Senator Cantwell will fight to ensure Affordable Housing Credit, Support for Local News, Salmon Restoration remain in final package as bill heads to Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement regarding the passage of the Build Back Better (BBB) bill by the House of Representatives today. The bill contains several programs written and championed by Senator Cantwell, including an expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), portions of the Local Journalism Sustainability Act, and funding to restore and protect salmon.
“The Build Back Better Act will invest $11.7 billion to increase the desperately-needed supply of affordable housing, including 27,000 units in Washington state. It boosts home care services so families can keep their loved ones at home instead of going to nursing homes. And it’s the most comprehensive effort to address climate change in history, including robust new incentives to electrify trucks, buses, and the rest of our transportation system, which is the largest source of carbon pollution in Washington state. I applaud the House on passing the bill. Now the Senate needs to do its job,” said Senator Cantwell.
The Build Back Better bill passed by the House includes the following Cantwell priorities:
- Affordable Housing Tax Credit: Senator Cantwell successfully pushed to include $11.7 billion to expand the Housing Credit in the Build Back Better reconciliation package. The Housing Credit expansion is expected to provide more than 27,000 units of affordable housing and support more than 41,500 jobs in Washington state. Nationwide, it would provide an additional 812,000 units and support over 1.2 million jobs.
- Local News: Cantwell helped secure $1.7 billion to support local newspapers, broadcasters and online media through tax credits to incentivize hiring and retaining journalists in the reconciliation bill. These provisions were based on the Cantwell-authored Local Journalism Sustainability Act introduced in July.
- Salmon Habitat Restoration Grants: The bill includes $1 billion for grants for Pacific salmon habitat restoration. This is the single largest investment in salmon habitat recovery funding in history. In Washington state alone, there is a backlog of more than $4 billion dollars in salmon habitat restoration projects.?
- Restoring Habitat and Bolstering Coastal Resilience: There is $6 billion in new funding included in the bill that will support grant programs for habitat restoration and coastal resilience administered by NOAA. In Washington state, these funds will be used to restore coastal salmon habitat, construct living shorelines, fund community planning and resilience to help communities protect infrastructure impacted by climate change. This level of investment is crucial as the impact of climate change on coastal habitats such as eel grass, shellfish beds, rivers, and coasts is devastating salmon populations.
- Rebuilding Salmon Hatcheries: The bill includes $400 million for a new NOAA program to boost salmon returns in state and Tribal hatcheries. These projects will expand existing hatcheries to increase salmon production, as well as construction new hatcheries. The science is clear: one of the top threats to Southern resident orcas is their ability to find their favorite prey, Chinook salmon. This funding will support orca recovery and access to prey, consistent with recommendations from the Orca Task Force. These hatcheries will also help protect fishing access for Tribal, commercial and recreational fishers and reduce fishing pressure on wild stocks. The bill also provides $19.6 million to further increase hatchery production by investing in Tribal salmon hatcheries through the Bureau of Indian Affairs.?
- Better Salmon Science and Stock Assessments: There is $500 million included for NOAA to boost fishery science by expanding stock assessments and fisheries research. This funding will help scientists finally identify the cause of salmon die offs at sea—which continue to be a mystery. These fish counts will help scientists understand how climate change affects salmon survival from warm water blobs to harmful algal blooms and ocean acidification. The funding also supports cutting edge tools to help fishermen monitor and reduce the accidental harvest of salmon.
- FTC Privacy Bureau: The bill includes $500 million over 8 years to establish a new privacy and data security bureau at the Federal Trade Commission. This would also fund the hiring of appropriate technical staff and lawyers.
- Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF): The bill includes $300 million in grants for a sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) and a low-emission aviation technology program. Eligible recipients would receive awards to blend, produce, store, or transport SAFs, or develop, demonstrate, or apply low-emissions aviation technologies. These provisions are based on an SAF grant proposal authored and promoted by Senator Cantwell. This is complemented by $225 million for sustainable aviation research at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
- Port Infrastructure Grants: The bill includes $600 million in competitive grants for ports to support infrastructure investments to improve supply chain resiliency, port efficiency and help reduce port congestion.
- Supply Chain Resiliency: The bill includes $5 billion for a Supply Chain Resiliency Fund to map supply chains and make strategic investments in key sectors such as aerospace. The Washington State Department of Commerce advocated for this funding to help local manufacturers get the working capital needed to build inventory and modernize equipment.
- Combatting Climate Change: This bill makes the largest investment in clean energy and measures to address climate change in American history. Over half a trillion dollars, around a third of the funding for the entire bill, is dedicated to accelerating the transition away from fossil fuels which will enable the United States to meet its science-based targets of reducing greenhouse gases by half by 2030, all while creating good-paying jobs, growing domestic industries, and advancing environmental justice. Those include robust long-term tax credits for renewable energy and energy storage technologies, new incentives to electrify America’s transportation system, and fees on methane pollution. NASA and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology will also receive $125 million to improve our response to wildfires, one of the devastating effects on ongoing climate change.
- Weather Science: There is $500 million included for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This will fund new weather models and science research on new emerging weather patterns. Also included are funds for climate science and research grants for universities to advance our knowledge on the causes and impacts of extreme weather, as well as the impacts of climate change on marine species and habitat. New weather radars, wildfire smoke sensors and ocean buoys will also be funded. There is also $200 million to fund additional supercomputing processing power necessary for advanced weather and climate models, research, accurate predictions, and timely forecasting.
- Broadband: The bill includes $300 million for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to support affordable broadband in urban and suburban communities through two programs.
- High Speed Rail: The bill includes $10 billion for high-speed rail, with $1 billion set aside for planning projects like the Cascadia Ultra High-Speed Rail project in Washington state.
- National Science Foundation: The bill includes $3.5 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), including $1.8 billion for a new technology directorate, which will invest in research areas like artificial intelligence and quantum information science. The University of Washington, Washington State University, and other Washington universities will be highly competitive for these funds.
- Promoting Diversity in STEM Education: The bill includes $300 million to upgrade research infrastructure and improve research capacity at minority-serving institutions, including Tribal Colleges and Universities. These funds will help to educate a diverse STEM workforce. Historically Black colleges and universities have graduated 40 percent of all Black engineers and Hispanic-serving institutions enroll more than half of all Hispanic undergraduates.
- Manufacturing Extension Partnership: The bill includes $260 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program to help local manufacturers adopt best practices, build and train the workforce, identify and resolve supply chain gaps, and scout for new customers and suppliers.
- Minority Business Development Agency: The bill includes $1.6 billion in funding for the Minority Business Development Agency. The aim of this federal agency is to promote the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses by providing access to capital, contracts and market opportunities.
- Care Programs for Older Americans: The bill includes $1.2 billion to support older Americans, caregivers and caregiving services including home and community-based services, nutrition programs, culturally appropriate care, and research.
The Build Back Better bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.
The full text of the House-passed Build Back Better bill is available HERE.
More information on the combined benefits to salmon from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Build Back Better can be found HERE.