Tag Archives: Biden Administration

FACT SHEET: On World Water Day, Biden Administration Builds on Historic Progress to Protect Clean Drinking Water, Restore Nation’s Rivers, Lakes, Ponds and Wetlands

The Biden Administrationis building on historic progress to secure clean water for all by announcing new actions to protect vital freshwater resources to ensure every community can count on clean water when they turn on the faucet. Among the actions: safeguarding the Colorado River watershed by creating the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, protecting nearly one million acres of greater Grand Canyon landscape © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet on the Biden Administration’s historic progress to protect clean drinking water, restore the nation’s rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands was provided by the White House:

President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that every person should have access to clean drinking water and a healthy environment. On World Water Day, the Biden-Harris Administration is building on historic progress to secure clean water for all by announcing new actions to protect our vital freshwater resources and ensure every community can count on clean water when they turn on the faucet.

Rivers, lakes, wetlands, and other freshwater resources are fundamental to the health, prosperity, and resiliency of the nation, and sacred to many Tribes. Through the America the Beautiful Initiative and the global Freshwater Challenge, the Biden-Harris Administration is delivering on the first-ever national conservation goal to protect at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030 – accelerating locally-led efforts to tackle the world’s intertwined water, climate, and nature crises.

To ensure that clean water reaches communities across the country, the Biden-Harris Administration is harnessing historic resources from the President’s Investing in America agenda to replace lead pipes and other drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, build resilience to drought, and conserve and restore our rivers, wetlands, lakes, and ponds. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law alone includes more than $50 billion to help ensure every community has access to clean water.

While the Biden-Harris Administration delivers on a national commitment to protect clean water, this week Congressional Republicans are continuing attempts to weaken the Clean Water Act. These attacks are part of a decades-long effort to undermine Clean Water Act safeguards, which culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Sackett decision last year – one of the largest judicial rollbacks of environmental protections in U.S. history. A report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today reveals that from 2009-2019, the wetlands loss rate increased 50 percent over the prior decade, further showing the urgent need to use all the tools and resources available at the national, State, Tribal, and local level to protect and conserve America’s waters.

This World Water Day, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions and resources to advance the most ambitious clean water agenda in history:

  • The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing a new memorandum outlining ways it will support the protection, restoration, and enhancement of waters and wetlands that are more vulnerable following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Sackett decision.
     
  • The White House Council on Environmental Quality is releasing a Wetland and Water Protection Resource Guide for Tribes, States, Territories, local governments, private land owners, and non-governmental organizations to advance water resource protection. The Resource Guide highlights technical assistance and funding opportunities available across the federal government.
     
  • NOAA is announcing $60 million from the President’s Investing in America agenda for fish hatcheries to produce salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. This builds on a historic agreement the Biden-Harris Administration secured in partnership with Tribes and States in the Pacific Northwest to restore wild salmon and steelhead populations.
     
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the Understanding Water Affordability Across Contexts, LIHWAP Water Utility Affordability Survey Reportwhich highlights the differences in water affordability across the country. President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget provides $4.1 billion for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), helping families access home energy and weatherization assistance, and proposes to allow States the option to use a portion of those funds to provide water bill assistance to low-income households.

Today’s announcements build on a series of landmark investments and actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to protect and restore the nation’s freshwater resources by advancing conservation, building resilience, and expanding access to clean drinking water.
 
Protecting more than 26 million acres of lands and waters, putting President Biden on track to conserve more lands and waters than any President in history. Highlights of the Biden-Harris Administration’s water conservation accomplishments, driven by the America the Beautiful Initiative, include:

  • Safeguarding the Colorado River watershed by creating the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, protecting nearly one million acres of greater Grand Canyon landscape. President Biden’s designation honors Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples by protecting sacred ancestral places and their historically and scientifically important features, while conserving our public lands, protecting wildlife habitat and clean water, and supporting local economies. President Biden has also designated additional national monuments that protect freshwater resources, including the freshwater springs of Castner Range National Monument and the high alpine lakes of Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument.
     
  • Protecting the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and surrounding watershed from mining, which would have harmed the area’s watershed, fish and wildlife, Tribal and treaty rights, and outdoor recreation economy. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a spectacular network of rivers, lakes, and forests in northeastern Minnesota that comprise the most heavily visited wilderness area in the United States. By withdrawing these lands from future mineral leasing, the Biden-Harris Administration is keeping the iconic area intact for future generations.
     
  • Addressing threats to Alaska’s Bristol Bay, the most productive wild salmon ecosystem in the world and home to 25 Tribal Nations. Six rivers meet in Bristol Bay, traveling through 40,000 miles of tundra, wetlands, and lakes. EPA acted to help protect these waters and the communities dependent upon them from contamination associated with developing the Pebble Mine.
     
  • Tackling transboundary water pollution in the Elk-Kootenai watershed to protect the people and species that depend on this vital river system. For over a decade, the Tribal Nations and Indigenous Peoples within the Elk-Kootenai watershed have requested that the U.S. and Canadian governments address pollution that has impaired downstream communities, fish populations, and ecosystems. Under President Biden’s leadership, the U.S. and Canadian governments have taken a key step with Ktunaxa Nation to achieve transboundary cooperation to protect clean water.
     
  • Restoring the flow of rivers and streams by investing $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to remove, repair, and redesign infrastructure that impede water flow. The first round of grants will fix or remove almost 170 fish culverts and improve approximately 550 miles of stream habitat across the country – with a total of $196 million awarded to Tribal, state, and local governments. Reconnecting these waterways reconnects communities to their rivers, increases ecological functions of the rivers and streams, and ensures that goods – traveling along these rural roads from farms to urban areas – make their way to market.

Making unprecedented investments and leading collaborative efforts to increase the resilience of our water ecosystems. Highlights of the Biden-Harris Administration’s work to build the resilience of our communities and waters include:

  • Delivering the largest single federal investment in the Everglades through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Years of human development have isolated portions of the Florida Everglades and altered natural flow patterns for freshwater, and the Everglades are already feeling the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. The Army Corps of Engineers has invested $1.1 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help restore the ecosystems and water flows of the Everglades’ two million acres of wetlands. Thriving wetlands will also filter out pollution to improve water quality for the one-third of Floridians who rely on the Everglades for drinking water, and will help improve resilience to flooding that impacts the state.  In addition, this month the Department of the Interior established the Everglades to Gulf Conservation Area, a four-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge, where tools like voluntary conservation easements can be used to protect wildlife corridors, enhance outdoor recreation access, and bolster climate resilience.
     
  • Leading a comprehensive effort to make Western communities more resilient to climate change and ongoing megadrought by harnessing the full resources of President Biden’s historic Investing in America agenda. As climate change has accelerated over the past two decades, the Colorado River Basin experienced the driest period in the region in over one thousand years. Together, the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provide the largest investment in climate resilience in our nation’s history, including $15.4 billion for western water to enhance the West’s resilience to drought and deliver unprecedented resources to protect the Colorado River System for all whose lives and livelihoods depend on it. Following extensive engagement with States, Tribes, and water users, the Administration announced a historic agreement to conserve at least 3 million-acre-feet of water in the Colorado River Basin through the end of 2026.
     
  • Restoring wild salmon, steelhead and other native fish, in the Columbia River Basin. Building on President Biden’s direction to Federal agencies, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a historic agreement to work in partnership with Pacific Northwest Tribes and States to restore wild salmon populations, facilitate the development of Tribally sponsored clean energy production, and provide stability for communities that depend on the Columbia River System. The Administration committed more than $1 billion to the effort, which will, among other things, be used to restore freshwater habitat.
     
  • Restoring the Klamath River Basin ecosystem and building drought resilience. With the removal of four dams underway, the Klamath Basin Drought Resilience Keystone Initiative is reestablishing wetlands and their functions, and advancing post-fire restoration efforts. The Department of the Interior, working in a whole of government approach, has leveraged funding from additional federal agencies as well as from Tribal, state, and other partners to restore the ecological function of the river and its associated river systems. The dam removals alone will open access to more than 400 miles of habitat for salmon and steelhead trout, help restore Tribal food sovereignty, and improve the health and water quality of the river.
     
  • Providing rapid-response American expertise to international partners on critical water and climate adaptation challenges. Through the Ambassador’s Water Experts Program (AWEP), the Department of State and the Department of the Interior have deployed over 30 U.S. experts to support more than 20 technical and capacity building engagements since 2019, and already have six AWEP engagements underway in 2024. AWEP works through U.S. diplomatic posts to respond to time sensitive requests for support on a broad range of water and climate resilience topics and promotes long-term collaboration on water security.
     
  • Strengthening data for decision-making and early warning systems to protect communities worldwide. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and USAID are working with over 50 countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas through the SERVIR Initiative, which uses satellite data to address critical challenges in food security, water resources, weather and climate, land use, and water-related disasters. NASA is also working with the U.S. Department of State to provide advanced remote-sensing, modeling, and capacity building activities through the Strategic Hydrologic and Agricultural Remote-sensing for Environments Program, which brings data and technical resources to end-users in some of the most complex hydrologic domains in the world. These efforts are supported by the launch of NASA’s Surface Water Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, a new satellite that will establish the first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water. This innovation will improve our understanding of how water bodies change over time and will aid in freshwater management around the world.

Expanding access to clean drinking water and wastewater by investing more than $50 billion from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – the largest investment in clean water in American history. Highlights of this effort and other steps to address water pollution include:

  • Removing all lead service lines. Over 9 million homes, schools, and businesses receive their drinking water through a lead pipe. Exposure to lead can cause irreversible brain damage in children, even knocking off several IQ points. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes a historic $15 billion in dedicated funding for lead pipe replacement, in support of President Biden’s goal of replacing all lead pipes within a decade.
  • Combatting toxic “forever chemicals” in drinking water and wastewater. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $10 billion to address harmful PFAS pollution in drinking water and wastewater. EPA has also proposed the first-ever national standard to address these “forever chemicals” in drinking water. This builds on President Biden’s action plan to combat PFAS pollution, safeguarding public health and advancing environmental justice.
     
  • Ensuring no community is left behind. Thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, nearly half of these clean drinking water and wastewater investments will be provided as grants or forgivable loans to disadvantaged communities, advancing President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative. In addition, EPA has launched several initiatives to partner with underserved communities nationwide to provide the support and technical assistance they need to access clean water funding. EPA will partner with 200 communities to help them replace lead pipes, while the initiative will help an additional 150 communities execute wastewater and sanitation projects. For example, in Lowndes County, Alabama, roughly 90 percent of households have failing wastewater systems and many children and families are exposed to raw sewage in their own backyards. EPA and USDA have worked with the Lowndes County community of White Hall to secure over $500,000 in federal funding for wastewater projects. In nearby Hayneville, EPA has awarded a 100% forgivable $8.7 million loan to address failing or non-existent wastewater systems in 650 homes.
     
  • Investing more than $1 billion to restore the Great Lakesa vital economic engine that supplies drinking water for more than 20 million Americans, supports more than 1.3 million jobs, and sustains life for thousands of species. With the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA is cleaning up and restoring the Great Lakes’ most environmentally degraded sites, including the Milwaukee Estuary in Wisconsin and the Cuyahoga River in Ohio.
     
  • Delivering clean water to Tribal NationsFor years, Tribal Nations have been left without access to safe, clean water for drinking and sanitation; today, approximately 48% of Tribal communities go without this human right. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law has delivered $4.2 billion to date to provide safe, clean water for Tribal Nations and secure historic Tribal water rights. This includes over $8 million to remediate arsenic contamination that has been in the Hopi Tribe’s water supply since the 1960s. The Hopi Arsenic Management Project will make necessary infrastructure improvements to provide clean drinking water to over 5,000 people.
     

Increasing access to safe and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services around the world. The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) recent annual report shows that since the passage of the Water for the World Act ten years ago, USAID’s water, sanitation, and hygiene investments have resulted in more than 42 million people gaining access to sustainable drinking water and 38 million gaining access to sustainable sanitation services. With a focus on climate resilience, inclusivity and gender equality, locally-led development, and private-sector engagement, these investments are contributing to progress toward UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 to achieve universal access to clean water and sanitation.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces $3 Billion to Reconnect, Rebuild Communities Left Behind and Divided by Transportation Infrastructure from Decades Ago

As part of Biden’s plan to spend $3.3 billion to reconnect and rebuild communities in more than 40 states, the I-81 Viaduct Project in Syracuse, New York is receiving $180 million to reconnect residents with a community grid that will disperse traffic among a network of neighborhood streets. A key feature of the community grid is the Business Loop, which will connect residents, including residents in low-income housing on either side of Almond Street, with economic opportunities. The project will also add active transportation – including sidewalks, bike paths, new shared use paths, and enhanced and new parks and public spaces – which will further reconnect and reinvigorate the neighborhoods. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to announce $3.3 billion to reconnect and rebuild communities in more than 40 states, including  those that were divided by transportation infrastructure decades ago and have long been overlooked. These projects will increase access to health care, schools, jobs, places of worship, and other essential services and opportunities, and will strengthen communities by covering highways with public spaces, creating new transit routes, adding sidewalks, bridges, bike lanes, and more.

Coming off President Biden’s State of the Union Address, the announcement is part of the President’s broader vision to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and leave no community behind. To date, the President’s Investing in America agenda has mobilized 47,000 infrastructure projects across the nation and $650 billion in private sector manufacturing and clean energy investments that are revitalizing communities, creating good-paying jobs, and improving the health and safety of families across the country. President Biden is building an economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down – that means investing in all of America to make sure everyone has a fair shot and to ensure a comeback story for thousands of communities.

At its best, transportation infrastructure connects people to opportunity and spurs economic growth. But historically, some of our nation’s infrastructure investments and decisions have done the opposite.  The Department of Transportation estimates that at least one million people and businesses were displaced by decades of harmful urban renewal projects and legacy policy decisions in the buildout of the Federal highway system. Highways and rail lines have disproportionately torn through Black and other communities of color and low-income communities, displacing residents and businesses, stifling economic development, and cutting communities off from essentials such as groceries, jobs, transportation, and health care.

Through the Department of Transportation’s first-of-its-kind Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program, funded by both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, the Biden-Harris Administration will help rectify the damage done by past transportation projects and drive economic growth in communities in every corner of the country. This program is a key component of the Administration’s commitment to advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities as defined in President Biden’s executive order. This program also advances the President’s commitment to delivering a convenient, efficient, and clean transportation system, including in proximity to affordable housing. Additionally, this program is a key component of the Administration’s commitment to environmental justice, including to deliver for disadvantaged communities as part of President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative.

In Milwaukee, President Biden will announce $36 million for the 6th Street Complete Streets Project.

In the 1960s, the construction of I-94/I-43 in Milwaukee led to the demolition of roughly 17,000 homes and 1,000 businesses, as neighborhoods in the path of the highway were displaced and surrounding roads like 6th Street were widened to accommodate interstate traffic. This resulted in the creation of a street that prioritized fast-moving car traffic over the people who live, walk, work, and shop in these neighborhoods. The 6th Street Complete Streets Project will reconnect communities along more than two and a half miles of the 6th Street corridor, providing wider sidewalks for children walking to school, safe bike lanes for residents and visitors, dedicated bus lanes for faster transit, new trees to provide shade, and green infrastructure to prevent sewage from flowing into the Milwaukee River and Lake Michigan. These improvements will make the roadway and surrounding communities safer, greener, and more welcoming.

Other projects across the country that will benefit from the funding announced today include the following:

  • “The Stitch” in Atlanta, Georgia is receiving $158 million to reconnect midtown to downtown Atlanta. When constructed, I-75 and I-85—now called the Downtown Connector—sliced through Sweet Auburn, cutting it off from Downtown and displacing hundreds of homes and businesses in the working-class neighborhoods. The project will create a 14-acre mixed-use development cap on three-quarters of the Downtown Connector—increasing access to jobs, housing, education, and healthcare and creating public parks, plazas, and surface streets for walking and biking.
    • The Chinatown Stitch in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is receiving $159 million to construct a cap over the Vine Street Expressway in Chinatown, which has been home to a Chinese-American immigrant community since the mid-1800s. The Expressway was constructed in the late 1980s and 1990s, demolishing significant portions of the neighborhood and displacing residents and businesses. The Chinatown Stitch project will cover about two and a half blocks of Expressway, creating new public green space, improving neighborhood connections, and creating equitable mixed-use development opportunities and inclusive mobility options.
    • The I-5 Rose Corridor Project in Portland, Oregon, is receiving $450 million to construct a highway cover and a pedestrian and bicycle-only bridge. The project will reconnect the predominantly Black neighborhood of Albina and improve safety and congestion along the interstate corridor with the highest crash rate in the state while supporting new community space and future development.
    • The RIVER East Toledo project in Toledo, Ohio is receiving $29 million to reconnect residents of Toledo’s historic east side with the downtown riverfront. Decades of disinvestment and deindustrialization have turned this once thriving working-class immigrant community into one of the city’s most disadvantaged communities, with high poverty rates, heavy environmental burdens, and disproportionate barriers to safe transportation access. This project will make safety improvements along the roadway, add bike and pedestrian infrastructure, and add trees and streetscaping.
    • The I-81 Viaduct Project in Syracuse, New York is receiving $180 million to reconnect residents with a community grid that will disperse traffic among a network of neighborhood streets. A key feature of the community grid is the Business Loop, which will connect residents, including residents in low-income housing on either side of Almond Street, with economic opportunities. The project will also add active transportation – including sidewalks, bike paths, new shared use paths, and enhanced and new parks and public spaces – which will further reconnect and reinvigorate the neighborhoods.
    • The Reconnecting 4th Ave N. in Birmingham, Alabama, is receiving $15 million to redesign Birmingham’s Black Main Street to convert the one-way road to a two-way road, reconnecting downtown neighborhoods and businesses that were divided by the construction of Interstate 65 in the 1960s. The project encompasses the Historic 4th Avenue Business District, a once thriving hub of Black businesses and community in Birmingham.
    • Removing Barriers and Creating Legacy – A Multimodal Approach in Los Angeles County, California is receiving $139 million to create 14 miles of bus priority lanes on four corridors and implement mobility hubs. Los Angeles County has the greatest concentration of roadway fatalities in the nation, with almost double the concentration of fatalities than the second highest county. With the separation of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, the project will reduce collisions by up to an estimated 49%. These investments will directly benefit approximately one million disadvantaged Angelenos.

The announcement builds on other investments the Biden-Harris Administration is making through the President’s Investing in America agenda to reconnect communities across the country. In Buffalo, NY, the Administration is investing $56 million to reconnect the east and west sides of the Kensington Expressway, which cuts through a predominantly Black community – adding safe crossing options, investing in green spaces and parks, and attracting new businesses. In Detroit, MI, the Administration is investing $105 million to replace the sunken I-375 that cuts through the prosperous and vibrant Black neighborhoods of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley, replacing it with a new lower-speed boulevard with pedestrian walkways. In New York City, NY, the Administration is investing $150 million to reconnect communities divided by the Cross Bronx Expressway between the Harlem River and the Hutchinson River Parkway, which is one of the most congested stretches of interstate in the U.S. with some of the highest rates of traffic, air pollution, and collisions. And in Pelham, AL, the Administration is investing $42 million to construct a bridge and eliminate two at-grade crossings on Shelby County Road 52 to ensure that stalled or slow trains do not prevent first responders and other vehicles from crossing the city.  

In addition to the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Program, the Biden-Harris Administration has already announced $285 billion in transportation projects across the country, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. These projects advance equity, improve safety, reduce pollution, and connect communities with jobs, school, and health care, and make it easier for families and loved ones to come together. To date, the Administration has launched local roadway safety projects in over 1,000 communities across the country in cities and rural communities – with a focus on improving safety for cyclists and pedestrians, especially benefitting disadvantaged communities that have been historically left behind. The Administration is also investing $108 billion in public transit – the largest investment in public transit in our nation’s history – benefitting low-income communities that are more likely to rely on public transit for access to jobs, education, and health care.

The Biden-Harris Administration has also invested over $150 million to protect fenceline communities from harmful air pollution, and made available nearly $3 billion via the Environmental and Climate Justice Program at the Environmental Protection Agency to help local organizations engage meaningfully in infrastructure and other investment decisions that impact their communities, increasing access for local voices and participation for historically underserved and overburdened populations

FACT SHEET: President Biden Announces Up To $8.5 Billion Preliminary Agreement with Intel under the CHIPS & Science Act

Funding catalyzes $100 billion in private investment from Intel to build and expand semiconductor facilities in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico, and Oregon and create nearly 30,000 jobs. Here’s a fact sheet from the White House:

President Biden traveled to Chandler, Arizona, on March 20 to visit Intel’s Ocotillo campus and announce that the Department of Commerce has reached a preliminary agreement with Intel to provide up to $8.5 billion in direct funding along with $11 billion in loans under the CHIPS and Science Act. The announcement will support the construction and expansion of Intel facilities in Arizona, Ohio, New Mexico, and Oregon, creating nearly 30,000 jobs and supporting tens of thousands of indirect jobs. During his visit to Arizona, President Biden will discuss the vision that he laid out in his State of the Union, underscoring how his Investing in America agenda is building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, creating good-paying jobs right here in America, strengthening U.S. supply chains, and protecting national security.

Semiconductors were invented in America and power everything from cell phones to electric vehicles, refrigerators, satellites, defense systems, and more. But today, the United States produces less than 10 percent of the world’s chips and none of the most advanced ones. Thanks to President Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act, that is changing. Companies have announced over $240 billion in investments to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States since the President took office. Semiconductor jobs are making a comeback. And thanks to CHIPS investments like the one today, America will produce roughly 20% of the world’s leading-edge chips by the end of the decade.

The announcement is critical to realizing President Biden’s vision to reestablish America’s leadership in chip manufacturing. In particular, this CHIPS investment will support Intel’s construction and expansion projects across four states and will create nearly 30,000 jobs:

  • Chandler, Arizona: Funding will help construct two leading-edge logic fabs and modernize one existing fab, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity to produce Intel’s most advanced semiconductors in the United States. This investment will create over 3,000 manufacturing jobs, 7,000 construction jobs, and thousands of indirect jobs. Intel’s investment in Arizona is among the largest private sector investments in the state’s history.
    • New Albany, Ohio: Funding will establish a new regional economic cluster for U.S. chipmaking with the construction of two leading-edge logic fabs. This investment will create 3,000 manufacturing jobs, 7,000 construction jobs, and an estimated 10,000 indirect jobs. Intel’s investment in Ohio is the largest private-sector investment in the state’s history.
       Rio Rancho, New Mexico: Funding will support the nearly complete modernization and transformation of two fabs into advanced packaging facilities, where chips are assembled together to boost their performance and reduce costs. Advanced packaging is critical for artificial intelligence (AI) applications and the next generation of semiconductor technology. It also allows manufacturers to improve performance and function and shorten the time it takes to get many advanced chips to market.  When completed, these facilities will be the largest for advanced packaging in the United States. This investment will create 700 manufacturing jobs and 1,000 construction jobs.
       
  • Hillsboro, Oregon: Funding will expand and modernize facilities to increase clean-room capacity and utilize advanced lithography equipment, further strengthening this critical innovation hub of leading-edge development and production in the United States. This investment will support several thousand new permanent and construction jobs and thousands of indirect jobs.
     

Creating Good-Paying and Union Jobs with Good Benefits Across America

President Biden promised to be the most pro-worker, pro-union President in American history, and his Administration has committed to ensuring that workers have the free and fair choice to join a union and equitable training pathways to good jobs. As part of the Administration’s effort to connect workers with good-paying jobs created by the President’s Investing in America agenda, the White House announced five initial Workforce Hubs across the country – two of which have focused on building pipelines to good jobs in the semiconductor industry: Phoenix, Arizona, and Columbus, Ohio. And, last year, the National Science Foundation and Intel announced $100 million to expand semiconductor workforce training opportunities, education, and research across the nation.

Under their preliminary agreement with the Department of Commerce, Intel has committed to work closely with workforce training providers (e.g., educational institutions, state and local agencies, labor unions) to develop and train workers for jobs created by the investment announced today. The Ohio State Building Trades signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the Ohio construction site, and there is a majority-union construction crew in both the Arizona and Oregon sites. The Administration strongly supports workers’ right to organize and expects Intel to continue its longstanding tradition of creating good jobs and respecting workers’ rights, including expecting Intel to neither hold mandatory captive audience meetings nor hire anti-union consultants.

The announcement today also includes significant funding to train and develop the local workforce, including $50 million in dedicated CHIPS funding. The focus of this funding will be further determined in the coming months based on the Department of Commerce’s labor and workforce priorities in partnership with the Department of Labor. Those priorities include funding workforce intermediaries and labor-management partnerships, promoting inclusive and equitable training and hiring across the construction and facilities workforces, and providing supportive services, such as child care. Intel’s construction spending is contributing to union apprentice programs across all four sites—expected to amount to over $150 million in apprenticeship contributions. Additionally, Intel has committed to providing affordable, accessible, high-quality child care for its workers across its facilities. Intel will be increasing the reimbursement amount and duration for its back-up care program, adding additional access to discounted primary child care providers, and expanding access to a vetted network of child care providers for its employees. In addition, Intel will pilot a primary child care reimbursement program for non-salary employees.
 

Strengthening Local Economies

Today’s announcement is also poised to strengthen the local economies of these states and cities, and is part of the President’s commitment to investing in all of America and leaving no community behind. Intel’s investments in Arizona and Ohio are among the largest private-sector investments in each state’s history, and Arizona has received the highest level of private sector manufacturing investment per capita of any state since the President took office. Intel’s investment in Arizona is expected to create tens of thousands of indirect jobs across suppliers and supporting industries – on top of the nearly 30,000 manufacturing and construction jobs it will create, fostering a more resilient semiconductor supply chain in the U.S.

In Arizona, Intel’s investments have grown the surrounding community, attracting opportunities for professional growth and upward economic mobility for everyone – from graphic designers to restaurants and small businesses. And in Ohio, Intel continues expanding their partnerships with local businesses to support their construction projects and operations at other facilities – growing from 150 Ohio-based suppliers in 2022 to over 350 today. 

Intel has also prioritized sustainability and being responsible stewards of the environment at its facilities. It currently uses 100% renewable electricity in its fabs and factories in the United States, and plans to achieve net-positive water and zero waste to landfill by 2030.

Building on Historic Progress Under the CHIPS and Science Act

Today’s announcement is the fourth and largest preliminary memorandum of terms (PMT) under the CHIPS and Science Act:

  • In February 2024, the Biden-Harris Administration announced $1.5 billion for GlobalFoundries to support the development and expansion of facilities in Malta, NY, and Burlington, VT.
    • In January 2024, the Administration announced $162 million for Microchip Technology Inc. to increase its production of microcontroller units and other specialty semiconductors, and to support the modernization and expansion of fabrication facilities in Colorado Springs, CO, and Gresham, OR. 
    • In December 2023, the Administration announced $35 million for BAE Systems Electronic Systems to support the modernization of the company’s Microelectronics Center in Nashua, NH. This facility will produce chips that are essential to our national security, including for use in F-35 fighter jets.

President Biden’s Investing in America agenda – including the CHIPS and Science Act – is spurring a manufacturing and clean energy boom. Since President Biden took office, companies have announced over $675 billion in private sector investments in manufacturing and clean energy, and over 50,000 infrastructure and clean energy projects are underway. This announcement is part of the President’s broader commitment to build an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not the top down, and invest in all of America. 

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Actions to Continue Advancing Pay Equity and Women’s Economic Security

President Biden is working to close gender and racial wage gaps including by improving wages for health workers and caregivers © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

On Equal Pay Day, March 12, the Biden Administration marked celebrate how far we have come—and how far we have yet to go—in closing the gender pay gap.  Under the Biden-Harris Administration, America has seen an unprecedented—and equitable—economic recovery, building back an economy that is the strongest in the world. Women’s labor force participation is the highest it has been in decades, and the gender pay gap is the narrowest it has ever been on record.
 
At the same time, President Biden recognizes we still have work left to do. Women workers are still paid on average only 84 cents for every dollar paid to men. And the disparities are even greater for many women of color. These inequities cost women more than $1 trillion every year, and add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost over the course of a career for individual workers.
 
President Biden and Vice President Harris remain committed to closing gender and racial wage gaps and ensuring all people have a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the labor force and support their families. Closing wage gaps is critical to strengthening and growing the economy. This Equal Pay Day, the Biden-Harris Administration reaffirms its commitment to tackling pay gaps and announces new efforts to continue to build our understanding of pay disparities, address inequities, and support women’s economic security.

These actions will:

  • Promote equitable access to good-paying jobs. Last week, the President signed the Executive Order on Scaling and Expanding the Use of Registered Apprenticeships, which will expand and diversify Registered Apprenticeship programs, benefitting women and other underrepresented workers by increasing access to high-quality pathways to good-paying, family-sustaining jobs.
     
  • Support equal pay and further understanding of pay inequities. Today, for the first time, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is making available aggregate pay data from 2017 and 2018—collected from private employers and Federal contractors with 100 or more employees—via a user-friendly interactive tool, allowing researchers, stakeholders, and the public to better understand pay disparities based on sex, race/ethnicity, geography, industry, job category, and more.
     
  • Address occupational segregation. Today, the Department of Labor (DOL) is issuing an update to the Bearing the Cost report, analyzing the impact of “occupational segregation” on women’s economic security, particularly for Black and Hispanic women. Occupational segregation—the overrepresentation of women and people of color in occupations and industries that pay less, and their underrepresentation in occupations and industries that pay more—is a key contributor to pay inequity. DOL found that, over the course of a year, Black women lost $42.7 billion and Hispanic women lost $53.3 billion in wages compared to white men due to the impacts of occupational segregation.

Today’s announcements follow recent actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to further pay equity and transparency. On Equal Pay Day 2022, the President issued an Executive Order that committed to eliminate discriminatory pay practices in the Federal government and Federal contracting workforces. In January 2024, the Administration made good on that promise by committing to:

  • Advance pay equity for Federal workers. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) published a final rule ensuring that more than 80 Federal agencies will no longer consider an individual’s non-Federal current or past pay when determining the salaries of Federal employees.  Ending the consideration of salary history in pay-setting decisions is a proven way to curb pay discrimination that often follows workers from job to job.
     
  • Promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in Federal contracting by advancing pay equity and pay transparency laws. The Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a proposal to prohibit Federal contractors and subcontractors from seeking and considering information about job applicants’ compensation history for employment decisions for personnel working on or in connection with a government contract. In addition, the proposal would require Federal contractors and subcontractors to disclose expected salary ranges in job postings, a policy shown to reduce pay inequities. These proposals will also help Federal contractors recruit, diversify, and retain talent; improve job satisfaction and performance; and reduce turnover—all factors associated with promoting the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the Federal contractor workforce.
     
  • Affirm equal pay obligations for Federal contractors. DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued new guidance clarifying existing protections against discrimination in hiring or pay decisions. The guidance will help Federal contractors and employees understand when reliance on an individual’s compensation history for hiring or pay decisions may result in unlawful discrimination.

These efforts build upon actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to close gender and racial wage gaps and strengthen women’s economic security, which has led to the lowest unemployment rate among women since 1953. These include:

  • Ensuring women have access to good-paying jobs being created by the President’s Investing in America agenda. The Biden-Harris Administration’s investments through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have created thousands of good-paying jobs in industries of the future. The Administration has taken steps to ensure increased access to these jobs, including for women, people of color, and members of other communities currently underrepresented in these growing sectors have equitable access to these careers. These steps include:
    • Launching the Good Jobs Initiative. DOL’s Good Jobs Initiative provides critical information to workers, employers, and government agencies to improve job quality, empower workers, and ensure workers, especially those from underserved communities, can access good union jobs free from discrimination and harassment. The Initiative is dedicated to advancing the Departments of Labor and Commerce’s Good Jobs Principles, which address recruitment and hiring; diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and pay. Key implementing agencies have signed memoranda of understanding with DOL to support the Good Jobs Initiative, promote equitable workforce development, and ensure workers have what they need to deliver on the President’s once-in-a-generation Investing in America agenda. 
       
    • Expanding access to good-paying construction jobs. To ensure women can access the almost 200,000 new construction jobs expected from the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic investments, the Department of Commerce launched the Million Women in Construction initiative, which calls on chip manufacturers, construction companies and unions to bring one million women into the construction industry over the next decade, roughly doubling women’s representation in the industry. DOL also launched the Mega Construction Project (Megaproject) Program, which fosters equal employment opportunity on designated BIL- and CHIPS-funded construction projects through intensive on-the-ground assistance to remove hiring barriers and promote consideration of a diverse pool of qualified workers, including women, people of color, veterans, and people with disabilities.
       
    • Improving access to child care for the semiconductor workforce through CHIPS and Science Act implementation requirements. The Department of Commerce’s implementation of the CHIPS and Science Act included a historic requirement that applicants requesting over $150 million in direct funding submit plans to provide accessible, affordable, high-quality child care. 
       
  • Increasing access to affordable care and supporting caregivers. Access to affordable, high-quality care is essential to ensuring parents, especially moms, can participate fully in the workforce. From day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has focused on ways to lower child care costs for hardworking families and improve wages for child care workers. The ARP Child Care Stabilization program delivered historic support to over 225,000 child care programs serving as many as 10 million children across the country. Over 90% of the child care programs that have received assistance are women-owned. The Council of Economic Advisors found that this stabilization funding supported savings for families with young children, raised the real wages of child care workers, and helped hundreds of thousands of women with young children enter or re-enter the workforce.

In addition, in April 2023, President Biden signed an Executive Order with more than 50 directives to nearly every cabinet-level agency to increase access to affordable, high-quality care and boost job quality for early educators and long-term care workers, who are disproportionately women of color. Among the many actions agencies have taken, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule strengthening the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program and lowering child care costs for more than 100,000 families. 

  • Increasing the minimum wage. The President issued Executive Orders directing the Administration to work toward ensuring that employees working on Federal contracts and Federal employees earned at least a $15 per hour minimum wage. Those directives went into effect in January 2022, raising the wages of about 370,000 Federal employees and employees of Federal contractors. In addition to helping the government do its work more efficiently, these directives take a step towards narrowing racial and gender disparities in income, as many low paid workers are women and people of color. The order also eliminates the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities on Federal contracts. The President has called on Congress to raise the Federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, so that American workers can have a job that delivers dignity and to make greater strides towards pay equity.
     

Supporting women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Small Business Administration-backed loans to women-owned small businesses are up more than 60 percent, totaling $5.1 billion in lending to women-owned businesses in FY23. And a new report found that from 2019 to 2023, women’s small business formation surged, substantially outpacing overall formation. This Administration has invested $70 million in the Women Business Centers (WBC) network, expanding it for the first time into all 50 states and tripling the number of WBCs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and other minority-serving institutions. President Biden is also investing $10 billion through the ARP State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) to help States, territories, and Tribal governments leverage tens of billions more in matching public and private dollars to support small businesses across the United States, with a particular focus on historically underserved entrepreneurs, including women business owners. The ARP Restaurant Revitalization Fund helped over 40,000 women-owned restaurants and bars—thanks in part to steps taken by the Administration to ensure that women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses were able to access assistance.

FACT SHEET: The American Rescue Plan (ARP): Top Highlights from 3 Years of Recovery

  1. Led to the Strongest Jobs Recovery on Record and the Strongest Recovery in the World: When President Biden came into office, there was tremendous economic uncertainty. Unemployment was at 6.4% when President Biden took office. Unemployment was not projected to drop below 4% until the end of 2025 in CBO’s February 2021 (Pre-ARP) Forecast. Instead, unemployment was below 4% for the past 25 months in a row – the strongest record in more than five decades. 
    1. ARP drove historic 3-year job growth with 15 million jobs added since President Biden took office.
    1. Not only recovered all the lost jobs but added an additional 5.5 million more jobs versus pre-Covid.
    1. Powered the strongest recovery in the world: After the American Rescue Plan passed, the U.S. saw by far the fastest recovery in the G7, with significantly higher real wage growth. US has lower apples to apples core inflation than all major European allies.
    1. Powered the Most Equitable Recovery in Memory: In past recessions, persistent high long-term and youth unemployment as well as high numbers foreclosures and evictions led to long-term harms – “scarring” for millions of Americans and hard, long roads back for Black and Latino Americans. President Biden’s Rescue Plan ensured that didn’t happen this time:
    1. Historic drops in unemployment for Black and Latino workers: With the strong recovery powered by ARP, Black unemployment saw its largest 1-year drop since the early 1980s and reached its lowest-ever annual rate in 2023; Hispanic unemployment saw its fastest 1-year drop and reached its lowest 2-year rate ever in 2022 & 2023.  
    1. Least scarring in any recovery in memory: The American Rescue Plan led to the fastest drop in long-term and youth unemployment ever. It kept foreclosures historically low and evictions 20% below historic avgs.
    1. Led to dramatic reduction in inequality: Economists have found that the strong post-ARP labor market’s wage increases for middle-income and lower-income workers erased nearly 40% of the rise in wage inequality increases from the previous four decades.
    1. Lowest women’s annual unemployment rate since 1953: This recovery has seen a dramatic decline in women’s unemployment to an average of 3.5% in 2023, the lowest annual average since 1953.
    1. Strong recovery for Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian communities: Asian American unemployment averaged 2.9% over the last two years and AA NHPI small business formation surged. Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander unemployment also fell by half from a 9% avg. in 2020 to 4% in 2022-2023.
    1. Led to the Largest Federal Investments in Preventing Crime, Reducing Violence, and Investing in Public Safety in History. Since the passage of the American Rescue Plan, we’ve had the largest federal investment in advancing public safety and preventing violence in our history through ARP funding and other federal funding.
    1. Over $15 billion in ARP funds committed to preventing crime and reducing violence, with investments by over 1,000 state and local governments to avoid cuts to police budgets, hire more police officers for safe, effective, and accountable community policing, ensure first responders have the equipment they need to do their jobs, and expand evidence-based community violence intervention and prevention programs.
    1. That includes $1.2 billion for Medicaid Mobile Crisis Intervention Services – the American Rescue Plan included $1.2 billion to fund mobile crisis intervention units staffed with mental health professionals & trained peers. 
    1. It also includes $1 billion in Family Violence Prevention and Services Program to reduce domestic violence with immediate crisis intervention, health supports, and safety.
    1. American Rescue Plan’s Expansion of the Affordable Care Act Led to Record-Breaking Health Care Enrollment and Savings: ARP substantially increased consumer subsidies, eligibility to middle-income families and provided strong incentives for states to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act. Result:
    1. ARP/IRA-extended ACA extension led to over 21 million Americans enrolling in coverage, an increase of 9 million from when POTUS took office.
    1. Thanks to the American Rescue Plan and Inflation Reduction Act, millions of Americans are saving an average of $800 a year on premiums. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to keeping health insurance premiums low, giving families more breathing room and the peace of mind that health insurance brings. To do that, the President is calling on Congress to make the expanded premium tax credits that the Inflation Reduction Act extended permanent.
    1. Provided health coverage to 3 million Americans who would have otherwise had no health insurance.
    1. Provided affordable health coverage to millions of middle-class Americans who were previously excluded from receiving consumer subsidies.
    1. Provided more than $3 billion in Medicaid funding to North Carolina, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota for Medicaid expansion, covering over one million people.
    1. Gave states an easier pathway to extend Medicaid postpartum coverage for a full 12 months – ensuring access to critical care for nearly 700,000 women in 45 states and the District of Columbia.
    1. Largest Small Business Boom in History Due to ARP-Driven Strong Recovery and Small Business Investments: The Biden-Harris Administration:
    1. Increased COVID EIDL to $2 million while increasing anti-fraud controls.
    1. Reformed PPP to more equitably distribute funds to the smallest businesses.
    1. Restaurant Revitalization Fund helped over 100,000 restaurants, bars, and food trucks stay open.
    1. Shuttered Venues Program provided relief to 13,000 venues.
    1. Invested a historic $10 Billion in the State Small Business Credit Initiative leveraging up to $100 billion in capital for small businesses.
    1. Invested in innovative Community Navigators program that delivered training to over 350,000 entrepreneurs and 1:1 counseling services to over 33,000 small business owners
    1. Invested $125 million through the Capital Readiness Program to 43 non-profit community-based organizations to help underserved entrepreneurs launch and scale their small businesses – winners ranged from Asian/Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce to Urban League of Greater Atlanta.
      This, and the strong recovery that ARP powered, led to:
    1. A record 16 million new business applications over the past 3 years; 55% higher than year before pandemic.
    1. Share of Black households owning a business has more than doubled, and Latino and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander small business formation surged as well.  
    1. Women-owned businesses formation substantially outpaced overall business formation.
    1. Led to Lowest Child Poverty Rate in American History: The American Rescue Plan expanded the Child Tax Credit, made it fully refundable, and delivered it monthly in 2021. This historic expansion drove:
    1. Child poverty cut nearly in half to lowest rate ever.
    1. Black child poverty cut by over 50%, Hispanic child poverty cut by 43%, and dramatic drops in Native American, white and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander child povertyall record lows.
    1. Over 9 million children in rural areas benefited from the expanded credit.
    1. 5 million children in Veteran and active-duty families benefited from the expanded credit.
    1. Child Tax Credit payments were delivered reliably with the first ever monthly payment – on the 15th of each month with 90% using direct deposit.
    1. Over 60 million children in 40 million working families received largest Child Tax Credit in history.
    1. Historic expansion to ~240,000 Puerto Rican families: For the first time, ARP permanently made Puerto Rican families eligible for the same Child Tax Credit as other American families. ARP also quadrupled funding available for Puerto Rico’s Earned Income Tax Credit.
    1. Funded a Historic Vaccination Campaign: ARP provided $160 billion to support vaccination, therapeutics, testing and mitigation, PPE, and the broader COVID Response effort. This led to:
    1. Over 230 million Americans are fully vaccinated, up from 3.5 million when President Biden took office, while closing the racial gap in vaccine access.
    1. First-Ever National Eviction Policy Called “The most important eviction prevention policy in American history.” 
    1. Emergency Rental Assistance and other American Rescue Plan assistance helped over 8 million hard-pressed renters stay in their homes without sacrificing other basic needs.  
    1. Emergency Rental Assistance and Other ARP housing policies cut eviction filings to 20% below historic averages since start of Biden-Harris Administration.
    1. Called the “the most important eviction prevention policy in American history” by Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize Winner author of “Evicted” – and the “deepest investment the federal government has made in low-income renters since the nation launched its public housing system.”
    1. HUD Emergency Housing Vouchers have already helped 47,500 households at risk of homelessness lease their own rental housing – supporting those at risk of or experiencing homelessness or housing instability, and those fleeing domestic violence.
    1. Helped Keep Over 225,000 Child Care Programs Open and Provided Historic Nationwide Support for Medicaid Home-Based Care
    1. American Rescue Plan Stabilization Assistance has reached over 225,000 Child Care Providers – that employ 1 million child care workers – and have the capacity to serve as many as 10 million children.
    1. Led to lower child care costs by $1,250 per child, helped bring hundreds of thousands of women with young children into the workforce, and increased wages for child care workers by 10%, according to Council of Economic Advisors Report.
    1. More than 8-in-10 licensed child care centers nationwide received ARP assistance.
    1. Benefited 30,000 rural child care programs – in most states, 97% of rural counties or more received aid.
    1. Invested $37 billion to expand access to home-based care and support direct care workers: Thanks to the American Rescue Plan, President Biden delivered $37 billion that all 50 states and the District of Columbia chose to invest to expand access to home care and improve the quality of caregiving jobs.
    1. Investing in ALL of America:
    1. For First Time in History, Direct Relief to Every Town, City, County, Tribe and State – No Matter How Big or Small, Urban or Rural – So they Could Design their Own Recovery:
    1. Before ARP, 70% of cities forecasted layoffs or major cuts in services and half of states were freezing or cutting jobs. Today, cities and states have funds to invest in major challenges – like public safety, housing, workforce, and rehiring, instead of making dramatic cuts.
    1. ARP provided direct fiscal relief to every state & territory and 30,000 cities and towns – while previous plans reached only 154 local governments or fewer. This has led to:
    1. Immediately reversed planned layoffs in cities and states across the country – and helped drive a recovery of 1.3 million state and local jobs, recovering all of the state and local jobs lost in roughly one-third the time it took to recover state and local jobs after the Great Recession.
    1. Major investments in critical areas:
      1. $25 billion to jumpstart universal broadband access – including Broadband Connections for 18 million students through the Emergency Connectivity Fund so that schools and libraries could close the homework gap.
      1. $12.8 billion in State & Local Funds invested in over 4,300 workforce investments by state and local governments.
      1. Over $20 billion in State & Local Funds invested in water infrastructure.
      1. $18.5 billion in State & Local Funds invested in housing – expanding supply, investing in homeless services, and providing 3.7 million additional households rent, mortgage, and utility relief.
         
    1. Largest Ever Investment in Tribal Communities
    1. ARP provided largest one-time investment in Tribal communities in history – providing more than $32 billion specifically allocated for Tribal communities and Native people, including $20 billion in Fiscal Recovery Funds that were quickly and directly distributed to Tribal governments in 2021 to stabilize Tribal economies devastated by the pandemic.
    1. Invested in first-ever Tribal Small Business Credit Initiative Awards.
    1. Focus on Tribal Communities in Place-Based grants including $45 million Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBB-RC) grant to the Mountain Plains Regional Native CDFI Coalition to grow the Native finance sector and expand economic opportunity.
       
    1. Investing in Rural America: Innovative rural-focused investments include:
    1. ARP provided direct fiscal recovery funding to every single rural government so that they could avoid painful layoffs and design their own recovery. Past recovery bills only sent direct fiscal relief to largest cities.
    1. ARP Child Care Stabilization Reached 30,000 rural child care programs – in most states, 97% of rural counties or more received aid.
    1. USDA invested $1 billion to expand independent meat and poultry processing capacity to give farmers more market options and fairer prices, and reduce reliance on a handful of meat and poultry corporations.
    1. Rural unemployment rates in 2023 were at their lowest point (3.6 percent) since before 1990.
    1. Full rural jobs recovery: Rural employment has returned fully to pre-COVID levels.
    1. Major Investment in Workforce Training and Connecting Americans to Good Jobs:
    1. Tens of billions from the American Rescue Plan have gone to workforce training efforts, including $12.8 billion in State and Local Funds invested in over 4,300 workforce investments across the country, including pre-apprenticeships and other programs to prepare for new infrastructure, health care & care jobs.
    1. $500 million in competitive Good Jobs Challenge Awards for 32 Workforce High-Quality Training Partnerships across the country.
    1. $1 billion Competitive Build Back Better Regional Challenge – 21 Winners won between $25 million and $65 million to execute transformational projects and revitalize local industries. Projects include developing workforce training programs, connecting workers to jobs, and other transformational investments.
    1. Historic investment in expanding and supporting our health care workforce, including:
       
    1. $1.1 billion investment in the community health workforce, including in mental health workforce.
    1. Rapid deployment of 14,000+ community outreach workers (in 150+ national & local organizations). For example, the Association of Asian/Pacific Community Health Organizations used American Rescue Plan funds to establish the CHW Workforce Collaborative (the Collaborative). The Collaborative has since hired, trained, and deployed more than 250 CHWs who speak over 36 Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander languages in 12 continental U.S. states and Hawaii.
    1. Establishment of the first-of-its-kind public health AmeriCorps to build and train the next generation of public health leaders, already serving 82 organizations across the country and supporting more than 3,000 AmeriCorps members.
    1. Supporting the largest field in history (over 22,700 providers) for the National Health Service Corps, Nurse Corps, and Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery programs, treating more than 23.6 million patients in underserved communities.
    1. Provided recovery funding for more than 15,000 School Districts to Safely Reopen K-12 Schools, Support Academic Recovery, and Invest in Student Mental Health:
    1. ARP provided critical relief to more than 15,000 school districts to reopen safely, support academic recovery, and invest in student mental health.
    1. Data from school district plans show that schools are using these funds well, focusing on efforts to support academic recovery:
      1. Nearly 60% of funds are committed to investments like staffing, tutoring, afterschool and summer learning programs, new instructional resources and materials, and mental and physical health supports.
      1. Another 23% is going to keep schools operating safely, including providing PPE and updating school facilities. This includes investments in lead abatement and nearly $10 billion for HVAC.
      1. Nearly half of school districts invested in summer learning programs which proven to boost math scores.

     This has led to:

  • Going from 46% of schools that had safely opened to full-time in-person teaching to 100%: In January 2021, CDC data showed that just 46% of schools were open full-time in-person. Today, all schools are open.
    • Led to a major increase in staffing and investments to address student mental health: Schools now employ 31% more school social workers and 31% more school nurses than pre-pandemic. School districts have added more than 600,000 local education jobs since January 2021 and recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
    • Eighteen Million College Students Have Received Direct Financial Assistance from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund that was expanded by ARP:
    • Colleges reached an estimated 18 million students with direct financial assistance from the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEERF) fund since the beginning of 2021.
    • Direct financial assistance for an estimated 6 million community college students.
    • 80% of Pell Grant recipients received direct financial relief in 2021.
    • An estimated 450,000 students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) received direct financial assistance. In 2021, 77% of HBCUs used HEERF funds to discharge unpaid student balances.
    • Historic Investment in Pension Security for up to 3 million Union workers & retirees: ARP’s Special Financial Assistance is the most significant investment in pension security for union workers and retirees in the past 50 years.
    • Over 200 multiemployer plans that were on pace to become insolvent in the near term will now have solvency and able to pay full benefits until at least 2051.
    • Preventing a wave of multi-employer insolvencies for 2-3 million workers who would have seen major cuts to their earned retirement benefits.
    • Pension cuts reversed for over 80,000 workers and retirees in 18 “MPRA” multiemployer plans
    • Most significant effort to protect the solvency of the multiemployer pension system in almost 50 years.
    • First-Ever Summer Nutrition Benefit for Students w/ Nationwide Reach – Extended Permanently:
    • ARP created the first-ever summer nutrition benefit with nationwide reach, helping children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals afford food over the summer.
    • 30 million young people: Reached the families of 30 million students.

Permanent: Congress extended this innovative program permanently in 2022’s Omnibus bill, the first major new permanent food assistance program in nearly five decades

SOTU: President Biden Announces Plan to Lower Housing Costs for Working Families

President Biden is taking action to help families afford their first house © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet from the White House details President Biden’s plans to lower housing costs for working families. This includes building and preserving over 2 million new homes to lower rents and cost of buying a home. –Karen Rubin, [email protected]

President Biden believes housing costs are too high, and significant investments are needed to address the large shortage of affordable homes inherited from his predecessor and that has been growing for more than a decade. During his State of the Union Address, President Biden will call on Congressional Republicans to end years of inaction and pass legislation to lower costs by providing a $10,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers and people who sell their starter homes; build and renovate more than 2 million homes; and lower rental costs.  President Biden also announced new steps to lower homebuying and refinancing closing costs and crack down on corporate actions that rip off renters.

We are starting to see some progress. More housing units are under construction right now than at any time in the last 50 years, rents have fallen over the last year in many places, and the homeownership rate is higher now than before the pandemic. But rent is still too high, and Americans who want to buy a home still have difficulty finding one they can afford. That is why President Biden has a landmark plan to build over 2 million homes, which will lower rents, make houses more affordable, and promote fair housing.

Lowering Costs of Homeownership

For many Americans, owning a home is the cornerstone of raising a family, building wealth, and joining the middle class. Too many working families feel locked out of homeownership and are unable to compete with investors for a limited supply of affordable for-sale homes. President Biden is calling on Congress to enact legislation to enable more Americans to purchase a home, including:

  • Mortgage Relief Credit. President Biden is calling on Congress to pass a mortgage relief credit that would provide middle-class first-time homebuyers with an annual tax credit of $5,000 a year for two years. This is the equivalent of reducing the mortgage rate by more than 1.5 percentage points for two years on the median home, and will help more than 3.5 million middle-class families purchase their first home over the next two years. 

The President’s plan also calls for a new credit to unlock inventory of affordable starter homes, while helping middle-class families move up the housing ladder and empty nesters right size. Many homeowners have lower rates on their mortgages than current rates. This “lock-in” effect makes homeowners more reluctant to sell and give up that low rate, even in circumstances where their current homes no longer fit their household needs. The President is calling on Congress to provide a one-year tax credit of up to $10,000 to middle-class families who sell their starter home, defined as homes below the area median home price in the county, to another owner-occupant. This proposal is estimated to help nearly 3 million families.

  • Down Payment Assistance for First-Generation Homeowners. The President continues to call on Congress to provide up to $25,000 in down payment assistance to first-generation homebuyers whose families haven’t benefited from the generational wealth building associated with homeownership. This proposal is estimated to help 400,000 families purchase their first home.

The President isn’t waiting for Congress to lower costs for homebuyers and homeowners. Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reduced the mortgage insurance premium for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages, saving an estimated 850,000 homebuyers and homeowners an estimated $800 per year. And today, the President is announcing new actions to lower the closing costs associated with buying a home or refinancing a mortgage.

  • Lowering Closing Costs for Refinancing. The Federal Housing Finance Agency has approved policies and pilots to reduce closing costs for homeowners, including a pilot to waive the requirement for lender’s title insurance on certain refinances. This would save thousands of homeowners up to $1500, and an average of $750, and the lower upfront fees will unlock substantial savings for homeowners as mortgage rates continue to fall and more homeowners are able to refinance. According to independent analysis, across the market title insurance typically pays out only 3% to 5% of premiums in claims to consumers, compared to more than 70% in other types of insurance. Homeowners can still purchase their own title insurance policies if they choose to do so.
  • Lowering Closing Costs for Home Mortgages. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will pursue rulemaking and guidance to address anticompetitive closing costs imposed by lenders on homebuyers and homeowners.  These charges—which benefit the lender but not the borrower—can add thousands to the upfront costs of a mortgage.  Those upfront costs cut into the amount of homebuyers’ down payments and reduce homeowners’ available equity.

In the coming months, the Department of Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office will convene a roundtable of relevant industry stakeholders, including consumer advocates and academics, in order to discuss the title insurance industry and analyze potential reforms. Building on today’s announcements, President Biden is calling on federal agencies to take all available actions to lower costs for consumers at the closing table and help more Americans access homeownership.

Lowering Costs by Building and Preserving 2 Million Homes

America needs to build more housing in order to lower rental costs and increase access to homeownership. That’s why the President is calling on Congress to pass legislation to build and renovate more than 2 million homes, which would close the housing supply gap and lower housing costs for renters and homeowners. This legislation would build on executive actions in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Housing Supply Action Plan that contributed to record housing construction last year.

  • Tax Credits to Build More Housing. President Biden is calling for an expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit to build or preserve 1.2 million more affordable rental units. Renters living in these properties save hundreds of dollars each month on their rent compared with renters with similar incomes who rent in the unsubsidized market. The President is also calling for a new Neighborhood Homes Tax Credit, the first tax provision to build or renovate affordable homes for homeownership, which would lead to the construction or preservation of over 400,000 starter homes in communities throughout the country.
  • Innovation Fund for Housing Expansion. The President is unveiling a new $20 billion competitive grant fund as part of his Budget to support communities across the country to build more housing and lower rents and homebuying costs. This fund would support the construction of affordable multifamily rental units; incentivize local actions to remove unnecessary barriers to housing development; pilot innovative models to increase the production of affordable and workforce rental housing; and spur the construction of new starter homes for middle-class families. According to independent analysis, this will create hundreds of thousands of units which will help lower rents and housing costs.
  • Increasing Banks’ Contributions Towards Building Affordable Housing. The President is proposing that each Federal Home Loan Bank double its annual contribution to the Affordable Housing Program – from 10 percent of prior year net income to 20 percent – which will raise an additional $3.79 billion for affordable housing over the next decade and assist nearly 380,0000 households. These funds will support the financing, acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of affordable rental and for-sale homes, as well as help low- and moderate-income homeowners to purchase or rehabilitate homes.

Lowering Costs for Renters

President Biden is also taking actions to lower costs and promote housing stability for renters. The White House Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights lays out the key principles of a fair rental market and has already catalyzed new federal actions to make those principles a reality. Today, President Biden is announcing new steps to crack down on unfair practices that are driving up rental costs:

  • Fighting Rent Gouging by Corporate Landlords. The Biden-Harris Administration is taking action to combat egregious rent increases and other unfair practices that are driving up rents. Corporate landlords and private equity firms across the country have been accused of illegal information sharing, price fixing, and inflating rents. As part of the Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing announced by President Biden on Tuesday, the President is calling on federal agencies to root out and stop illegal corporate behavior that hikes prices on American families through anti-competitive, unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practices. In a recent filing, the Department of Justice (DOJ) made clear its position that inflated rents caused by algorithmic use of sensitive nonpublic pricing and supply information violate antitrust laws. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission and DOJ filed a joint brief further arguing that it is illegal for landlords and property managers to collude on pricing to inflate rents – including when using algorithms to do so.
  • Cracking Down on Rental Junk Fees. Millions of families incur burdensome costs in the rental application process and throughout the duration of their lease, from “convenience fees” simply to pay rent online to fees charged to sort mail or collect trash. These fees are often more than the actual cost of providing the service, or are added onto rents to cover services that renters assume are included—or that they don’t even want. Last fall, the FTC proposed a rule that if finalized as proposed would ban misleading and hidden fees across the economy, including in housing rental agreements. Last month, HUD released a summary of banned non-rent fees within their rental assistance programs. These actions build on voluntary commitments the President announced last summer from major rental housing platforms to provide customers with the total, upfront cost on rental properties on their platform.

Expanding Housing Choice Vouchers. Over the last three years, the Administration has secured rental assistance for more than 100,000 additional households. The President is calling on Congress to further expand rental assistance to more than half of a million households, including by providing a voucher guarantee for low-income veterans and youth aging out of foster care – the first such voucher guarantees in history. Receiving a voucher would save these households hundreds of dollars in rent each month.

FACT SHEET: In SOTU, Biden Continues the Fight for Reproductive Freedom, Calls on Congress to Restore Protections Under Roe

New Yorkers protest against the fall of reproductive freedom. Following the radical religious Supreme Court’s overturn of reproductive freedom under Roe with its Dobbs decision, dozens of states immediately instituted abortion bans, hundreds of laws have been introduced to restrict access to reproductive health care and to establish “personhood” of embryos. Biden-Harris has attempted to push back with federal actions to protect reproductive freedom © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The White House provided this fact sheet updating efforts by the Biden-Harris Administration to protect women’s reproductive freedom in the face of the ongoing assault from states and courts dominated by the religious right. The devastating impacts on the lives of women and families has been clear – most recently in Alabama’s use of “personhood” to elevate the “rights” of a frozen embryo over the mother and inject government control over her life and future. And Biden’s forceful whole-of-government approach is in contrast to the presumed Republican nominee, Trump’s, promise of instituting a national abortion ban of 15 or 16 weeks, Trump is not sure yet which number sounds better, and prosecuting women who try to assert their reproductive freedom.—Karen Rubin, [email protected]

Nearly two years after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to choose, millions of Americans are living under extreme state abortion bans. These dangerous laws are putting women’s health and lives at risk and threatening doctors with jail time, including life in prison, for providing the health care they have been trained to provide. And Republicans’ extreme out-of-touch agenda has put access to fertility treatments at risk for families who are desperately trying to get pregnant.
 
Tonight, Kate Cox and Latorya Beasley will join the First Lady as her guests at the State of the Union. Kate, a mother of two from Texas, has experienced the devastating consequences of state abortion bans and courageously spoke out about her experience seeking the care she needed to preserve her health—becoming one of the first women in 50 years to have to turn to the courts to ask permission to receive the abortion that her doctor recommended. She, like too many other women across the country, was ultimately forced to travel out of state for care that she would have been able to receive if Roe v. Wade were still the law of the land.
 
After a ruling from the Alabama Supreme Court put access to in vitro fertilization (IVF) on pause in much of the state, Latorya and her husband, who had been preparing for another round of IVF, learned that their embryo transfer was abruptly canceled. This heartbreaking setback in her and her husband’s journey to have their second child through IVF is yet another example of how the overturning of Roe v. Wade has disrupted access to reproductive health care for women and families across the country.
 
President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that stories like Kate’s and Latorya’s should never happen in America. But Republican elected officials want to impose this reality on women nationwide. They are doubling down on their assault on fundamental freedoms by proposing ever-more extreme bans in states and three national abortion bans in Congress. And, just last week, Senate Republicans blocked a vote to safeguard nationwide access to IVF. Their ongoing disregard for women’s ability to make these decisions for themselves and their families is outrageous and unacceptable.
 
In his State of the Union Address, President Biden will again call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law so women in every state have the freedom to make deeply personal health care decisions. And the Biden-Harris Administration will continue to take executive action to protect access to reproductive health care, including through ongoing implementation of the President’s three Executive Orders and a Presidential Memorandum issued since the Court overturned Roe v. Wade. To date, the Administration has taken action to:

  • Protect access to abortion, including FDA-approved medication abortion;
  • Defend access to emergency medical care;
  • Support the ability to travel for reproductive health care;
  • Strengthen access to high-quality, affordable contraception;
  • Safeguard the privacy of patients and health care providers; and
  • Ensure access to accurate information and legal resources.

Protect Access to Abortion, Including FDA-Approved Medication Abortion
 
The Administration will continue fighting to protect a woman’s ability to access abortion care, including by defending access to FDA-approved, safe and effective medication abortion. The Administration will continue to:

  • Protect Access to Safe and Legal Medication Abortion.  On what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Biden issued a Presidential Memorandum directing agencies to consider further efforts to support patients, providers, and pharmacies who wish to legally access, prescribe, or provide medication abortion. This Presidential Memorandum followed independent, evidence-based action taken by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow mifepristone to be prescribed by telehealth and sent by mail as well as to enable interested pharmacies to become certified to dispense the medication. As a result of the new pathway established by FDA, many pharmacies across the country—including major retail pharmacy chains—are now certified to dispense medication abortion. This new option gives many women the option to pick up their prescription for medication abortion at a local, certified pharmacy just as they would for any other medication.
     
  • Defend FDA Approval of Medication Abortion in Court.  FDA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are defending access to mifepristone—a safe and effective drug used in medication abortion that FDA first approved more than twenty years ago—and FDA’s independent, expert judgment in court, including in a lawsuit before the Supreme Court that attempts to curtail access nationwide. The Administration will continue to stand by FDA’s decades-old approval and regulation of the medication as well as FDA’s ability to review, approve, and regulate a wide range of prescription medications. Efforts to impose outdated restrictions on mifepristone would limit access to this critical medication in every state in the country.
     
  • Partner with State Leaders on the Frontlines of Abortion Access.  The White House continues to partner with leaders on the frontlines of protecting access to abortion—both those fighting extreme state legislation and those advancing proactive policies to protect access to reproductive health care, including for patients who are forced to travel out of state for care. The Vice President has led these efforts, traveling to 20 states and meeting with more than 250 state legislators, health care providers, and advocates in the past year. And, on what would have been the 51st anniversary of Roe, the Vice President launched her nationwide Fight for Reproductive Freedoms tour to continue fighting back against extreme attacks throughout America.
     
  • Provide Access to Reproductive Health Care for Veterans.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued a final rule to allow VA to provide abortion counseling and, in certain circumstances, abortion care to veterans and VA beneficiaries. Under this rule, VA provides abortion services when the health or life of the patient would be endangered if the pregnancy were carried to term or when the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. When working within the scope of their federal employment, VA employees may provide abortion services as authorized by federal law regardless of state restrictions. 
     
  • Support Access to Care for Service Members.  The Department of Defense (DoD) has taken action to ensure that Service members and their families can access reproductive health care and that DoD health care providers can operate effectively. DoD released policies to support Service members and their families’ ability to travel for lawful reproductive health care, including abortion care and assisted reproductive technology services, and to bolster Service members’ privacy and afford them the time and space needed to make personal health care decisions.

Defend Access to Emergency Medical Care
 
All patients, including women experiencing pregnancy loss and other pregnancy-related emergencies, must be able to access the emergency medical care required by federal law. The Administration will continue to:

  • Defend Access to Emergency Abortion Care.  Republican elected officials have put women’s lives at risk by banning abortion even when a doctor determines that an abortion is necessary to prevent serious health consequences. The Administration is committed to ensuring that women who are experiencing pregnancy loss and other pregnancy-related emergencies have access to the full rights and protections for emergency medical care afforded under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA)—including abortion care when that is the stabilizing treatment required. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance and Secretary Becerra sent letters to providers affirming the Administration’s view that EMTALA preempts conflicting state law restricting access to abortion in emergency situations. The DOJ has taken action defend and enforce that interpretation before the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule by June.
     
  • Educate Patients and Health Care Providers on Their Rights and Obligations for Emergency Medical Care. To increase awareness of EMTALA and improve the procedures for ensuring that patients facing all types of medical emergencies receive the care to which they are entitled, HHS issued a comprehensive plan to educate all patients about their rights and to help ensure hospitals meet their obligations under federal law. This effort included the launch of new accessible and understandable resources about rights and protections for patients under EMTALA and the process for submitting a complaint. HHS will also disseminate training materials for health care providers and establish a dedicated team of experts who will increase the Department’s capacity to support hospitals and providers across the country in complying with federal requirements—to help ensure that every patient receives the emergency medical care required under federal law.

Support the Ability to Travel for Reproductive Health Care
 
Women must be able to cross state lines to access legal reproductive health care. In the face of threats to the constitutional right to travel, the Administration will continue to:

  • Defend the Right to Travel.  On the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, President Biden reaffirmed the Attorney General’s statement that women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek the care they need. In November 2023, DOJ filed a statement of interest in two lawsuits challenging the Alabama Attorney General’s threat to prosecute people who provide assistance to women seeking lawful out-of-state abortions. DOJ explained that the threatened Alabama prosecutions infringe the constitutional right to travel and made clear that states may not punish third parties for assisting women in exercising that right. DOJ continues to monitor states’ efforts to restrict the constitutional right to travel across state lines to receive lawful health care.  
     
  • Support Patients Traveling Out of State for Medical Care.  HHS issued a letter to U.S. governors inviting them to apply for Section 1115 waivers to expand access to care under the Medicaid program for women traveling from a state where reproductive rights are under attack and women may be denied medical care. HHS continues to review pending waiver applications and encourage state leaders to develop new waiver proposals that would support access to reproductive health care services.

Strengthen Access to High-Quality, Affordable Contraception
 
Contraception is an essential component of reproductive health care and has only become more important in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. In addition to FDA’s approval of the first daily oral contraceptive for over-the-counter use, the Administration will continue to:

  • Strengthen Access to Affordable, High-Quality Contraception.  Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the President issued an Executive Order directing agencies to consider actions to improve access and affordability for women with private health insurance; bolster access across Federal health programs; promote access to over-the-counter contraception; and further support access for Service members, veterans, Federal employees, and college students. Recent actions taken to implement this Executive Order include:
    • The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS issued new guidance to clarify standards and support expanded coverage of a broader range of FDA-approved contraceptives at no cost under the Affordable Care Act. This action builds on guidance issued in July 2022 to clarify protections for contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
    • The Office of Personnel Management strengthened access to contraception for federal workers, retirees, and family members by issuing guidance to insurers participating in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program that incorporates the Departments’ guidance. OPM has also newly required insurers that participate in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program to take additional steps to educate enrollees about their contraception benefits.
    • The Secretary of HHS issued a letter to private health insurers, state Medicaid programs and state Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and Medicare plans about their obligations to cover contraception for those they serve. The letter targets a wide range of payers to advance compliance with existing standards and underscore the Administration’s commitment to ensuring that women across the country can access affordable contraception.
    • The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS issued a Request for Information to solicit public input on how to best ensure coverage and access to over-the-counter preventive services, including contraception, at no cost and without a prescription from a health care provider.
    • Vice President Harris and the Department of Education convened representatives from 68 college and university leaders in 32 states to hear promising strategies from leaders of postsecondary institutions for protecting and expanding access to contraception for their students and on campus.
    • The Gender Policy Council, Domestic Policy Council, and leaders from the Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS called on private sector leaders to take robust additional actions to further expand access to contraception.
    • The Gender Policy Council and the Department of Health and Human Services joined a convening focused on strategies to expand the role of pharmacies and pharmacists in promoting access to contraception and breaking down barriers for consumers.
       
  • Expand Access to More Women Under the Affordable Care Act.  The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and HHS proposed a rule to help ensure that all women with private health coverage who need and want contraception can obtain it without cost sharing as guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act. Millions of women have already benefited from this coverage, which has helped them save billions of dollars on contraception.
     
  • Support Access to Family Planning Services Through Title X Clinics.  HHS has strengthened access to care through Title X clinics, which have played a critical role in ensuring access to a broad range of high-quality family planning and preventive health services for more than 50 years. HHS provided funds to help these safety net clinics deliver equitable, affordable, client-centered, and high-quality family planning services and provide training and technical assistance for Title X clinics. Last year, HHS provided $263 million to over 4,000 Title X clinics across the country to provide a wide range of voluntary, client-centered family planning and related preventive services. The Title X Family Planning Program remains a critical part of the nation’s safety net, providing free or low-cost services for 2.6 million clients in 2022.
     
  • Promote Access to Contraception for Service Members and Their Families and Certain Dependents of Veterans.  To improve access to contraception at military hospitals and clinics, DoD expanded walk-in contraceptive care services for active-duty Service members and other Military Health System beneficiaries, and eliminated TRICARE copays for certain contraceptive services. And VA proposed a rule to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for certain types of contraception through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Safeguard the Privacy of Patients and Health Care Providers
 
The Administration is committed to safeguarding sensitive health information and strengthening privacy protections for women and health care providers. The Administration will continue to:

  • Strengthen Reproductive Health Privacy under HIPAA.  HHS issued a proposed rule to strengthen privacy protections under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). As proposed, this rule would prevent an individual’s information from being disclosed to investigate, sue, or prosecute an individual, a health care provider, or a loved one simply because that person sought, obtained, provided, or facilitated legal reproductive health care, including abortion. By safeguarding sensitive information related to reproductive health care, the rule will strengthen patient-provider confidentiality and help health care providers give complete and accurate information to patients. Prior to the proposed ruleHHS issued guidance reaffirming HIPAA’s existing protections for the privacy of individuals’ protected health information.
     
  • Take Action Against Illegal Use and Sharing of Sensitive Health Information.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has committed to enforcing the law against illegal use and sharing of highly sensitive data, including information related to reproductive health care. Consistent with this commitment, the FTC has taken several enforcement actions against companies for disclosing consumers’ personal health information, including highly sensitive reproductive health data, without permission.
     
  • Help Consumers Protect Their Personal Data.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched a guide for consumers on best practices for protecting their personal data, including geolocation data, on mobile phones. The guide follows a proposed rule that would strengthen data breach rules to provide greater protections to personal data. Separately, HHS issued a how-to guide for consumers on steps they can take to better protect their data on personal cell phones or tablets and when using mobile health apps, like period trackers, which are generally not protected by HIPAA.
     
  • Protect Students’ Health Information.  The Department of Education (ED) issued guidance to over 20,000 school officials to remind them of their obligations to protect student privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The guidance helps ensure that school officials—at federally funded school districts, colleges, and universities—know that, with certain exceptions, they must obtain written consent from eligible students or parents before disclosing personally identifiable information from students’ educational records, which may include student health information. The guidance encourages school officials to consider the importance of student privacy, including health privacy, with respect to disclosing student records. ED also issued a know-your-rights resource to help students understand their privacy rights for health records at school. 
     
  • Safeguard Patients’ Electronic Health Information.  HHS issued guidance and a final rule affirming that doctors and other medical providers can take steps to protect patients’ electronic health information, including their information related to reproductive health care. HHS makes clear that patients have the right to ask that their electronic health information generally not be disclosed by a physician, hospital, or other health care provider. The guidance also reminds health care providers that HIPAA’s privacy protections apply to patients’ electronic health information.

Ensure Access to Accurate Information and Legal Resources
 
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has led to chaos and confusion. To help ensure that Americans have access to accurate information about their rights, the Administration will continue to:

  • Ensure Easy Access to Reliable Information.  HHS launched and maintains ReproductiveRights.gov, which provides timely and accurate information on people’s right to access reproductive health care, including contraception, abortion services, and health insurance coverage, as well as how to file a patient privacy or nondiscrimination complaint. DOJ also launched justice.gov/reproductive-rights, a webpage that provides a centralized online resource on the Department’s ongoing work to protect access to reproductive health care services under federal law.
     

Hosted a Convening of Lawyers in Defense of Reproductive Rights.  DOJ and the Office of White House Counsel convened more than 200 lawyers and advocates from private firms, bar associations, legal aid organizations, reproductive rights groups, and law schools across the country for a convening of pro-bono attorneys, as directed in the first Executive Order. Following this convening, reproductive rights organizations launched the Abortion Defense Network to offer abortion-related legal defense services, including legal advice and representation.

FACT SHEET: President Biden Cancels Student Debt for 150,000 Student Loan Borrowers; 3.9 Million Already Eligible for $138 Billion in Relief

From Day 1, the President vowed to fix the broken loan system and make sure education was a pathway to the middle class, not a barrier,” a White House spokesperson stated. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This fact sheet provided by the White House documents the latest efforts by the Biden Administration to relieve the burden of student debt. It is the latest in more than 25 actions that have resulted in $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers.

“From Day 1, the President vowed to fix the broken loan system and make sure education was a pathway to the middle class, not a barrier,” a White House spokesperson stated. “ He has cancelled more student debt than any president – $138 billion for 3.9 million – fixing public service loan forgiveness, affecting 800,000 nurses, firefighters, teachers and others. Before, only 7,000 got relief. He has held colleges accountable for defrauding borrowers who paid over 20 years but never got the relief they were entitled to. The President’s actions have allowed over 4 million to afford homes, businesses, pursue the dreams they had to put on hold because of student loan, but are no longer weighed down by burden of student debt.” – Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Today, President Biden announced the approval of $1.2 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 153,000 borrowers currently enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) repayment plan. The Biden-Harris Administration has now approved nearly $138 billion in student debt cancellation for almost 3.9 million borrowers through more than two dozen executive actions. The borrowers receiving relief are the first to benefit from a SAVE plan policy that provides debt forgiveness to borrowers who have been in repayment after as little as 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in student loans. Originally planned for July, the Biden-Harris Administration implemented this provision of SAVE and is providing relief to borrowers nearly six months ahead of schedule.

From Day One of his Administration, President Biden vowed to fix the student loan system and make sure higher education is a pathway to the middle class – not a barrier to opportunity. Already, the President has cancelled more student debt than any President in history – delivering life-changing relief to students and families – and has created the most affordable student loan repayment plan ever: the SAVE plan. While Republicans in Congress and their allies try to block President Biden every step of the way, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers, and is leaving no stone unturned in the fight to give more borrowers breathing room on their student loans.

Thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, starting today, the Administration will be cancelling debt for borrowers who are enrolled in the SAVE plan, have been in repayment for at least 10 years and took out $12,000 or less in loans for college. For every additional $1,000 a borrower initially borrowed, they will receive relief after an additional year of payments. For example, a borrower enrolled in SAVE who took out $14,000 or less in federal loans to earn an associate’s degree in biotechnology would receive full debt relief starting this week if they have been in repayment for 12 years. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) identified nearly 153,000 borrowers who are enrolled in SAVE plan who will have their debt cancelled starting this week, and those borrowers will receive an email today from President Biden informing them of their imminent relief. Next week, the Department of Education will also be reaching out directly to borrowers who are eligible for early relief but not currently enrolled in the SAVE Plan to encourage them to enroll as soon as possible.
 
This shortened time to forgiveness will particularly help community college and other borrowers with smaller loans and put many on track to being free of student debt faster than ever before. Under the Biden-Harris Administration’s SAVE plan, 85 percent of future community college borrowers will be debt free within 10 years. The Department will continue to regularly identify and discharge other borrowers eligible for relief under this provision on SAVE.
 
Over four million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment under the SAVE Plan

Last year, President Biden launched the SAVE plan – the most affordable repayment plan ever. Under the SAVE plan, monthly payments are based on a borrower’s income and family size, not their loan balance. The SAVE plan ensures that if borrowers are making their monthly payments, their balances cannot grow because of unpaid interest. And, starting in July, undergraduate loan payments will be cut in half, capping a borrower’s loan payment at 5% of their discretionary income. Already, 7.5 million borrowers are enrolled in the SAVE Plan, and 4.3 million borrowers have a $0 monthly payment.  

Today, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released an issue brief highlighting how low and middle-income borrowers enrolled in SAVE could see significant saving in terms of interest saved over time and principal forgiven as a result of SAVE’s early forgiveness provisions.



President Biden’s Administration has approved student debt relief for nearly 3.9 million Americans through various actions

Today’s announcement builds on the Biden-Harris Administration’s track record of taking historic action to cancel student debt for millions of borrowers. Since taking office, the Biden-Harris Administration has approved debt cancellation for nearly 3.9 million Americans, totaling almost $138 billion in debt relief through various actions. This relief has given borrowers critical breathing room in their daily lives, allowing them to afford other expenses, buy homes, start businesses, or pursue dreams they had to put on hold because of the burden of student loan debt. President Biden remains committed to providing debt relief to as many borrowers as possible, and won’t stop fighting to deliver relief to more Americans.

The Biden-Harris Administration has also taken historic steps to improve the student loan program and make higher education more affordable for more Americans, including:

  • Achieving the largest increases in Pell Grants in over a decade to help families who earn less than $60,000 a year achieve their higher-education goals.
     
  • Fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program so that borrowers who go into public service get the debt relief they’re entitled to under the law. Before President Biden took office, only 7,000 people ever received debt relief through PSLF. After fixing the program, the Biden-Harris Administration has now cancelled student loan debt for nearly 800,000 public service workers.
     
  • Cancelling student loan debt for more than 930,000 borrowers who have been in repayment for over 20 years but never got the relief they earned because of administrative failures with Income-Driven Repayment Plans.
     
  • Pursuing an alternative path to deliver student debt relief to as many borrowers as possible in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the Administration’s original debt relief plan. Last week, the Department of Education released proposed regulatory text to cancel student debt for borrowers who are experiencing hardship paying back their student loans, and late last year released proposals to cancel student debt for borrowers who: owe more than they borrowed, first entered repayment 20 or 25 years ago, attended low quality programs, and who would be eligible for loan forgiveness through income-driven repayment programs like SAVE but have not applied.
     
  • Holding colleges accountable for leaving students with unaffordable debts.

It’s easy to enroll in SAVE. Borrowers should go to studentaid.gov/save to start saving.

FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Calls on Congress to Immediately Pass Bipartisan National Security Agreement with Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Most Americans can trace their roots back to Ellis Island, when America, desperate for workers to build roads, bridges, railroads, factories and skyscrapers, wanted workers. Now, despite still needing workers, and decrying the “border crisis” as an “invasion” endangering national security, House Republicans are calling a bipartisan immigration deal that gives them everything they have asked for (border security, changing asylum laws) “dead on arrival” in order to appease Trump, so desperate to refuse Biden a “victory” and keep the inflammatory issue alive for his campaign. © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Biden-Harris Administration strongly supports the bipartisan agreement announced in the Senate that would address a number of pressing national security issues. President Biden has repeatedly said he is willing to work in a bipartisan way to secure the border and fix our broken immigration system. From his first day in office, he has called on Congress to act and over the course of several months, his administration has worked with a bipartisan group of Senators on important reforms and necessary funding.

This agreement, if passed into law, would be the toughest and fairest set of reforms to secure the border we’ve had in decades. It will make our country safer, make our border more secure, and treat people fairly and humanely while preserving legal immigration, consistent with our values as a nation. This bipartisan national security agreement would also advance our national security interests by continuing our support for the people of Ukraine and Israel as they defend themselves against tyranny and terrorism while also providing much-needed humanitarian assistance to civilians affected by conflicts around the world. The Biden-Harris Administration calls on Congress to not delay and immediately pass the bipartisan national security agreement.
 
Provides Temporary Emergency Authority for the President to Shut Down the Border When the System is Overwhelmed

  • Establishes a new temporary authority, the “Border Emergency Authority,” that allows the President and Secretary of Homeland Security to temporarily prohibit individuals from seeking asylum, with limited exceptions, when the Southwest Border is overwhelmed. The authority preserves access to other protections, consistent with our international obligations, and will sunset after three years.
    • Importantly, this authority is to be used when the number of migrants encountered at the border reaches very high levels – levels that strain the U.S. government’s ability to process migrants.  Additionally, the authority is limited to a set number of days each calendar year – in the third year of implementation the authority may only be exercised for half of a given calendar year.
    • The United States is a country of refuge for those fleeing persecution. For that reason, the legislation requires asylum access be preserved for a minimum number of individuals per day, limited to those using a safe and orderly process at ports of entry, when the authority is invoked.

 
Expedites Access to Work Authorization for Hundreds of Thousands of Migrants

  • Ensures that those who are here and qualify are able to get to work faster. It provides work authorization to asylum seekers once they receive a positive protection screening determination. This will allow asylum seekers to begin to support themselves and their families in the United States much earlier than the current 180-day statutorily required waiting period, which only begins after an individual submits an asylum application.  This will also reduce the resource strain on our cities and states who have been supporting asylum seekers during this existing waiting period.
    • This bill provides work authorization to approximately 25,000 K-1, K-2, and K-3 nonimmigrant visa holders (fiancé or spouse and children of U.S. citizens) per year, and about 100,000 H-4 spouses and children of certain H-1B nonimmigrant visa holders who have completed immigrant petitions (temporary skilled workers) per year, so they no longer have to apply and wait for approval before they can begin working in the United States.

 
Establishes an Efficient and Fair Process for Consideration of Asylum and other Protection Claims by those arriving at our Southwest Border

  • Today, the process to get to a final decision on a migrant’s asylum claim can take 5-7 years.  That is far too long.  Once fully implemented, this bipartisan agreement would – for the first time – give the Administration the authority and resources to reduce that process to 6 months.  This gets people quick decisions on their asylum claims rather than leaving them and their families in limbo for years.
    • The agreement also for the first time gives Asylum Officers the authority to grant a claim at the protection screening stage if the case is clear and convincing, thereby reducing the strain on the asylum system.

 
Recalibrates the Asylum Screening Process

  • Moves consideration of statutory bars to asylum eligibility, such as criminal convictions, into the screening stage. This will ensure that those who pose a public safety or national security risk are removed as quickly in the process as possible rather than remaining in prolonged, costly detention prior to removal.
    • Modifies the screening threshold for asylum from “significant possibility” to “reasonable possibility,” with the goal of making it more likely that those who are screened in to pursue protection claims are ultimately found to have a valid asylum claim.  Currently, of all migrants screened in and allowed to go to the next phase, only roughly 20 percent are ultimately granted asylum. 

 
Provides Critical Funding for Combatting Smuggling and Drug Trafficking, Border Security, and Asylum Processing 

  • Funds the installation of 100 cutting-edge inspection machines to help detect fentanyl at our Southwest Border ports of entry. 
    • Over 1,500 new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel including Border Patrol Agents and CBP Officers. 
    • Over 4,300 new Asylum Officers and additional U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services staff to facilitate timely and fair decisions. 
    • 100 new immigration judge teams to help reduce the asylum caseload backlog and adjudicate cases more quickly. 
    • Shelter and critical services for newcomers in our cities and states.  
    • 1,200 new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel for functions including enforcement and deportations. 
    • More resources to fund transportation needs to enable increased removals. 
    • Support to partner nations hosting large numbers of migrants and refugees, and funding to partner nations to ensure cooperation in accepting returns associated with the implementation of the Border Emergency Authority. 

 
Strengthens Federal Law Against Fentanyl Trafficking

  • Declares that international trafficking of fentanyl is a national emergency and gives the President authority to impose sanctions on any foreign person knowingly involved in significant trafficking of fentanyl by a transnational criminal organization.
    • Allows for transfer of sanctioned persons’ forfeited property to forfeiture funds and authorizes Treasury to impose additional restrictions against sanctioned persons upon a determination that their transactions are of primary money laundering concern.
    • Directs Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to issue guidance on filing suspicious transactions reports related to fentanyl trafficking by transnational criminal organizations.

 
Increases Lawful Pathways to Come to the United States

  • For the first time in over 30 years, raises the cap on the number of immigrant visas available annually by adding an additional 250,000 immigrant visas over 5 years (50,000/year).  160,000 of these visas will be family-based, and the other 90,000 will be employment-based.
    • These additional immigrant visas expand lawful pathways to the United States, prioritizing family reunification and reducing the time families have to spend apart, and get U.S. businesses access to additional workers.
    • Establishes a faster pathway to permanent status for the approximately 76,000 Afghan allies who entered the United States under Operation Allies Welcome and their families.

 
Promotes Family Unity and Stability for Noncitizens

  • Provides relief to over 250,000 individuals who came to the United States as children on their parents’ work visa.  These individuals have resided lawfully in the United States since they were children and have established lives here in the U.S but have since “aged out” of continuing to receive lawful status through their parents and have no other means of lawfully remaining in the United States with their families. Noncitizens who lived lawfully in the United States as a dependent child of an employment-based nonimmigrant for at least 8 years before turning 21 will be eligible to remain temporarily in the United States with work authorization.
    • In support of family unity, the bill makes clear that certain noncitizens can travel to the United States on a temporary visitor (B) visa to visit their family members.

 
Ensure the Humane and Fair Treatment of Those Seeking Asylum, Especially the Most Vulnerable 

  • Children should not be expected to represent themselves in a court – and this agreement will provide, for the first time, government-mandated and funded legal counsel for unaccompanied children age 13 or younger as they go through the process to seek asylum.  The bill would also provide counsel to particularly vulnerable, mentally incompetent adults.
    • Strengthens legal requirements that migrants always be provided with clear and accessible information about their rights, including their right to counsel.
    • Mandates that only trained Asylum Officers are permitted to conduct protection screenings.

 
Ukraine:

  • Provides critically-needed military aid to help the people of Ukraine defend themselves against Russian aggression.  Russia continues to launch aerial assaults on Ukrainian cities and is actively attacking Ukrainian forces. 
    • Invests in our defense industrial base, supporting American jobs across our country, and produce weapons and equipment that the United States can send Ukraine to help Ukraine’s military protect its people, defend against Russian attacks, and succeed on the battlefield. 
    • Enables the United States to continue to send economic assistance to Ukraine. Putin has made destroying Ukraine’s economy central to his war strategy and boosting Ukraine’s economy is essential to its survival. If Ukraine’s economy collapses, they will not be able to keep fighting. This aid will help Ukraine pay its first responders, import basic goods, and provide essential services to its population. 
       

Israel:

  • Authorizes the United States to provide additional military aid to help Israel defend itself from Hamas, which committed horrific acts of terror on October 7th, and whose leaders have pledged to repeat the attacks of October 7th over and over again until Israel is annihilated.  
    • The aid in this agreement will also help Israel replenish its air defenses and ensure it is prepared for any future contingencies. 
    • This includes its defense against Iran and groups backed by Iran, including Hezbollah. The funding in this agreement is essential to supporting Israel’s short- and long-term defense needs against a broad array of immediate and future threats.  

 
Humanitarian Aid:

  • Includes important humanitarian aid funding to help civilians in need around the world, whether it’s to address the spillover effects of Putin’s war and help Ukrainians who have been displaced by Russia’s invasion, or to help Palestinians in Gaza, where we are actively working to increase the flow of aid for Palestinian civilians who have nothing to do with Hamas.

 
Indo-Pacific:

  • Provides resources to help our allies and partners in the region build the capabilities necessary to address threats from an increasingly assertive PRC and to meet emerging challenges. It is critically important that we maintain our focus on the Indo-Pacific and preserve peace and stability. 

FACT SHEET: Dozens of Pharma Companies Raised Prices Faster than Inflation, Triggering Medicare Rebates, While Republicans Work to Insure Giveaways to Big Pharma, Higher Costs for Seniors, Families

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act cracks down on Big Pharma price gouging, saving some seniors thousands of dollars per dose of medication. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans push for giveaways to drug industry

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act cracks down on Big Pharma price gouging, saving some seniors thousands of dollars per dose of medication. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans push for giveaways to drug industry © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Biden visited the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Washington, D.C. to announce that dozens of pharmaceutical companies will be required to pay rebates to Medicare for outrageous price hikes on prescription drugs that over 750,000 seniors take per year. For the last quarter of 2023, 48 Medicare Part B drugs raised their prices faster than inflation, and some drug companies raised prices of certain medications faster than inflation for every quarter over the last year. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act cracks down on this exorbitant price gouging, requiring these companies to pay rebates back to Medicare, saving seniors who take these drugs between $1 and $2,786 per dose on their medication.

President Biden vowed to lower prescription drug costs for seniors and families – and he is delivering on that promise. His Inflation Reduction Act finally allows Medicare to directly negotiate lower prescription drug prices, capped the cost of insulin for Medicare beneficiaries at $35, made recommended adult vaccines free, requires drug companies to pay rebates if they raise prices faster than the rate of inflation, and locked in savings of $800 per year on health insurance for nearly 15 million Americans. While Republicans in Congress fight tooth and nail to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act and put money back in the pockets of Big Pharma, President Biden won’t back down from the fight to lower costs for hardworking Americans and make sure every family has access to affordable health care.

The Biden-Harris Administration announced:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new list of 48 Medicare Part B drugs that raised their prices faster than inflation, and may be subject to inflation rebates in the first quarter of 2024 as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act. President Biden’s prescription drug law cracks down on price gouging from Big Pharma, requiring companies to pay back Medicare if they raise prices on seniors at a higher rate than inflation. Starting in January, some Medicare beneficiaries who take these 48 prescription drugs – including drugs used to treat cancer and fight infections – will have lower coinsurance than what they would have paid otherwise, and their out-of-pocket costs may decrease by $1 to as much as $2,786 per average dose.

Over the last four quarters, 64 drugs in total had prices that increased faster than inflation and may be subject to inflation rebates because of the Inflation Reduction Act. Some drugs, such as Signifor, used to treat an endocrine disorder, raised prices faster than inflation every quarter since the Inflation Reduction Act’s inflation rebate provision went into effect. Some Medicare beneficiaries who take Signifor could save $311 per monthly dose starting January because of the law.
 
The Administration is focused on making sure medications developed with taxpayer funds are available to Americans at reasonable prices. On average, Americans pay 2 to 3 times more than consumers in other developed countries for prescription drugs. Last week, the Administration announced a proposal to put drug companies on notice if products developed using federal funds are not made available to the public on reasonable terms, including based on price. The proposal would promote the federal government’s ability to license a patent — such as those used to create life-saving drugs — to a competitor with the goal of increasing competition and bringing costs down for families.
 
Building off last week’s announcement, today HHS announced that the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is making fair pricing a standard part of contract negotiations for medical products developed or purchased as part of its commitment to obtain best value for the US taxpayer. In September 2023, ASPR finalized a Project NextGen contract agreement for a potentially life-saving COVID-19 treatment being developed by Regeneron stating if the product is commercialized, its list price in the United States will be equal to or less than its retail price in comparable global markets. Since then, ASPR has also included similar language in recent agreements with CastleVax, Codagenix and Gritstone Bio, developers of the first three vaccines selected for development within Project NextGen. These clauses will be in effect if and when a company’s candidate vaccine is selected to move into ASPR-supported Phase 2b trials to evaluate clinical safety and efficacy.These actions are the result of a successful and collaborative approach by ASPR and its industry partners and show HHS’s commitment to keep Americans from paying unfair prices for the care they need.

  • HHS is releasing new data on the ten drugs selected for Medicare Drug Price Negotiation. For Medicare enrollees who take these drugs, their out-of-pocket spending on the 10 drugs selected for negotiation represents, on average, over half of their total Part D out-of-pocket spending. The report shows that total Medicare spending on the 10 drugs more than doubled from 2018 to 2022 – a rate that was 3 times faster than all Part D drugs over the same period. The report also shows that 7 of the 10 drugs selected received direct at least one form of federal support towards their drug development or utilized a federal-funded invention for their development.

After decades and hundreds of billions of dollars spent by Big Pharma to block Medicare from directly negotiating lower prescription drug prices for people with Medicare, President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act finally got it done. In total in 2022, Medicare Part D beneficiaries paid $3.4 billion in out of pocket costs for the 10 drugs selected for negotiation, and some paid over $6,000 per year for just one of the drugs on the list. Negotiated prices will go into effect for seniors in 2026.
Today’s announcements build off the actions the Administration has already taken to lower prescription drug costs for millions of seniors and families because of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. In 2023 alone:

  • The Inflation Reduction Act saved nearly 15 million Americans an average of $800 in 2023 because of health insurance savings the law locked in.
    • The Inflation Reduction Act capped the cost of insulin at $35 per covered insulin product for Medicare beneficiaries, saving an estimated 1.5 million seniors on Medicare $500 on average in 2023 on insulin costs. 
       
    • The Inflation Reduction Act made recommended vaccines – like the shingles vaccine – free for the 50.5 million seniors with Medicare Part D, and made recommended, approved adult vaccines free for all adults in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and nearly all full-benefit adults enrolled in traditional Medicaid. Seniors on Medicare who received a Part D vaccine saved an average of $70 on vaccines in 2023.
       
    • The Inflation Reduction Act saved many seniors on Medicare as much as $618 per average dose on 47 prescription drugs in 2023 because of the law’s provision requiring drug companies to pay rebates on certain drugs if they raise prices for those drugs faster than the rate of inflation. Starting in 2024, some seniors who take 48 prescription drugs could see savings of as much as $2,786 per average dose because those 48 drugs raised their prices faster than inflation in the last quarter of 2023.

In the coming months and years, the Inflation Reduction Act will continue to deliver cost-savings to millions of Americans, including:

  • In 2024, Part D enrollees will no longer pay 5% co-insurance when they reach the catastrophic phase of their benefit – meaning that some beneficiaries’ prescription drug costs will be capped at about $3,500 next year.
    • When the $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on prescription drugs applies in 2025, nearly 19 million seniors and other beneficiaries are projected to save $400 per year on prescription drugs. 1.9 million enrollees with the highest drug costs will save an average of $2,500 per year because of this provision of the Inflation Reduction Act.
       

Millions of seniors could save money when negotiated prices of the first group of drugs selected for the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Price Negotiation program are scheduled to go into effect in 2026. In 2022, seniors spent $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs on the first ten drugs selected for negotiation – used to treat common conditions like diabetes, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, blood clots and more. A report released last week shows that had the Medicare price negotiation program been in effect in 2021, Part D out of pocket costs would have declined 23% for people taking the ten costliest drugs at the time.

The Congressional Republican Agenda on Prescription Drugs: Giveaways to Big Pharma and Higher Costs for Seniors and Families


While President Biden has taken historic action to reduce prescription drug costs for seniors and for working-age people who get health insurance through their jobs, Congressional Republicans are actively fighting to roll back the reforms the President signed into law and to keep Big Pharma’s taxes low.
 
Congressional Republicans’ agenda for Big Pharma giveaways includes:
 
Repealing prescription drug inflation rebates. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) cuts costs for Medicare and seniors by requiring pharmaceutical companies to pay a rebate to Medicare if they increase prices faster than inflation. Dozens of Republicans have signed onto legislation that would revoke the rebate requirement.
 
By 2031, repealing this provision would:

  • Cost seniors $5 billion per year.
  • Increase federal deficits by $7 billion per year.
  • Give away over $10 billion per year to pharmaceutical companies.

Taking away Medicare’s ability to negotiate prescription drug prices. The IRA finally gave Medicare the authority to directly negotiate with drug companies on the high prices they charge for prescription drugs. Republican Chairs and Ranking Members of the committees with jurisdiction over Medicare have publicly committed to repealing this authority, which would allow Big Pharma to go back to charging seniors exorbitant prices for life-saving drugs.
 
By 2031, repealing this provision would:

  • Cost seniors $7 billion per year.
  • Increase federal deficits by $14 billion per year.
  • Give away over $20 billion to pharmaceutical companies per year.

Opposing caps on insulin prices. Monthly insulin costs for Medicare beneficiaries are now capped at $35—providing certainty and critical cost savings for seniors who in some cases were paying as much as $400 for a month’s supply of insulin. The Republican Study Committee budget, as well as the House Budget Committee-passed budget plan, propose to repeal this and other IRA drug price reforms.  
 
Repealing this provision would mean the 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries who use insulin could see their annual costs rise by an average of $500.
 
Protecting Big Pharma’s ability to avoid paying taxes. President Biden negotiated a historic agreement with over 130 countries that would enable the U.S. and its partners to ensure Big Pharma and other multinationals pay at least a minimum tax rate and has proposed that the U.S. implement that agreement with a 21% minimum tax rate on multinationals. Congressional Republicans are not only blocking the U.S. from implementing the global minimum tax agreement and vowing to never raise taxes on Big Pharma and other multinationals by implementing it, they also traveled to Europe this summer to try to persuade other countries to withdraw from the global agreement and keep taxes low for Big Pharma and other multinationals.
 
Blocking implementation of the President’s international tax reform proposals means:

  • Protecting a system in which Big Pharma can lower its taxes to under 12% by shifting profits offshore.

The U.S. would lose out on hundreds of billions in savings from adopting the President’s proposals to implement the international agreement. Based on a PhRMA-funded analysis, nearly $100 billion of the savings – or almost one-fifth of the total revenue – from implementing the President’s 21% minimum tax proposal would come from cracking down on pharmaceutical industry tax avoidance