Democratic leadership and Administration officials. Advocates are deeply concerned that efforts to reduce the overall size and scope of the reconciliation package could severely reduce the effectiveness and impact of the nutrition and anti-poverty provisions.