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Neal Remarks Kicking Off Additional Build Back Better Markup Days

(As prepared for delivery)

Today, we continue our markup of the Build Back Better Act after a truly historic two days last week.

Last Thursday, this Committee advanced investments to provide 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for all Americans; guarantee access to quality, affordable child care; and expand opportunities for workers to save for financially secure retirements.

And on Friday, we approved funds to strengthen pro-worker trade programs, expand health care benefits in Medicare, grow our health care workforce, and protect America’s elderly and people living with disabilities in nursing facilities.

Millions of Americans’ lives will change for the better thanks to these provisions.

This week, we will build on that progress.

The proposals we will consider over the next two days include additional investments in the American family and the American economy.

We will invest in the development and deployment of clean energy, take bold steps in the fight against climate change, create good new jobs, lower prescription drug costs, close the Medicaid coverage gap, enable greater infrastructure development, and broadly help Americans live healthier, more financially secure lives.

And we will do all this while responsibly funding our investments.

Those who the 2017 tax law left behind also took the hardest financial hit during the COVID crisis. Meanwhile, the big corporations and wealthiest Americans who saw the most substantial benefits from the 2017 tax law fared much better, as the stock market rebounded quickly and soared to new heights.

We all read the reports of widespread stock buybacks and CEO bonuses that occurred thanks to those changes to the tax code. Big businesses didn’t use their new savings to lower consumer prices or raise workers’ wages. Mega-corporations didn’t need that law to stay afloat.

We celebrate success in this nation. But we can also ask the biggest companies and the ultra-wealthy to contribute a bit more to the common good.

That is why our proposal today asks those in this nation who are doing extremely, extremely well to pay just a little bit more to support the services and infrastructure on which our society – and often their business - relies.

While the increases that we propose will go a long way in responsibly paying for our planned investments, the rates will still remain lower than they were before to the 2017 tax law.  And despite the rhetoric we will hear today – the truth is we have carefully made sure to protect middle class Americans and small businesses from experiencing any tax increases.

The proposals we consider in the coming days are about expanding opportunity, increasing equity, and demonstrating our commitment to fairness. I look forward to describing them in greater detail shortly and with that I will recognize the Ranking Member, Mr. Brady for purposes of an opening statement. 

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