Rep. Jimmy Gomez Advances Key Housing and Climate Priorities in the Build Back Better Act

WASHINGTON – Following a days-long Committee on Ways and Means markup of the Build Back Better Act, a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that makes significant federal investments in our country’s human infrastructure, Racial Equity Initiative Co-Chair Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) issued the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified how existing systemic barriers work against the health and economic security of working families, especially families of color. This transformative legislation represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to support working families with the essential support they need while also making our economy stronger and more equitable. Our legislation also makes critical investments to combat the climate crisis and address our nation’s housing affordability challenges. I’m immensely grateful to my Committee colleagues who spent months doing their part to build back better.”

The historic budget reconciliation package advanced by the Committee on Ways and Means includes a series of bills championed by Congressman Gomez, including:

  • The Affordable Housing Equity Act
  • The Affordable EVs for Working Families Act
  • The Home Energy Savings Act
  • The New Home Energy Efficiency Act
  • The Tribal Health Care Careers Act

The Affordable Housing Equity Act (H.R. 5219) would provide a basis boost of up to 50% for residential units that house ELI renters, effectively increasing the LIHTC for eligible projects. To qualify, projects must designate at least 20% of units for households earning no more than 30% of area median gross income or the federal poverty line, whichever is greater. A similar provision was included in the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (H.R. 2573), comprehensive legislation to bolster LIHTC introduced by Representative DelBene earlier this year.

 The Affordable EVs for Working Families Act (H.R. 4817) creates a first of its kind tax credit for the purchase of preowned electric cars. The fully refundable tax credit is worth up to $2,500 and is designed to expand access to electric vehicles specifically to low- and middle-income people and to help further accelerate our transition to clean, renewable transportation.

 The Home Energy Savings Act and New Home Energy Efficiency Act would increase incentives to make homes more efficient, help lower consumers’ energy bills, and reduce carbon emissions while simultaneously creating jobs. In 2018, the energy efficiency sector employed 2.3 million Americans, with roughly 70% of these jobs in construction and manufacturing.

 The Home Energy Savings Act (H.R. 5187) would increase the tax credit under section 25C of the tax code from 10% to 30%, extend it through 2031, replace the lifetime cap with an annual $1,200 limitation, and establish higher goals for energy efficient home upgrades by modernizing efficiency standards.

The New Home Energy Efficiency Act (H.R. 5188) would extend the section 45L tax credit for the construction of energy efficient new homes through 2031, increase it from $2,000 to $2,500 for homes meeting modern energy efficiency standards, create a new $5,000 tier for homes certified under the Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home program, and expand the incentive for multifamily homes.

The Tribal Healthcare Careers Act (H.R. 4316) would specifically provide dedicated funds to federally recognized tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal colleges and universities to administer their own Health Professional Opportunity Grant (HPOG) programs. This bill is one component of a broader reauthorization and expansion of HPOG programs, a workforce development training program for the health fields.

The budget reconciliation package also includes provisions from Congressman Gomez’s estate tax reform bill, the For the 99.5 Percent Act (H.R. 2576). It reverses the 2017 Trump tax cuts for estates and closes loopholes that enable the wealthiest estates to avoid paying their fair share.

Rep. Gomez has also consistently advocated for the reinstatement of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for immigrant children. The 2017 Republican tax bill cruelly eliminated CTC eligibility for roughly 1 million low-income immigrant children in working families who lacked a Social Security Number. The budget reconciliation package restores full inclusivity of immigrant children.

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