Today, President Biden announced a framework for the Build Back Better Act, which will have a significant impact on the lives and futures of Millennials and Generation Z. The framework is the result of months of negotiations between President Biden and members of Congress.
Brent J. Cohen, the executive director of Generation Progress, issued the following statement in response:
Generation Progress has long been adamant that we need large-scale solutions to address the large-scale issues that impact young people, particularly given the precarious economic climate that our generations have faced in recent decades and the existential crises—including climate change, gun violence, and student debt—that need to be solved.
From this perspective, the new framework for the Build Back Better Act is historic. It represents investments in climate, childcare, and economic security at a scale that our generations have never seen before.
Here are a few of the bill’s provisions that young people in particular will benefit from:
- $555 billion in climate investments that will cut emissions in half by 2030. This is the largest investment in climate that the U.S. has ever made, and is a major win for the young people who have pushed for greater recognition of the urgency and severity of the climate crisis.
- $5 billion in community violence intervention. To end the gun violence epidemic, which disproportionately impacts young people—particularly young Black men—we need to address the root causes of gun violence. This investment in community violence intervention is unprecedented, and something that gun violence prevention advocates have been calling for.
- Universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds. Millennials and Generation Z make up the vast majority of new parents and parents of young children. Childcare is a huge issue for our generations. Free pre-K education for 3- and 4-year-olds is an economic and academic gamechanger for children and their families, and will be hugely beneficial for young working parents, in particular.
- Investments in higher education. This framework extends Pell grant eligibility to Dreamers and makes historic investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) that will improve access to higher education, particularly for students of color.
- Corporations and the extremely wealthy begin to pay their share in taxes, and low-income workers pay less. Seventeen million low-wage workers will pay lower taxes as a result of an extended Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), meanwhile the wealthiest 0.02 percent of Americans will pay a little more on income of $10 million.
This is just a small subset of the provisions of this historic bill, which is a hard-won victory for young progressives. The work that young advocates and activists have done in recent years and our generations’ historic turnout at the ballot box in 2020 has achieved real results, and Generation Progress celebrates this win. However, there is more for our elected representatives to do—GP looks forward to continuing to work with the Biden-Harris administration and members of Congress to advance additional policies that our generations need and support.
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