November 19, 2021
Press Release
Votes to enact comprehensive legislation that delivers the largest middle-class tax cut in history, reduces costs for families, increases access to childcare, and lowers the cost of prescription drugs

(Washington, DC) - Today, Congressman Joe Morelle voted to pass comprehensive legislation to meet the urgent needs of Monroe County families. The Build Back Better Act takes action to lower the costs that burden families in our community and makes investments to set them up for a successful future.  

“The pandemic has left too many families struggling and that is why we made a promise to provide them with support and relief they need. Today, we are making good on that promise,” said Congressman Morelle. “These are real, impactful solutions that will strengthen our economy and create good paying jobs, reduce healthcare costs, and support Monroe County families at a time when they need it most. I’m proud of the long overdue investments this legislation makes in the future of our community, and I’m committed to continuing to deliver results like this for the people of Rochester.” 

The $1.75 trillion legislation marks a momentous investment in working families and enacts the largest middle-class tax cut in history. Highlights of the legislation include:

Childcare: Saves most American families more than half of their spending on childcare.

  • Ensures that middle-class families pay no more than 7 percent of their income on childcare.
  • Helps states expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare for almost 20 million children per year – covering 9 out of 10 families with young children.
  • Will enable New York to provide access to childcare for about 1,000,000 young children (ages 0-5) per year from families earning under 2.5 times the New York median income (about $250,942 for a family of 4).

Prescription Drugs: Lowers the cost of prescription medication, like Insulin, that many Americans need to survive.

  • Ensures Americans with diabetes don’t pay more than $35 per month for their insulin.
  • Creates a new, out-of-pocket cap of $2,000 on what seniors pay for their drugs in Medicare Part D.
  • Allows the Department of Health and Human Services to set up a drug negotiation program to lower prices.

Child Tax Credit: Continues progress toward reducing child poverty by giving more than 35 million families a major tax cut by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit. In Monroe County, 124,000 children benefit from the expanded Child Tax credit:

  • Provides monthly payments to the parents of almost 90 percent of children for 2022.
  • Up to $300 per month per child under six and $250 per month per child ages 6 to 17.
  • Includes permanent refundability for the Child Tax Credit.

Universal PreK: Enables states to expand access to free preschool and gives parents options for high-quality preschool in the setting of their choice – from public schools to childcare providers to Head Start.

  • Covers more than 6 million children per year, including nearly 300,000 additional 3-and-4-year-olds in New York State
  • Delivers two years of free preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old.
  • Increases the quality of preschool for children already enrolled. 

Tax Cuts: Extends the American Rescue Plan’s tripling of the credit for childless workers, benefiting 17 million essential, low-income earners, like cashiers, food preparation workers, and childcare providers. This tax cut of up to $1,500 will benefit nearly 1 million low-wage workers in New York State.

Jobs: Helps get Monroe County back to work with workforce development and small business assistance.

  • $3.36 billion to create regional innovation clusters, as envisioned in Congressman Morelle’s original legislation H.R.476 — the Innovation Centers Acceleration Act.
  • $1 billion over a 10-year period to establish a national network of uplift incubators to spur economic development in underrepresented communities.
  • $35 million for the creation grants to assist veteran small business contractors.
  • $70 million over 8 years to invest in initiatives through Women Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers, and other entities for formally incarcerated individuals.
  • Drives our local workforce development by enabling community colleges to provide training for hundreds of thousands of workers using proven approaches like Registered Apprenticeships and programs to support underserved communities.

Healthcare: Reduces premiums for more than 9 million Americans who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace by an average of $600 per person per year.

  • More than 3 million people who would otherwise be uninsured will gain health insurance, including 163,000 New Yorkers.
  • Delivers health care coverage through ACA premium tax credits for up to 4 million uninsured people.
  • Expands Medicare to cover hearing coverage giving older Americans access to affordable care they need.

Child Nutrition: Works towards eliminating child hunger by expanding free school meals.

  • Expands free school meals to 8.7 million children during the school year, including an additional 220,000 students in New York.
  • Expands resources to purchase food over the summer for over 2 million students in New York.
  • Provides a $65 per child per month benefit to the families of 29 million children to purchase food during the summer months.

Housing Assistance: Reduces families’ housing costs and expands housing options, with a major housing initiative.

  • $10 billion for the HOME program to preserve, create or retrofit affordable homes for low-income families.
  • $15 billion to support creation and preservation of affordable rental homes for the lowest income households.
  • $1 billion to support to develop affordable housing for seniors and people with disabilities.
  • $2 billion in investments in rural rental housing.
  • $2 billion to establish a grant program for property owners of federally assisted housing make energy efficiency upgrade and improve property resiliency.

Community Violence Intervention: Dedicates funding to support evidence-informed intervention strategies to reduce community violence.

  • $2.5 billion in funding for the CDC to support public health interventions to reduce community violence and trauma.
  • $2.5 billion in the Judiciary Committee title for community violence reduction efforts.

Veterans: Rebuilds the physical infrastructure of the VA system by investing in VA’s workforce and providing much-needed updates to the support structures that serve our local veterans.

  • Invests $2.3 billion to update VA clinics and medical facilities.
  • Allocates $1.8 billion for major medical facility leases improving veterans access to care.
  • Increases the number of health professions residency positions at VA medical facilities by up to 500 positions over 7 years.
  • Secures $150 million to address the backlog of unscanned veteran records.

Climate: This $555 billion investment represents the largest single investment in our clean energy economy in history.

  • Starts cutting climate pollution now to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by well over one gigaton in 2030.
  • Saves local families hundreds of dollars per year in energy costs with the enhancement and expansion of existing home energy and efficiency tax credits, as well as the creation of a new, electrification-focused rebate program. 
  • Targets incentives to grow domestic supply chains in solar, wind, and other critical industries in communities on the frontlines of the energy transition.p


  • The plan is fully paid for with a 15% minimum tax on the income that large corporations—with over $1 billion in profits—report to shareholders.
  • It also includes a new surtax on the income of multi-millionaires and billionaires–-the top 0.02%.
  • No one making under $400,000 will pay a penny more in taxes.