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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dems wide social climate law passed division of the House of Representatives

ALAN FRUM

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats brushed aside months of division and pushed their vast social and environmental bill through a sharply divided house on Friday, as President Joe Biden and his party moved closer to capitalizing on their control of the government by channeling their resources towards theirs. main internal priorities.

The House of Representatives passed the bill with a near-party line of 220-213 votes, sending the measure to the Senate, where the moderate Senator Joe Manchin, DW.Va. requires cost cuts, and the chamber’s strict rules are likely to bring about significant changes. … This will spark new controversies between party centrists and progressives, which will likely take weeks to resolve.

Nevertheless, the passage to the House of Representatives marked a watershed for the measure, notable for the breadth and depth of changes it will bring to federal policy. One bill introduces far-reaching changes in taxation, healthcare, energy, climate change, family services, education and housing. This demonstrates the desire of Democrats to achieve their goals by controlling the White House and Congress, and this dominance may end after next year’s midterm elections.

Biden called the vote “another giant step forward” for the country.

“Above all, it puts us on a better path to rebuilding our economy than ever before by rebuilding America’s backbone of working people and the middle class,” he said in a statement.

Democrats gathered in front of the audience, many joined hands as the last roll call was being held. Build Better, many chanted, using Biden’s name as a measure. Their applause grew louder when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi closed the vote.

The Republicans had nothing to celebrate, but they showed some insolence. “Good luck in the Senate,” Rep. Kat Cammack from Florida said derisively.

The House vote also gave Biden an instant taste of victory and perhaps relief during what may be his toughest presidency. It has been hit by a drop in poll approval, reflecting voter concerns about inflation, blocked supply chains and the persistent coronavirus pandemic, leaving Democrats concerned that their legislative efforts are not reaching voters.

“If you are a parent, an elderly person, a child, a worker, if you are an American, this bill is for you,” Pelosi said, highlighting the Democrats’ drive to impress the public.

Maine Rep. Jared Golden was the only Democrat to vote against.

This week, Biden signed a $ 1 trillion package of road and other infrastructure projects – another priority that overcame months of Democratic internal struggles. The President spent his last days promoting this measure throughout the country.

Final approval of the larger bill, which was expected on Thursday, was delayed when minority leader Kevin McCarthy, Republic of California, delivered an eight-and-a-half hour speech criticizing Biden, the Democrats and the bill, the longest speech ever given to the House. When he finished his speech at dawn, the Chamber was briefly interrupted before resuming its work, with dozens of members nominating colleagues to vote.

Standing and occasionally referring to a folder on his desk, McCarthy at times screamed and was hoarsely hoarse. Democrats booed and groaned from time to time as McCarthy stared back, highlighting the guerrilla animosity only exacerbated this week by Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona’s conviction for threatening tweets aimed at Alexandria MP Ocasio-Cortez, New York.

McCarthy, who hopes to become speaker if Republicans take over the House in elections next year, spoke about the problems the country faced under Biden, including inflation, the rise of China and large numbers of immigrants crossing the southwestern border. “Yes, I want to go back,” he said, mocking the “Build Back Better” title Biden uses for the law.

Internal regulations do not limit the length of time a party leader can speak. In 2018, Pelosi, the minority leader at the time, spoke out for just over eight hours, demanding immigration measures. Before McCarthy’s speech, her speech was the longest in the history of the House.

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The vote on Friday came after the non-partisan Congressional budget office estimated the package would increase the federal deficit by $ 160 billion over the next decade. The agency also recalculated the 10-year price of the measure at $ 1.68 trillion, although that figure was not directly comparable to the $ 1.85 trillion figure used by the Democrats.

The initiatives of the 2,100-page bill include expanding childcare assistance, creating free preschools, reducing the cost of prescription drugs for the elderly, and strengthening efforts to slow climate change. Also included are tax credits to stimulate clean energy development, increased childcare assistance and expanded tax credits for millions of families with children, low-paid workers and people buying private health insurance.

Much of this will come from tax increases for the wealthy, large corporations and companies doing business abroad.

This measure will provide $ 109 billion to create free preschools for children 3 and 4 years old. There are large amounts for home health care for seniors, new Medicare hearing coverage, and a new requirement for four weeks of paid family leave. However, the family leave program was expected to be removed in the Senate, where Manchin opposed it.

There is also formulation that allows the government to issue work permits to millions of immigrants that would allow them to temporarily stay in the US and save $ 297 billion by allowing the government to cut spending on prescription drugs. The fate of both of these provisions is unclear in the Senate, where a non-partisan House parliamentarian enforces rules restricting provisions permitted in budget bills.

The Congressional Budget Office has assessed one significant but expected difference with the White House that adding $ 80 billion to the IRS tax bailout bill would allow it to raise $ 207 billion in new revenue over the next decade. That meant a net saving of $ 127 billion, well below the more optimistic White House estimate of $ 400 billion.

The CBO’s official estimate is that the law as a whole will increase the federal budget deficit by $ 367 billion over the next decade. The agency’s guidelines require it to ignore IRS savings when measuring the impact of an account deficit, but it recognized that IRS savings would reduce the budget deficit by $ 160 billion less.

Biden and other Democratic leaders said the move would pay off, largely by raising taxes for the wealthy, large corporations and companies doing business abroad.

Both sides are selectively concerned about scarcity. Republicans pushed for tax cuts in 2017, causing the red ink to degrade by $ 1.9 trillion, while Democrats passed a COVID-19 relief bill this year at the same price.

Republicans said the latest legislation would hurt the economy, provide tax breaks for some wealthy taxpayers, and make the government bigger and more intrusive. Frequent attacks by the GOP have been a provision raising the limit on state and local taxes that people can deduct from federal taxes, disproportionately helping large revenues from high-tax coastal states.

Moderate Democrats have been reassured by the CBO numbers.

Florida Democratic MP Stephanie Murphy, a leading centrist, backed the measure, saying the latest figures show the law “has fiscal discipline.”

Vice President Kamala Harris’s push-off vote gives Democrats 50-50 control of the Senate. That leaves the Democrats with a zero vote margin, giving Manchin huge leverage over the upcoming negotiations. The changed account will have to be returned to the Chamber before it reaches Biden’s desk.

The non-partisan private Committee on a Responsible Federal Budget, advocating financial constraints, has calculated that the total cost of the bill would have been nearly $ 5 trillion had Democrats not made some of its programs temporary. This includes tax breaks for children, which Democrats have extended by just one year, making their price tags appear lower, even if the party would like these programs to be permanent.

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AP Congress Correspondent Lisa Mascaro and Reporter Farnush Amiri contributed to this report.

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