Child care, climate change and other provisions in Build Back Better bill passed by House | PBS NewsHour

Child care, climate change and other provisions in Build Back Better bill passed by House | PBS NewsHour

Lisa Desjardins:

Judy, this bill has climate change in almost every section. There are 55, at least, different programs dealing with climate in this.

But I want to talk about sort of overall some of the biggest items. Overall, this bill spends over $500 billion, $550 billion, to be exact, on climate. There are tax credits in here for energy efficiency in your home, in your workplace, new kinds of electric cars. Even electric bicycles are in here.

There is a limit on methane gas that would go into effect in 2023. There would be a cost to industries that emit too much methane gas under the current form of the bill. We will have to see if this remains in it. Then there is also the Civilian Climate Corps. That’s a big thing that Senator Bernie Sanders has wanted.

Interesting, Judy, that is — that would be young people doing climate projects across the country. It would be part of AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps’ budget right now, $1 billion, the budget for this, $15 billion. It would make AmeriCorps a much larger industry — a much larger department. It would change the nature of what it does.

However, there is a separate portion that CBO did not score along with that, which is stepped-up IRS enforcement, the idea of finding people cheating on their taxes. CBO estimates that that part of the bill could bring in over $200 billion. So, do the math, you add that all up, what do you get? According to CBO, a deficit of about $160 billion, not as much as that bigger number.

Democrats, however, look at this. They say, that IRS number, too small. They think, actually, they will get more like $400 billion, maybe much more than that. So that’s how they argue that this is paid for. They think that IRS number is shallow, and that the money will come in.

Let’s do it.

There are a few things I want to highlight just to give people a sense of the scope of this, the big and small. Let me look — let me highlight a few things.

There is a small amount of money in this bill, which is $50 million, large money to everyone else — in a bill like this, it’s not that much — but it’s to protect older forests around the country, things like the sequoias and older growth forests.

Also, something that’s in here that one of our producers, Tess Conciatori, spotted, payroll credits for local newspapers and journalists to try and encourage local news again.

And then also something I want to talk about that I spotted, this would — this is an attempt in this bill to phase out sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities. Judy, you and I have talked about this before. Since 1938, this country has allowed certificates, so that some employers can pay workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage, as low as $3, $4 an hour.

This bill has incentives to try and pay those employers to raise the wages. It’s a complicated debate, because they want to keep the number of jobs, while increasing those wages. This bill takes a stand. It’s a bipartisan idea that’s in here.