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Rep. AOC Celebrates Inclusion of Civilian Climate Corps, Green New Deal for Public Housing, Limiting of Faircloth Amendment, and High Speed Rail Funding in Build Back Better

November 22, 2021

Washington, D.C. — On Friday, the House of Representatives passed the President’s Build Back Better Act, which included several pieces of legislation that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has introduced and has tirelessly advocated for— including the Civilian Climate Corps, the Green New Deal for Public Housing, limiting the Faircloth Amendment, and funding for high speed rail. More details on these projects can be found below.

Civilian Climate Corps

Back in April, Representative Ocasio-Cortez introduced the Civilian Climate Corps with Senator Ed Markey. Over the past several months, Representative Ocasio-Cortez has been fighting to ensure that key provisions from the bill were included in the Build Back Better Act. Build Back Better funds Civilian Climate Corps through a combined investment of $30 billion in both personnel and project funding. The creation of a new Civilian Climate Corps would create 300,000 green jobs aimed at conserving our public lands, bolstering community resilience, and addressing the changing climate, all while putting good-paying union jobs within reach for more Americans. 

Green New Deal for Public Housing

Representative Ocasio-Cortez also introduced the Green New Deal for Public Housing in April with Senator Sanders, in partnership with public housing residents, affordable housing advocates, and climate change activists. Build Back Better includes $65 billion for public housing which can be used to clear NYCHA’s maintenance backlog. The funds made available may also be used for green retrofits and resilience building, a hallmark of the Green New Deal for Public Housing. Learn more about the bill here.

Limiting the Faircloth Amendment

The Faircloth Amendment was passed in 1998 and prevents the building of public housing in the United States. In 2020, Representative Ocasio-Cortez led a successful vote to repeal the Faircloth Amendment in the House, which is critical to the expansion of affordable housing. Due to the leadership of Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and Chairwoman Waters, new housing funding available through BBB will not be subject to the Faircloth Amendment. The full bill text can be found here.

Additional Funding for High Speed Rail

Representative Ocasio-Cortez secured $10 billion for high-speed rail corridor assistance to support planning and development of a public high-speed rail project. This comes after Representative Ocasio-Cortez called for additional funding for high speed rail back in June along with Senators Ed Markey and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Representatives Jim Costa and Seth Moulton. This federal commitment to these modern and proven transportation systems will dramatically improve our environment, reduce inequity, and help grow cities and sustain vibrant downtowns across the nation.