(WASHINGTON) – Democrats put aside months of divisions and move toward passage of the House of Representatives on their expanded environmental and social bill on Friday, as President Joe Biden and his party close won a decisive victory in their efforts to use government control to shift resources toward their domestic priorities.
Final passage, scheduled for Thursday, was delayed as Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., kept it up with an hour-long discussion critical of Biden, Democrats and the bill. . Most of the Democrats had left the room after midnight with McCarthy still talking, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters the leaders planned to go in. late Friday.
House approval is still expected in a vote close to the party line. That would send the measure to the Senate where the cost-cutting request by Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va. moderate, and the institute’s strict rules seem certain to force significant change. That would lead to new disputes between centrists and moderates that could take weeks to resolve.
Even so, passage of the House would mark a watershed for a remarkable measure of the breadth and depth of changes it will make in federal policies. Wrapped up in one bill are sweeping changes to taxes, health care, energy, climate change, home services, education and housing. That underscores the Democrats’ desire to achieve their goals while controlling the White House and Congress — a dominance that could end after next year’s midterm elections.
“There are too many Americans who can barely participate in our economy,” Hoyer said. “And we simply can’t go back to the way things were before the pandemic.”
The indoor commute would also give Biden a momentary sense of victory, and perhaps relief, during perhaps the most difficult period of his presidency. He has been battered by declining approval numbers in the polls, reflecting voters’ concerns about inflation, congested supply chains and the persistent coronavirus pandemic, which have worried Democrats. that their legislative efforts were unsuccessful with voters.
Biden this week signed a $1 trillion package for highways and other infrastructure projects, another priority that has weathered months of struggle within Democrats. The president has spent recent days promoting that measure across the country.
McCarthy spent more than five hours on his feet, sometimes screaming or speaking hoarsely. Democrats regularly booed and groaned as McCarthy glared back, underscoring partisan animosity that has only deepened following this week’s criticism of Representative Paul Gosar, R-Ariz. Because of the threatening tweets aimed at Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y.
McCarthy, who hopes to become a speaker if Republicans capture the room in next year’s election, recounted the problems the country faced under Biden, including inflation, the rise of China and the rise of China. and large numbers of immigrants crossing the Southwest border. “Yes, I want to go back,” he said, mocking the “Build Back Better” name Biden used for the law.
House rules do not limit how long party leaders can speak. In 2018, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the Minority Leader at the time, held the floor for more than eight hours demanding action on immigration.
The House moved to a final vote after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said the package would exacerbate the federal deficit by $160 billion over the next decade. The agency also recalculated the 10-year cost of the measure at $1.68 trillion, although that figure is not directly comparable to the $1.85 trillion that Democrats are using. use.
The 2,100-page bill’s initiatives include increasing childcare support, creating free preschools, limiting seniors’ prescription drug costs, and ramping up efforts to slow climate change Queen. Also included are tax credits to promote clean energy development, increase childcare support, and extend tax breaks for millions of families with children, lower-income workers, and those in need. Buy private health insurance.
Much of this will be paid for by increasing taxes on the wealthy, large corporations and companies doing business abroad.
This measure will provide $109 billion to create free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. There are big payouts for home health care for seniors, new Medicare coverage for the hearing and a new requirement for four weeks of paid leave. However, the family leave program is expected to be scrapped in the Senate, where it is opposed by Manchin.
It also has a reputation for allowing the government to issue work permits to millions of immigrants to temporarily stay in the US and save $297 billion from letting the government limit prescription drug costs. The fate of both of those provisions is uncertain in the Senate, where the chamber’s nonpartisan congressman enforces rules that limit the provisions allowed in budget bills.
In a major but expected departure from the White House, the CBO estimates that an additional $80 billion bill to strengthen IRS tax enforcement would allow it to rake in $207 billion in new revenue over the next decade. That translates to a net savings of $127 billion, well below the White House’s more optimistic $400 billion estimate.
In a controversy over keeping points, the official CBO estimates that the overall legislation will increase the federal deficit by $367 billion over the next decade. But the agency’s guidelines require them to ignore IRS savings when measuring the deficit impact of a bill, and they acknowledge that the real impact of the measure would be exacerbating the 160 billion shortfall. dollars when counting the additional revenue the IRS will collect.
Biden and other Democratic leaders have said the measure will pay for itself, largely through increasing taxes on the wealthy, large corporations and companies doing business abroad.
Both sides worry about the deficit selectively. Republicans passed tax cuts in 2017 that made the red ink worse than $1.9 trillion, while Democrats enacted this year’s COVID-19 relief bill at a price the same, similar.
Republicans say the latest legislation will hurt the economy, reduce taxes for some wealthy taxpayers and make government larger and more intrusive. Attracting frequent GOP attacks is a provision that pushes the limits of state and local taxes that people can deduct from federal taxes, which helps those with the highest income from Coastal states have high taxes.
After months of negotiations, the Democrats were eager to wrap up and start selling the package home. They said they are planning 1,000 events around the country by the end of the year to showcase the benefits of the measure to voters.
Faced with even Republican opposition, Democrats could lose no more than three votes to prevail in the House, but moderates seem reassured by the CBO’s numbers. Some projections for IRS savings are always uncertain, others argue that the bill doesn’t need to pay for nearly half a trillion dollars to encourage cleaner energy demand because of global warming. is an existential crisis.
Florida Democrat Representative Stephanie Murphy, a leading center, said she would support the measure after the latest figures showed the legislation was “personally disciplined” and “has many elements”. positive factor”.
Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie vote gives Democrats 50-50 control of the Senate. That left Democrats with no votes to spare, giving Manchin enormous leverage in the upcoming negotiations. The revised bill will have to be delivered to the House before it reaches Biden’s desk.
The nonpartisan Committee on the Responsible Federal Budget, which lectured on fiscal restraint, estimated that the total cost of the bill would be nearly $5 trillion if Democrats did not implement some of the programs. Its process is temporary. For example, tax credits for children and low-income workers are only extended for one year, making their price tags seem lower, even though the party wants those programs to be permanent.
AP Congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro and correspondent Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.
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