House Passes Biden’s $1.75 Trillion Build Back Better Package – But Will it Survive The Senate?

The House voted on Friday morning to pass President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better proposal but it still faces potential roadblocks in the Senate.

The House voted 220-213 to pass the $1.75 trillion bill, with only Maine Democrat Jared Golden breaking party lines.

“We have a Build Back Better Bill that is historic, transformative and larger than anything we have ever done before,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We are building back better. If you are a parent, senior, child, worker, American — this bill is for you.”

The vote was scheduled for Thursday night but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke for more than eight hours on the House floor to delay the inevitable vote. He called the bill “the single most reckless and irresponsible spending bill in our nation’s history.”

The bill will now head to the Senate, where its passage is no sure thing. Democrats don’t need any Republican votes to pass the bill but they need all 50 Democratic members to support it, with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema still on the fence.

What’s in the bill?

The House version of the bill includes $555 billion to combat climate change, including tax credits for energy efficiency improvements.

The bill also includes $400 billion for universal pre-K for 3- and 4-year-olds, $200 billion to extend the enhanced Child Tax Credit for one year, and $200 billion for four weeks of paid family and medical leave.

The House bill also provides $165 billion to expand reduce health care premiums and expand Medicare coverage to include hearing. It also raised over $150 billion by allowing Medicare to negotiate some drug costs and has a $35-per-month cap on insulin and a $2,000 on out-of-pocket drug costs for seniors.

The bill also includes $150 billion to expand affordable home care and $150 billion for affordable housing.

The package is not expected to add to the deficit and may actually raise more money than it spends. The bill increases IRS enforcement, installs a 15% minimum corporate tax on big companies, and imposes a tax surcharge on millionaires.

What about the Senate?

The bill is expected to see major changes in the Senate.

Manchin opposes the paid leave proposal, though Sen. Kyrsten Gillibrand is still trying to lobby him to agree to some version of the measure.

Democrats are also at odds about a rollback of the state and local tax deduction, which will allow people to deduct up to $80,000 of their state and local taxes from their federal bill and will disproportionately benefit people earning over $250,000.

Manchin has also raised concerns about inflation and argued that the bill should be delayed until next year.

Sinema has privately told Democrats that she supports the legislation but has not committed to voting for it.


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