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Biden reveals $1.75T framework for Build Back Better agenda

October 28, 2021
By: Ellen Marrison & Jason Rittenberg

President Joe Biden this morning delayed his planned departure for Europe to announce a framework for the Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion plan that the president said he was confident could pass both houses of Congress. While the Build Back Better Framework is not as large as initially proposed, the White House says it represents the largest effort to date to combat climate change, promises to create millions of good-paying jobs, spur long-term growth and meet clean energy ambitions. The plan includes $40 billion for higher ed and workforce by raising the maximum Pell Grant and providing support to Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Minority Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities. It also would invest in workforce development, including community college workforce programs, sector-based training, and apprenticeships. There is another $90 billion targeted for equity and other investments, but it is unclear as of this writing if that would include some of the innovation initiatives that were outlined earlier.

The White House says the plan’s $555 billion investment in clean energy would cut over one gigaton of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, reduce consumer energy costs, and invest in clean energy across buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, and agriculture, to climate-smart practices. The plan contains provisions that clean energy technology, from wind turbine blades to solar panels and electric cars, would be built in the U.S., and would advance environmental justice through a new Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator that would invest in projects around the country.

In expanding access to education beyond high school, the plan would increase the maximum Pell Grant by $550 and expand access to DREAMers. It also would fund practices to help more students complete their degree or credential; help more people access quality training that leads to better-paying jobs; create sector-based training opportunity with in-demand training for at least hundreds of thousands of workers; and, invest in approaches like Registered Apprenticeships and programs to support underserved communities. The framework would increase the labor department’s annual spending on workforce development by 50 percent for each of the next five years.

The text of Build Back Better Act became available Thursday afternoon, and according to the language, EDA would receive $3.36 billion under the public works act for economic growth clusters. Elsewhere, the bill includes $200 million for SBA's Growth Accelerators, $260 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, $1.5 billion for NSF's new tech directorate, and an emerging SBIC manager license. 

 We will continue to update this story as we dig through additional details.

white house, legislation, federal agency, clean energy, education