Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) said the U.S. House of Representatives passed Friday the Build Back Better Act, a social spending plan that provides $1 billion for critical infrastructure in the Marianas and the other insular areas.
In his e-kilili newsletter over the weekend, Sablan said the Build Back Better Act could continue to transform the lives of the people in the Marianas for years, coming on top of over $2 billion in federal aid to the CNMI in three years.
He said the bill now moves to closely divided Senate, where it can be amended, and may come back to the House for final approval.
The delegate said no Republicans voted for the Build Back Better Act in the House, and that none are expected to vote too in the Senate.
He said House Resolution 5376, commonly referred to as the Build Back Better Act, increases base funding for Medicaid to $70 million, more than ever before, and permanently lowers the local match to 11%, a rate better than any state.
The delegate said the Build Back Better Act extends the Child Tax Credit that has already provided $28.7 million up front to Marianas families this year.
Build Back Better also funds pre-kindergarten education in the Marianas, has more money for Head Start, and will help working parents with child care.
Sablan said as chairman of the Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee, there are all changes he has been pushing for.
He said the $1 billion for critical infrastructure in the Marianas and the other insular areas, is on top of the $100 million for the Marianas in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act President Joe Biden signed a week ago.