“Build Back Better Act”

United States Congress

Representative John Yarmuth (D-KY) and the Biden Administration 

Full co-sponsor list viewable here - https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5376/cosponsors 

Active, introduced September 27, 2021. House Democrats seeking to push the “Build Back Better” social spending agenda in November 2021.

FPC Position:

Bill Summary:
Like many bills in Congress, most of this bill is unrelated to the issue of gun rights and firearms. However, buried deep within the 2468 page bill, there sits Sections  31064 and 61001 which fund “community violence” programs to the tune of $5 billion dollars.

These funds will almost certainly be misused by large city governments to enact gun control measures, rather than using the funds to actually combat crime. In fact, the Biden administration openly included “community violence” funds in a press release about gun control measures that they support: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/06/23/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-comprehensive-strategy-to-prevent-and-respond-to-gun-crime-and-ensure-public-safety/

These funds will then be used to further restrict the fundamental rights of residents in large cities, many of which are places that already abuse their citizens’ rights. Nothing in this bill or the “Build Back Better” agenda instills confidence that these grants cannot be used to abuse the Second Amendment rights of the people. 

Per this bill the funding level for community violence prevention are as follows:

  • $150,000,000 for fiscal year 2022.
  • $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2023.
  • $450,000,000 for fiscal year 2024.
  • $550,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2025, 2026, and 2027.

Additionally, section 61001 provides further funding for “community-based violence intervention initiatives.” A further $2,500,000,000 is to be made available in this section. 

In total, there are $5 billion dollars in federal grant money going to “community violence” issues with little to no oversight of how that money can be spent and no restrictions on the potential abuse of the peoples’ fundamental rights to keep and bear arms. 

Political Analysis:
The “Build Back Better” Act has a tremendous amount of funding for a diverse series of ideas unrelated to the Second Amendment. The “community violence” funding portion of the bill is relatively small, despite its high dollar amount. The “Build Back Better” agenda has the support of the White House and House majority leadership. Many of the other items in this bill have House majority support, politically speaking. 

Given the narrow majority in the House, a properly whipped vote of the “Build Back Better Act” is likely to pass and move on to the Senate. The margin for victory for the Senate majority is more narrow, and complicated by moderates in both parties. 

It is critically important that FPC members and supporters reach out to both the U.S. Representatives and Senate NOW to oppose the “Build Back Better” agenda’s attack on fundamental rights.