Advocacy Needed as Senate Considers “Build Back Better Act”

Following the passage of the “Build Back Better Act” in the House of Representatives on November 19, the Senate is preparing for a vote.  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) must secure the support of every Democratic senator to advance the bill. The $1.75 trillion economic recovery package includes more than $150 billion in affordable housing investments, including NLIHC’s HoUSed campaign’s top priorities: $25 billion to expand housing vouchers to over 300,000 households; $65 billion to preserve the nation’s deteriorating public housing infrastructure; and $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve over 150,000 affordable, accessible homes for households with the lowest incomes.

While congressional leaders aim to pass the bill into law before Congress adjourns at the end of the year, centrist Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) have not yet publicly agreed to vote for the legislation, and disagreements remain over the size, scope and timing of the package. The legislation also faces procedural hurdles in the Senate, including the “Byrd Bath,” in which the bill’s provisions are reviewed by the Senate parliamentarian for adherence to the Byrd rule, which requires provisions included in a reconciliation package to have a direct impact on federal spending or revenues. The bill will undergo a “vote-a-rama,” a lengthy process in which senators can offer an unlimited number of amendments to the bill.

After passage in the Senate, the bill will then go back to the House for final approval before it can go to the president’s desk for his signature. To pass the House again, all but three Democratic representatives will need to vote in favor of the legislation.

Take Action

Your advocacy is still critically needed! Please email your senators and urge them to vote for the Build Back Better Act and its unprecedented investments in housing vouchers, public housing, and the Housing Trust Fund!

Thank you for your advocacy!