Build Back Better vote pushed to Friday after McCarthy’s record-breaking speech

The house passed Build back better social spending plan Friday morning, after the vote, which was to take place Thursday night, was delayed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s hour-long speech at night. The bill was passed 220-213 at. 9.46 Friday, and afterwards the Democrats in the House could be heard shouting, “Nancy, Nancy, Nancy.”

Legislation still faces obstacles in the Senate, where it is unclear whether moderate Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will agree to some of the provisions that Parliament has included. In short, the debate over President Biden’s signature plan to expand the social safety net is not over yet.

McCarthy closed his remarks at 5:10 a.m. Friday, eight hours and thirty-two minutes after he began, and obscured the eight-hour-seven-minute mark set by Nancy Pelosi in a 2018 speech on “DACA” program for immigrants. Only a handful of representatives were still in the hall. The house left a minute later and was to meet again on Friday at 8.00.

Shortly after midnight, Democratic leaders in the House asked members to go home and return Friday morning or vote on the bill.

McCarthy’s high-energy speech, featuring a long line of attacks on Democrats and Pelosi, the house speaker, ended a busy evening on Capitol Hill.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced its cost estimate for the bill on Thursday. Several moderate Democrats had said they wanted to wait for that result before voting.

At least two of the moderates who supported the CBO result said Thursday night that 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 stale. Representative Jared Golden of Maine still expressed reservations, and with a small majority of Democrats, they could only afford to lose three votes, as no Republicans were 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.

Congress budget
In this image from House Television, minority leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks on the floor of the House during the debate on the Democrats’ expansive social and environmental law on November 18, 2021.

House TV via AP


Finance Minister Janet Yellen welcomed the CBO’s analysis. She noted that the Treasury Department estimates that the tax evasion campaign would raise $ 400 billion, and she said in a statement that the combined CBO score, Joint Committee on Taxation estimates and her own departmental analysis “make it clear that Build “Back Better is fully paid for, and will actually reduce our nation’s debt over time by generating more than $ 2 trillion through reforms that ask the richest Americans and big business to pay their fair share.”

The CBO has released estimates on individual components of the Build Back Better Act over the past few weeks, but did not address how much money the legislation would raise, or its cost, until Thursday.

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

Some of the CBO figures have come lower than the Biden administration’s estimates. The cost of universal pre-K and affordable child care would be around $ 382 billion, the agency found, compared to the bill’s $ 400 billion line item. Prescription drug reforms will save nearly $ 300 billion – $ 50 billion more than the White House estimated. Other estimates were closer: Both set affordable housing-related costs of about $ 150 billion. And the CBO said an expansion of Medicare to include hearing would cost $ 36 billion, while the White House said it would cost $ 35 billion.

The CBO also estimated that a four-week paid leave included in the House version of the bill would cost $ 205 billion. This provision was not included in the revised White House framework because paid leave had been dropped from the bill, but was later partially restored by lawmakers.

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

After the vote in Parliament on Build Back Better, the bill will pass to the Senate, where the 50-seat majority of Democrats will certainly lead to more changes.

Jack Turman and Brian Dakss contributed to this report.

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