“In my first appearance before a joint session of Congress, I will lay out my Build Back Better recovery plan. It’ll make historic investments in infrastructure, that Build Back Better plan. Infrastructure, manufacturing, innovation, research, and development, and clean energy, investments in a caregiving economy and skills and training needed by our workers to be able to compete and win in the global economy of the coming years.”
— President-Elect Biden, speech on COVID-19 Recovery Plan, Wilmington, DE, January 14, 2021
Although Congress is focused on COVID Relief legislation in the early weeks of 2021, the largest and most complex bill it will consider all year may be the Build Back Better plan proposed by President Biden. The President will address a joint session of Congress in the weeks ahead, where he will describe more details of the Build Back Better plan. It includes proposals in several areas that the Biden Administration believes are key to jumpstarting the economy. The proposals have a budget impact of more than $3 trillion and are grouped in the following areas:
- Infrastructure ($1.376 trillion): funding for roads and bridges, transit, aviation, water infrastructure, and broadband
- Clean Energy ($600 billion): electric car charging stations, electric grid upgrades, energy efficiency, carbon capture
- Manufacturing and Workforce Support ($400 billion): manufacturing incentives, Buy American, minimum wage, paid leave
- Innovation and R&D ($300 billion): funding for breakthrough technologies like electric vehicles, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI)
- Caregiver Economy ($775 billion): support for health care workers, home and community-based care, universal pre-K, child care
This document explores the following questions:
- Will there be enough Republican support to make this a bipartisan proposal?
- If not, can a Budget Reconciliation bill be used to pass the plan with a simple majority vote in the Senate?
- Which provisions violate the Senate Byrd Rule or involve discretionary spending outside the normal scope of Reconciliation?
- Will the Build Back Better package include other areas, like taxes, health care, education, criminal justice, or immigration?