US House Expected to Vote on Biden’s Huge Spending Bills

Democratic leaders announced that the U.S. House of Representatives would vote Friday on President Joe Biden’s $ 3 trillion plan to transform transportation networks and expand the social safety net.

House Democratic leaders expected a procedural vote on Biden’s $ 1.75 trillion Build Back Better social spending plan and pass the Senate-approved $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package on Thursday. But salient differences among lawmakers over details forced a delay.

“This Build Back Better agenda, along with the bipartisan infrastructure bill, as we’ve said, is transformational and it’s historic, and it’s important to get there,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“And then the president will continue to work with members of Congress to make that happen.”

A green light from the House on infrastructure would pave the way for a historic upgrade to the country’s roads, bridges, waterways and the country’s dilapidated broadband network.

However, the social spending package does not have the approval of the Senate and is far from becoming law.

The lower house speeding on the biggest bill after months of delays caused by infighting is largely a pressure tactic to light a fire under senators in the hope that a bill will approved by the House prompts them to act in the next month.

That momentum leaves House lawmakers faced with the prospect of the upper house sending them the bill with significant changes, while the infrastructure legislation simply needs the support of the majority in the House to advance to Biden’s desk. .

‘Too far left’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters earlier in the day that she was “very unhappy” for having failed twice in recent weeks to pass the infrastructure bill and was determined that both bills of law could move forward together quickly.

Events on Capitol Hill were being closely watched by the president, who spent the night telephoning members to ask for votes in favor of both bills, congressional media reported.

Biden returned from an overseas trip on Wednesday to a party defeated by a Republican sweep in the Virginia election and a landslide victory instead of the expected landslide in the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

Democrats are desperate to avoid a repeat of such setbacks in next year’s midterm elections, although many observers are not convinced the upcoming bloodbath can be prevented by any action in Congress.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy predicted that Republicans, who have 213 representatives compared to Democrats’ 221, could invest more than 60 seats in the House next year, repeating the wave of the Tea Party from 2010.

Either way, Tuesday’s poor performances leave Democrats with a dilemma: Is Biden’s agenda too progressive for the political center, or is it so watered down from its ambitious prototype that it won’t excite the left?

The responses offered by the various factions tend to coincide with their established political positions, with the conservatives calling for a handbrake on social spending and the liberals redoubling their efforts to get both bills passed.

Senate opponent Joe Manchin is influenced by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which estimates that Build Back Better’s $ 1.75 trillion price tag would rise to nearly $ 4 trillion if its provisions become permanent.

“We can’t go too far to the left. This is not a left or center-left country,” the conservative Democrat from West Virginia told CNN on Thursday, making it clear that he will not be swayed by what the House passes.

‘Spilling gasoline on inflation’

In reality, Build Back Better does very well across the United States, which has only given a popular vote to a Republican president once since the 1980s.

A report Thursday from Moody’s concludes that the two bills would add 1.5 million jobs a year and grow the economy by nearly $ 3 trillion over the next decade.

Echoing Manchin’s prudence, five House moderates had insisted on a budget score to ensure the bill is “fiscally responsible” before they vote, which would likely take two weeks.

Yet perhaps the biggest stumbling block is immigration, with three Latino lawmakers opposing any version of Build Back Better that doesn’t provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

But Pelosi prides herself on never bringing into the room votes she doesn’t know already have enough support to pass, suggesting grassroots lawmakers have been appeased.

Republicans have become largely irrelevant in the negotiations by dismissing support for any social spending bill from day one, instead enjoying the Democratic circular firing squad from the sidelines.

But Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate budget committee, gathered reporters Thursday to offer his characterization of Build Back Better as a “fraud that will fuel inflation.”


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