×

CSS Edits

Chairman Neal Statement at Rules Committee Meeting on H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act

June 29, 2020
Press Release

(As prepared for delivery)

 

Thank you, Chairman McGovern, Ranking Member Cole, and members of the Committee.

We’re living through unprecedented times and hard-working Americans need bold action from their leaders.  The Ways & Means committee has taken such action with our contributions to the Moving Forward Act.

First, we’re using the tools available to us in the tax code to provide state and local governments with the means to finance long needed infrastructure projects on a historic scale. At the same time, we’ve revamped tax subsidies for renewable energy and efficiency, pumping an additional $150 billion of support into those industries over the next five years.

And we’re doing all of this while ensuring that the new jobs we create will be the type of high-paying, high-quality jobs that American’s deserve. 

Let me give you an overview of some of the important provisions in this bill:

We restore the extremely successful Build America Bonds program, or BABs, which you probably remember from our last economic recovery in 2009.  At that time, this generated over $180 billion in crucial infrastructure projects.

 We restore tax-exempt advance refunding bonds, a crucial tool repealed by the Republican tax bill a few years ago.  This will ensure that municipalities can take advantage of historically low interest rates right now.

We increase the volume cap on Private Activity Bonds, enabling state and local governments to engage in more public-private partnerships to meet their infrastructure needs.

 And, for many of these new public-private partnerships, we require that the projects adhere to Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, assuring that taxpayer subsidized investments create good paying jobs for those doing the work.

We also make the successful New Markets Tax Credit program permanent and increase the allocation. This Credit is a proven mechanism for funding community development projects in areas that might not otherwise attract investors.

We’ve also added provisions that significantly enhance tribal communities’ abilities to issue tax exempt debt, and that improve their ability to take advantage of programs like the New Markets Tax Credit.

This bill also meaningfully enhances the Rehabilitation Credit, encouraging even more development of otherwise outdated infrastructure. And, we’ve added rules to make it that much easier for public schools and other tax-exempt organizations to take advantage of this useful incentive. 

And to make sure that the COVID crisis does not reduce the supply of low-income housing, we’re making significant investments in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, not the least of which is a 50% increase in state allocations, in addition to other programs to rehabilitate old housing stock.

While this package will help our economy and workers recover from the COVID recession, the Ways and Means Committee also made sure to contribute measures aimed at tackling the ongoing climate crisis.

We have included an historic investment aimed at reducing our nation’s carbon emissions to meet our Paris Agreement climate goals. 

We extend and expand the federal tax incentives promoting investment in clean energy technologies including wind, solar, geothermal, fuel cells, and other renewable fuels.

We increase federal support for energy efficient homes and commercial buildings.

We increase credits for manufacturers selling electric vehicles, including, for the first time, credits for electric buses and used electric vehicles, making it easier for Americans of any income level to take steps towards reducing their carbon footprint.

To complement those credits, we’ve included tax incentives for developing electric vehicle charging infrastructure, to ensure that as we green the fleet, we have the capacity to support the additional vehicles requiring electricity.

And, to ensure that these new projects create great, high paying jobs for the hard-working American’s that need them, we include a separate credit that rewards renewable energy projects that engage in responsible labor practices that prioritize workers’ rights and wellbeing.

 Finally, I want to acknowledge here that we recognize that the tolls of climate change disproportionately affect Black Americans and other marginalized communities. In this bill we’ve included federal support for the development of environmental justice programs led by the nation’s many high quality Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions.

Mr. Chairman, we have a unique opportunity here to make strategic investments in our communities, in our businesses, and in our workers, and to come out on the other side of this crisis stronger than ever.  Let’s seize this moment while we have the chance.

Thank you for your attention today and I am happy to answer any questions you might have about this historic legislation.

##