Posted: September 17, 2021
Washington – Today House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures Chairman Mike Thompson (CA-05) delivered an opening statement at the third day of a committee markup of the Build Back Better Act. Below is a copy of his remarks as prepared for delivery.
Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the last word.
The legislation before us is a once-in-a-generation investment.
It’s an investment in our children, our planet, and our future.
And it’s an investment in the fundamental fairness of our economy – an investment in opportunity for all.
I am particularly proud and grateful that this legislation includes the GREEN Act – legislation I am honored to lead, a massive investment in clean and renewable energy technologies that represents one of the most aggressive and forward-thinking climate policies ever advanced by Congress.
And I want to thank all of my many colleagues who contributed to the bill.
I said last week, we’ve got a third of our country on fire, a third underwater, and a third with no water at all.
My Democratic colleagues and I have been sounding the alarm for years, and action is long, long overdue – our planet cannot afford for us to wait any longer.
We need to decarbonize our economy. We need to take advantage of innovative new technologies, and we need to accelerate our economic embrace of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable energy sources.
That’s what the GREEN Act does.
And the best part is, we can do all of this while boosting American economic security and competitiveness.
Time and again we are told that reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is unaffordable, or is bad for the economy.
But nothing could be further from the truth. By investing in key technologies and renewable industries today, we can meet the necessary climate benchmarks and create thousands of good paying jobs.
It’s a win for the planet, a win for workers, and a win for our economy.
I am also pleased that this legislation includes several bipartisan priorities of mine.
The bill provides new assistance to blind and vision-impaired Americans – a bipartisan bill I’ve worked on with my colleague Mr. Kelly – by helping them purchase new technologies, enabling these individuals to live and work more independently.
It also includes tax incentives for disaster resiliency – encouraging individuals in fire, hurricane or other disaster-prone regions to participate in resiliency programs while ensuring that resiliency investments don’t inadvertently trigger a big tax bill.
And, the package cracks down on bad actors who abuse the conservation easement program – one of the best tools at our disposal for the conservation of land – while saving taxpayers billions of dollars – another bipartisan bill of mine with Mr. Kelly.
And I’d like to end on this point: this package is paid-for.
Four years ago, our Republican colleagues rammed through $2.3 trillion worth of unpaid-for tax cuts.
We were told those cuts would pay for themselves, and trickle down to the working class.
But that hasn’t happened – the cuts haven’t paid for themselves, the benefits have overwhelmingly accrued to the wealthy, and we have over two trillion dollars more debt to show for it.
Democrats aren’t doing that.
We are paying for this. The package is fully and sensibly paid-for by ensuring that everyone pays their fair share, and that the tax code works for all Americans.
This is an excellent package, and I look forward to supporting it today and on the House floor.