House agrees Construction back Better bill after overnight delay

The House has passed the Better build back Social spending plan Friday morning, after the vote, scheduled to take place Thursday night, was delayed by the hour-long late night speech by House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy. The bill was passed by 220-213 at 9:46 a.m. Friday, and then House Democrats heard chanting “Nancy, Nancy, Nancy.”

The legislation still faces hurdles in the Senate, where it is unclear whether moderate Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will agree to some of the provisions passed by the House. In short, the debate over President Biden’s signature plan to expand the social safety net is not over.

“The Build Back Better Act is fiscally responsible,” Biden said in a statement. “It cuts the deficit in the long run. It’s paid in full by getting the richest Americans and biggest corporations to start paying their fair share of federal taxes. It keeps my promise that no one earns less than $400,000 a year.” , will pay a penny more in federal taxes. Leading economists and independent experts on Wall Street have confirmed it will not increase inflationary pressures. Instead, it will increase the capacity of our economy and cut costs for millions of families.”

Pelosi also celebrated the passage of the bill in the House.

“This bill is monumental. It’s historic,” she told CBS News. “It’s transformative. It’s bigger than anything we’ve ever done.”

McCarthy finished his comments at 5:10 a.m. Friday, eight hours and thirty-two minutes after he began, overshadowing the eight-hour-seven minutes given by Nancy Pelosi in a 2018 speech on the “DACA” program for immigrants. Only a handful of representatives were left in the room. The House was adjourned a minute later and was scheduled to meet again at 8 a.m. Friday.

Shortly after midnight, House Democratic leaders told members to go home and come back Friday morning to vote on the bill.

McCarthy’s energetic speech, which featured a wide range of attacks on Democrats and House speaker Pelosi, capped off a busy night on Capitol Hill.

The impartial Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its cost estimate for the bill Thursday. Several moderate Democrats had said they wanted to wait for that score before voting.

At least two of the moderates who held out for the CBO score said Thursday night they would vote for the bill and another moderate, Congressman Henry Cuellar, of Texas, also indicated he would.

But the Democrats’ margin on the measure remained paper thin. Representative Jared Golden, of Maine, was still voicing his reservations, and with the slim majority of Democrats, they couldn’t afford to lose three votes as no Republican was expected to support the bill.

The CBO said it would increase the deficit by more than $367 billion over 10 years. But the estimate did not include the revenue that could be generated from increasing IRS enforcement, which the CBO suggested would be $207 billion.

In this image from House Television, minority leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, speaks on the floor of the house during the debate over the Democrats’ expanded social and environmental bill on Nov. 18, 2021.

Home television via AP

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen welcomed the CBO’s analysis. Noting that the Treasury Department estimates the crackdown on tax evaders would bring in $400 billion, she said in a statement that the combined CBO score, estimates from the Joint Taxation Committee and her own department’s analysis “make it clear that Build Back Better has been paid in full for, and in fact, our nation’s debt will be reduced over time by generating more than $2 trillion through reforms that ask the richest Americans and big corporations to pay their fair share. .”

The CBO has released estimates of individual components of the Build Back Better Act in recent weeks, but did not specify until Thursday how much money the legislation would bring, or what its cost would be.

Overall, the CBO estimates that the legislation would result in an expense of $1.63 trillion. The office said changes to tax laws and other regulations would generate more than $1.26 trillion in revenue and suggested increased IRS enforcement would bring in $207 billion in revenue.

Some CBO figures have come in lower than the Biden administration’s estimates. The cost of universal pre-K and affordable childcare would be about $382 billion, the agency found, compared to the $400 billion bill’s line item. Prescription drug reforms would save nearly $300 billion — $50 billion more than the White House had estimated. Other estimates were closer: Both put the cost of affordable housing at about $150 billion. And the CBO said expanding Medicare to include hearing would cost $36 billion, while the White House said it would be $35 billion.

The CBO also estimated that four weeks of paid leave included in the House version of the bill would cost $205 billion. That provision was not included in the revised White House framework because paid leave was removed from the bill, but was later partially reinstated by lawmakers.

The White House, which estimated its framework would cost $1.75 trillion, claims it would reduce the deficit over time, generating more than $2.1 trillion over 10 years.

After the House vote on Build Back Better, the bill will go to the Senate, where the 50-seat majority of Democrats is sure to lead to more changes.

Jack Turman and Brian Dakss contributed to this report.


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