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ICYMI: NEC Director Brian Deese & Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Say Build Back Better Will Lower Core Costs for Working Families, Address Inflation

November 14, 2021

On the Sunday shows, Director of the National Economic Council Brian Deese and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen forcefully made the case that the Build Back Better Act, coming to a vote in the House of Representatives this week, will lower the core costs that have been holding back working families for decades, and address inflation by helping get Americans get back to work while taking care of their families.

The Build Back Better Act will be one of the most significant cost-cutting bills in American history, dramatically reducing costs of prescription drugs, health care, child care, elder care, and housing. It will also free parents who have been held back by unaffordable child care and elder care costs to go back to work, a challenge that has been exacerbated during the pandemic but has held back our economy for far too long.

NEC Director Brian Deese on CNN's State of the Union:

"Inflation is high right now. And it is affecting consumers in their pocketbook and also in their outlook for the economy. But those concerns underscore why it's so important that we move forward on the Build Back Better legislation, this legislation that the House is going to consider this week. This, more than anything, will go at the costs that Americans face. You talk about health care, one of the biggest costs of American families face. This will lower prescription drug prices, put a cap on prescription drug costs for our seniors. Child care, not only a big cost driver for families, but a big impediment for more parents and women to get back into the work force, this bill will cut the cost of child care by more than half for most working families. And housing too, a big cost driver for families, this bill will build affordable homes all around the country to make it easier for families to afford housing and also to move to places where the job opportunities are. All of these things go right at lowering costs for American families. And this bill is fully paid for. It's not going to add to inflationary pressures, quite the opposite, because we're going to pay for everything in this bill by raising taxes on big companies, large corporations and the highest-income Americans. So there's an urgency to act."

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on CBS's Face the Nation:

"But there's a great deal of support in that package for child care. It does a lot to make child care more affordable, so that, for most families, child care expense would be reduced from, I think, about 13 percent now down to no more than 7 percent of their income. There would be two additional years of early childhood education that would be universal, and a child tax credit that would help families be able to afford to take good care of their children and also participate in the workforce. So, I think that package will help boost labor force participation, particularly that of women."

NEC Director Brian Deese on NBC's Meet the Press:

"We have to address those costs that are the biggest pain points for the American-- for American families, things like housing and health care and childcare. That's exactly what the Build Back Better Bill that the House is going to consider this week will do. And we're looking forward to working on that and getting that done as soon as we can. … If you look at the strong wage gains that have happened, plus the direct support that we've provided to families, checks in pockets, and the Child Tax Credit, the disposable income for a typical family is actually up about 2% even after you take into account inflation, which is why we've actually seen checking account balances go up and credit card balances come down over the course of the year. Now, that doesn't reduce the frustration any more when somebody's going to the gas station and they see prices go up. But it does mean that we are well positioned to try to address these challenges going forward. With respect to the labor market, 500,000 jobs a month created, that's historic job growth. We want to get all Americans back to work. But it means focusing on things that actually practically are keeping people from going to work right now."

NEC Director Brian Deese on ABC's This Week:

"Every serious economist that has looked at this proposal has said that it will not add to long term inflationary pressure. Seventeen Nobel Prize-winning economists said the same. And the reason is because it's paid for. We haven't fully paid for a bill in Washington for some time. Senator Barrasso and his colleagues in the prior administration passed $2 trillion in tax cuts fully unpaid for, added to the deficit. Here what we're doing is making smart long-term investments but offsetting those with tax increases. When you do that, a fully paid for, you actually reduce the deficit over the long term. You don't impact inflation. What you do is you actually increase the productive capacity of our economy. You get more people to work by providing affordable childcare and affordable care for an elderly parent. That's what this bill will do."

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: NEC Director Brian Deese & Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Say Build Back Better Will Lower Core Costs for Working Families, Address Inflation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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