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Rush Opening Remarks at Energy and Commerce Committee Markup of Build Back Better Act

September 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.), Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Energy Subcommittee, delivered the following opening remarks at a full Committee markup of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s portion of the Build Back Better Act.

Rush Opening Statement as Prepared for Delivery:

Thank you, Chairman Pallone.  I am pleased that we here today to discuss this important package that will make much-needed investments in our country’s health, climate, and economic infrastructure.

Through this legislation, we are setting up clean electricity to be the backbone of the Biden economy, an economic plan that truly works for all Americans. 

An independent analysis found that the Clean Electricity Performance Program included in today’s package will create nearly eight million jobs and nearly one trillion dollars of economic growth.  I am thrilled that we are including this investment, which will create desperately needed jobs and enhance business opportunities for all Americans, particularly those from marginalized, discredited, and divested communities.

I am pleased to see investments from my NO EXHAUST Act included in the package.  These provisions will direct one billion dollars to ensuring that underserved or disadvantaged communities — and, particularly, those of color — are not, once again, left behind as our electric vehicles transition generates tremendous wealth nationwide.

Mr. Chair, I am also thrilled that today’s package makes additional resources available to the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income families spend less on energy by making their homes more efficient.

Finally, I am delighted that this package also includes money for our children’s schools to remove toxins, address air pollution, and eliminate lead in drinking water.

On the health side, I am excited about the inclusion of coverage for glasses, dentures, and hearing aids.  Too often, these necessities are currently unaffordable for the seniors who need them the most. In sum, these resources will provide much-needed support to every American and will help create a cleaner, more just economy.

There is one area that I find woefully lacking in today’s committee markup, and that’s support for community-based mental health investment funding. I hope that this oversight is addressed in the immediate future.

Thank you, I yield back.

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