Update on the Build Back Better Act & Next Steps

Update on the Build Back Better Act & Next Steps

While we were disappointed to hear Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) state that he could not support the Build Back Better (BBB) Act in its current form, we are encouraged that Senate Democrats are assessing options for moving forward on the many important policies covered by the BBB.  Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) convened a special virtual Democratic Caucus last night to discuss, among other agenda items, timing and next steps on the BBB.  Senator Manchin was on the call and reiterated his concerns about the larger bill with his colleagues and outlined where he would like to focus.  We have no reports that the housing package was a concern to the Senator. This conversation is seen as a positive step and along with President Biden’s recent conversation with Senator Manchin about renewing their talks on the BBB, there is a sense of optimism that something can be worked out when the Senate returns to Washington in the New Year.

Keeping in mind that even a substantially revised BBB is unlikely to garner any Republican votes, it will be a challenge to find a solution that the 48 Democrats and two Independents can support.  But Democrats are determined that the policy goals encompassed in the BBB should not be abandoned.  To that end, we are in close touch with our House and Senate champions, House and Senate leadership, and the House and Senate chairs of the tax-writing committees to ensure that our affordable housing provisions are prominent in the discussions.

We will know more over the next few weeks with respect to a path forward.  Members of Congress are exploring various approaches, including downsizing the current BBB plan, separating the BBB into more narrowly-focused bills, and requesting that the Administration accomplish some of the BBB goals through Executive Orders.  Another option for moving BBB provisions is an omnibus appropriations bill that could be considered by Congress in mid-February.  This would be a bipartisan process and as we have seen in the past, these omnibus spending bills often include tax provisions.

We will keep you posted on any developments.  In the meantime, we need to continue to enlist congressional support for our affordable housing agenda to ensure we are ready for whatever appropriate legislative vehicle comes to the forefront.  Your continued advocacy with your elected officials has been instrumental in gathering strong support for the LIHTC program.  We thank you for all that you do and wish you and your family a very happy and healthy holiday season.