The Congressional Black Caucus is counting a win from the $1.75 trillion framework agreement for President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan. The Caucus has been demanding that the Biden Administration keep promises it made to the Black voters who delivered the Democrats a win in November 2020.
The Hill reports the CBC’s requirements were doubly important since voting rights laws did not see much discussion in the Senate. Some of the key issues include funding for HBCUs, an increased child tax credit, funding for affordable housing, universal child care and pre-K, and Medicare expansions.
Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty noted last week that Biden’s support among African Americans, particularly because of the backing of South Carolina congressman Jim Clyburn meant that he needed to deliver some political capital for Black people.
“The President was very clear that ... he needed to demonstrate to us, and he said this publicly, that because of the work of Jim Clyburn, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the number of black people who came out and voted in our districts because of the issues that we bring forth, whether we're agreeing with one another and not, it's all how progress happens,” said Beatty, according to The Hill.
The spending package commits billions of dollars to increasing the maximum amount of Pell Grants while giving billions more to HBCUs, tribal colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions.
Specifically, $200 million will go to “research capacity building,” with another $100 million going to “academic research facilities, modernization and research instrumentation, including construction, upgrade, renovation, or repair of research infrastructure.”
The child tax credit is extended for one year. The program provides $300 per month per child under the age of 6, and $250 per month for kids 6 to 17 years old. The White House has touted the credit as being the reason that child poverty in the U.S. has been reduced, and Business Insider reports that families are using the credit for basic expenses and food.
In what the Biden administration describes as the “single largest and most comprehensive investment in affordable housing in history,” $150 billion will be put toward public housing.
Speaking from Rome at the G20 Leaders’ Summit, Biden said he hopes the Build Back Better bill will be voted on this week.