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September 9, 2021

Education and Labor Committee unveils $761B reconciliation package

On September 8, the House Education and Labor Committee announced that the Committee will mark up its portion of the Build Back Better Act tomorrow (Thursday, September 9). Their $761 billion package includes proposals to lower the cost of child care and secure universal pre-K for 3-and 4-year olds; provide two years of tuition-free community college and expand the value of Pell Grants; invest in America's public school infrastructure; fund public workforce development programs; expand child nutrition programs, and more.

"The Education and Labor Committee's portion of the Build Back Better Act makes historic investments that will lower costs for nearly every family, create good-paying jobs for American workers, and provide our nation's children the strong foundation they deserve," said Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA). "I look forward to bringing this transformative proposal one step closer to President Biden's desk."

Key proposals include:

  • Child Care and Pre-K: Roughly $450 billion in funding to lower the cost of child care and secure universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds. This includes capping the cost of child care at 7% of a family's income for most Americans and providing resources to raise wages for child care workers.
  • Community College and Pell Grants: $111 billion on measures to reduce the cost of college. The bulk of the new funding would be used to make the first two years of community college tuition-free. The bill also calls for increasing the maximum value of the Pell Grant for low-income students by $500.
  • School infrastructure: $82 billion for America's public school infrastructure with targeted funding to schools with the greatest need.
  • Workforce training: $80 billion for workforce development programs including expanding Registered Apprenticeships, funding strategies to recruit and retain direct care workers, and more.
  • Child nutrition: $35 billion to expand eligibility for free school meals and new summer child nutrition benefits created in response to the pandemic, along with other funding to enhance child nutrition.

The proposal also provides for new Department of Labor (DOL) authorities to levy civil monetary penalties against health insurers and plan sponsors for mental health parity violations, in line with the Parity Enforcement Act (H.R. 1364). Key provisions of the PRO Act (H.R. 842) are also included, incorporating substantial penalties for violations of the National Labor Relations Act that allow for as much as $50,000 per labor violation and $100,000 in fines if the violation results in an employee getting fired.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Washington Council Ernst & Young
   • Any member of the group, at (202) 293-7474.