Government

Foster, Newman, Underwood vote for Build Back Better bill

The massive bill includes billions for child care, tax benefits, and measures to combat climate change

Democrats representing the Will County area voted for the massive Build Back Better bill, which passed the House of Representatives on Friday after months of negotiation.

The nearly $2 trillion bill includes provisions to expand access to child care, an extension of the child tax credit, paid family and medical leave, and measures to combat climate change, among others.

U.S. Reps. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, Marie Newman, D-La Grange, and Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, all voted for President Joe Biden’s signature piece of legislation. The bill still needs to pass the evenly divided Senate where Democrats have no room for error.

“Illinois families have been put through the wringer in the last two years and now, more than ever, we need to ensure a strong economic recovery by lowering the cost of health care and of raising a family, invest in combatting the climate crisis, and do this responsibly by ensuring large corporations and the wealthiest pay their fair share,” Underwood said in a statement.

Democrats have touted those provisions aimed at raising taxes from the wealthiest Americans and big corporations to help pay for the new and expanded social programs.

“We’re investing those tax revenues right back into our economy so that hard working families and small businesses can enjoy the economic growth that has unfairly favored those that the top for too long,” Foster said in a statement.

Progressive Democrats highlighted the more than $500 billion included in the bill meant to address the threat of climate change.

“By cutting pollution, reducing energy costs and creating new good-paying jobs through this bill, we are finally ensuring America leads the world in creating a 21st Century clean energy economy,” Newman said in a statement.

Republicans have uniformly objected to the legislation and even some moderate Democrats are concerned about the effect the large amount of spending could have on worsening inflation for everything from food to gas. Democrats have argued their bill will actually lessen inflation in the long run.

The passage of Build Back Better in the House comes on the heels of the enactment of the $1 trillion infrastructure bill Biden signed earlier this month.