Leger Fernández Delivers Billions in Investments in the Build Back Better Act
WASHINGTON - Today, Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03) released the following statement on the House passage of the Build Back Better Act:
“Today, House Democrats voted to invest in the values and heart of our Nation - our women, children, workers, immigrants, and beautiful Mother Earth - through the Build Back Better Act. I’m energized by the work done to secure funding for New Mexico’s priorities.
“We know that the key to closing the wealth gap is homeownership. I pushed for down payment assistance and the bill includes $10 billion for first generation homeowners. Build Back Better also builds on the clean energy investments from the infrastructure bill to create good-paying jobs. I secured $240 million for a Just Transition investment fund to create new economic opportunities for our energy communities as well as provisions to reduce methane pollution and hold oil and gas companies accountable.
“The Build Back Better Act is transformational for women and includes universal pre-k for all 3- and 4-year olds, allows Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices so big pharma can’t make excessive profit out of people’s pain, and provides protections and work permits for immigrant communities.
“As chair of the Indigenous People’s Subcommittee, prioritizing investments in our Native American communities was paramount. A minimum of 12 billion dollars will flow to Native American and Indigenous peoples. New Mexico’s Tribes will benefit from the investments upholding our trust obligations on a range of issues including health facilities, broadband, clean water, and climate resilience. I also secured a provision to protect Chaco Canyon from damaging oil and gas development, building off of the Biden Administration’s recent actions.
“It’s shameful that not one of my Republican colleagues voted to deliver these life-saving investments for their communities despite it being fully paid for by making millionaires and big corporations finally pay their fair share. I urge the Senate to work swiftly and pass this bill para la gente, for our communities.”
Congresswoman Leger Fernández secured:
- The largest investment in down payment assistance in history: In September, Leger Fernández led a letter to House leadership calling on investment in homeownership vouchers in the Build Back Better plan. The bill includes $10 billion for first-time first-generation homebuyers, plus expanded rental assistance, and increasing the supply of high-quality housing through the construction and rehabilitation of over 1 million affordable housing units nationwide.
- Provisions to protect Chaco Canyon and other federal lands from fossil fuel development: $2.5 billion for the conservation, protection, restoration and resilience of public lands administered by the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management. The protections for Chaco Canyon build off of the Biden Administration’s recent actions.
- Largest investment to combat the climate crisis in history while ensuring a just transition for energy communities: $240 million for a just transition investment fund to create new economic opportunities consistent with her Just Transition for Energy Communities Act. Also includes provisions from her Orphaned Wells Cleanup and Jobs Act to reduce methane pollution and hold oil and gas companies accountable.
- Historic investment in Indian Country: Approximately $14 billion in funding for tribal climate resilience, energy electrification program, improvement of Indian Health Services and tribal health care facilities, housing, and more.
In New Mexico, the Build Back Better Act will provide:
- Tax cuts for families and workers: Up to $1,500 in tax cuts for 132,000 low-wage workers in New Mexico by extending the American Rescue Plan’s Earner Income Tax Credit expansion.
- Universal, high-quality preschool for every 3-and 4-year old in America: Enable New Mexico to expand access to free, high-quality preschool to more than 34,904 additional children per year and increase the quality of preschool for children who are already enrolled.
- Expanded health care coverage and lower health costs: Closes the Medicaid coverage gap to help millions of Americans gain health insurance, including 42,000 uninsured New Mexicans.
- A universal and permanent paid family and medical leave program: Provides 4 weeks of paid parental, family caregiving, and medical leave for Americans.