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Legislative Updates

Legislative framework of Build Back Better Act released, NALC applauds vehicle money

Yesterday, House Democratic Leadership released the new framework for the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), a sweeping social spending and tax package. The new framework is based on the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Agenda that President Biden released earlier the same day. While this framework is a minimized version of the $3.5 trillion package originally released, it was presented as a compromise that Democratic lawmakers can move through Congress.

Related to the Postal Service, the framework includes funding to electrify the agency’s vehicle fleet. It would provide $2.5 billion for the Postal Service to acquire electric vehicles and provide an additional $3.4 billion for the necessary infrastructure to support these vehicles. Additionally, it would provide $15 million for the Office of the Inspector General of the Postal Service to perform oversight of the agency.

“NALC appreciates the funding in the Build Back Better Act to electrify the Postal Service vehicle fleet,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said. “This essential funding will provide letter carriers with the new vehicles that they need. We urge members of Congress to support this legislation and send it to the president’s desk.”

Overall, the package includes funding to support the nation’s education system, climate provisions, healthcare and tax laws. The framework includes $400 billion for universal, free preschool for three- and four-year olds and would extend the child tax credit through 2022. It provides funding to combat climate change including $320 billion in consumer rebates and tax credits for clean energy and electrification. $35 billion would be provided for a Medicare hearing benefit and the framework would extend the Affordable Care Act tax credits through 2025.

The framework proposes offsetting these costs by increasing taxes for large corporations and Americans who make more than $400,000 annually. The plan would place a 15% corporate minimum tax on corporations that earn more than $1 billion annually. It would also place a 1% surcharge on corporate stock buybacks. Additionally, the framework calls for investments in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to improve tax enforcement and auditing on the wealthiest Americans, raising a projected $400 billion.

Paid family and medical leave, Medicare expansion to cover dental and vision, and other programs are notably excluded from the new framework. However, progressive House Democrats have said they will support the bill when it comes to the floor. While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) remains focused on holding a vote on the bipartisan Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684), another important part of the White House’s agenda, these progressive Democrats have said they will only consider it alongside a vote on the Build Back Better Act.

Negotiations regarding the Build Back Better framework are ongoing, and certain elements are likely to change. NALC will continue to monitor this legislation and update letter carriers on any future action. 

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