BREAKING NEWS: House PASSES Biden's $1.75T social and climate package

House PASSES Biden’s $1.75T social and climate package during his colonoscopy with just ONE Democrat voting no: Republicans walk off in protest and Nancy celebrates as huge bill heads to Senate

  • The House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better social spending bill Friday morning 
  • The vote was 220 to 213, with only one Democratic defection  
  • Biden wasn’t immediately able to celebrate, as he was at Walter Reed for his first annual physical as president, and due to undergo a colonoscopy 
  • The vote had been delayed after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke on the House floor for an astonishing eight hours and 32 minutes 

The House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better social spending bill Friday morning, with a vote of 220 to 213.

Just one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden, defected and voted with the Republicans.  

Biden wasn’t immediately able to celebrate the accomplishment, as he was at Walter Reed for his first annual physical as president, and due to undergo a colonoscopy – leaving Vice President Kamala Harris briefly in charge.  

House Democrats, however, were doing happy dancing and taking selfies. When the bill got passed the 218 threshold, meaning it would pass, chants of ‘Build Back Better’ broke out. Democratic members yelled ‘Nancy, Nancy, Nancy,’ as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was leaving the dais after chairing the final count. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden was able to call Pelosi Friday morning to congratulate her on the bill’s passage. 

And White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates trolled Republicans by tweeting, ‘Let’s go BBBrandon!!!’ which has become code on the right for ‘f**k Joe Biden.’  

The Build Back Better bill now heads to the Senate.  

The vote had been delayed after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy spoke on the House floor for an astonishing eight hours and 32 minutes, finishing up his address just after 5 a.m. Friday. 

He smashed a record previously set by Pelosi in 2018. 

Republican lawmakers were seen approaching McCarthy and shaking his hand throughout the morning votes. Party members left the floor in protest after Build Back Better passed.  

Pelosi had trolled McCarthy when she spoke on the floor Friday morning once the Democrats resumed the session. 

‘With confidence in the vision of President Biden and associating myself with the inspiring and informative comments of the cistinguished Chairman, Mr. Neal, with our distinguished Democratic leader, Mr. Hoyer, the Democratic Whip last evening, and with respect for those who work in this capitol, and as a courtesy to my colleagues, I will be brief,’ Pelosi said to laughs. 

Pelosi spoke for just under 10 minutes. 

McCarthy had been set to speak for just one minute, but used his leadership perch to use the ‘magic minute’ privilege to give his marathon speech.   

The California Republican shrugged off heckling from the Democrats as he launched into a monologue that covered everything from the Afghanistan withdrawal, travel to Europe, Elon Musk, Abraham Lincoln, the Hallmark Channel, the Nobel Peace Prize and the artwork hanging in his office.  

THE AYES HAVE IT:  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chaired the conclusion of the Build Back Better vote, announcing that by a vote of 220-213 President Joe Biden’s social spending bill passed the House of Representatives Friday morning 

Democrats clustered together in the House well and celebrated the passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better social spending bill after months of negotiations between moderates and progressives 

Cheers of ‘Nancy, Nancy, Nancy,’ broke out among Democratic lawmakers on the House floor after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left the dais after chairing the conclusion of the Build Back Better vote Friday morning 

President Joe Biden wasn’t immediately able to celebrate the accomplishment, as he was at Walter Reed for his first annual physical as president, and due to undergo a colonoscopy – leaving Vice President Kamala Harris briefly in charge

‘I don’t care how many times I’m interrupted,’ he said to applause from his side of the aisle. ‘I’m not going to stop til the American people hear it.’

The tactic employed by McCarthy, known as filibustering, dates back to Ancient Rome and is sometimes referred to as ‘talking a bill to death.’

However, unlike the Senate, the House does not permit a filibuster to hold up a vote indefinitely. Democrats simply postponed the session until 8 a.m. Friday.   

At the end of the speech, McCarthy said: ‘This is the longest one minute I’ve ever given, it’s the longest one minute ever given in this body. There’s a reason why. This is a tipping point, this is a point of not coming back from. The American people have spoken but unfortunately the Democrats have not listened.

Most Democrats, including Speaker Pelosi, filed out of the House at around midnight as the vote was postponed until the morning. 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told CNN: ‘He wants to do it in the dead of night … We are going to do it in the day.’ 

The House Minority Leader said he knew Democrats were mad that he spoke for so long, but said: ‘I’ve had enough. America’s had enough.’ 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi trolled House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on the House floor Friday morning telling colleagues ‘I will be brief’ after he delivered a eight hour and 32 minute ‘magic minute’ speech Thursday night into Friday morning

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delayed a vote on Joe Biden’s $1.8 trillion Build Back Better social spending package by delivering a speech filled with yelling and scolding of Democrats

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi left the chamber around midnight on November 19 as McCarthy continued talking to delay the vote

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (center, pictured in the Capitol on Thursday afternoon) said the House would reconvene on Friday morning to resume the vote

What’s in, and what’s out: The social welfare and climate initiatives included in Build Back Better bill

President Joe Biden’s now plan to boost social and education programs as well as protect against global warming continues to be fine-tuned by Democrats in Congress with a new goal of completing work before Thanksgiving.

The updated plan includes universal preschool, funding to limit child care costs and a one-year continuation of a child tax credit that was expanded earlier this year and applied to more families. But Democrats are scaling back some investments and shortening the timeframe for funding to whittle down spending. Some proposals have been dropped entirely.

Here’s what’s in the package, based on summaries provided by the White House and the House.

 TAX BREAKS

– An expanded child tax credit would continue for another year. As part of a COVID relief bill, Democrats increased the tax credit to $3,000 per child ages 6-17 and $3,600 per child 5 and under. Households earning up to $150,000 per year get the credit paid to them on a monthly basis. Budget hawks worry that a one-year extension is a budgetary tool that will lower the cost of the program on paper, but mask its true costs since lawmakers tend to continue programs rather than let them expire.

– The expanded Earned Income Tax Credit that goes to 17 million childless, low-wage workers would continue for one year.

EDUCATION

– Universal prekindergarten would be established for all 3- and 4-year-olds and child-care subsidies would be provided for poorer and middle-income Americans. But the programs are funded only for six years.

– $40 billion would be provided for higher education and workforce development. This includes raising the size of Pell Grants and providing funding for historically black colleges and universities as well as institutions that largely serve Hispanic students or tribal communities.

HEALTH CARE

– Medicare would be expanded to cover hearing aids, costing an estimated $35 billion over 10 years.

– Expanded tax credits for insurance premiums tied to the Affordable Care Act would be extended through 2025. The White House says that would help 3 million uninsured people gain coverage.

– $150 billion for a Medicaid program that supports home health care, helping to clear a backlog and improving working conditions.

– $90 billion for investments that would include funding maternal health, community violence initiatives, disadvantaged farmers, nutrition and pandemic preparation.

– Out-of-pocket Medicare Part D costs for older Americans would be capped at $2,000 and the price of insulin reduced to no more than $35 a dose.

– A Medicare drug negotiation program would be established. Each year, the secretary of Health and Human Services would identify 100 brand-name drugs that lack price competition and from that list negotiate the price of up to 10 drugs in 2025, 15 in 2026 and 2027, and 20 thereafter. Insulin products must also be negotiated. A drug selected for negotiation would continue to be included in the program until competition enters the market.

CHILD CARE

– Biden’s plan says parents earning up to 250% of a state´s median income should pay no more than 7% of their income on child care. Parents must be working, seeking a job, in school or dealing with a health issue to qualify.

HOUSING

– $150 billion would be committed toward housing affordability with a goal of building more than 1 million new rental and single-family homes. The goal would be to reduce price pressures by providing rental and down payment assistance.

 

 ENVIRONMENT

– Clean energy tax credits would receive $320 billion worth of funding. These credits over 10 years would help businesses and homeowners shift to renewable energy sources for electricity, vehicles and manufacturing.

– $105 billion would be directed toward investments that would improve communities’ ability to withstand extreme weather caused by climate change. The funding would also create a Civilian Climate Corps that focuses on conserving public lands and bolstering community resilience to flooding, drought and other weather emergencies.

– $110 billion would help develop new domestic supply chains and develop new solar and battery technologies. Support would also be given to existing steel, cement and aluminum industries.

– $20 billion would be allotted for the government to become the buyer of clean energy technologies as part of its procurement process.

– $9 billion would be allocated for lead remediation projects, such as the replacement of water lines or the replacement of school drinking water fountains that may contain lead.

TAXES

– Biden’s plan bolsters the IRS to improve collections and close the gap between taxes owed and taxes paid.

– A 15% minimum income tax would be applied to large corporations, along with a 1% surcharge on corporate stock buybacks. The U.S. would also be aligned with an agreement reached by more than 100 countries designed to deter multinational companies from stashing profits in low-tax countries.

– The bill would create a new surtax on multimillionaires and billionaires and close a provision that allows some wealthy taxpayers to avoid paying the 3.8% Medicare tax on their earnings.

– A $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions would be raised to $72,500. Tax analysts say the change would largely benefit high-income households.

IMMIGRATION

– Those who entered the United States prior to Jan. 2, 2011, and have continuously resided there since would be eligible for renewable parole grants for five years after paying an administrative fee and completing security and background checks. The parole status gives recipients authorization to travel and work in the U.S. and deems them eligible for a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or a state identification card.

PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

– Eligible workers would receive up to four weeks of paid leave to reimburse them for time taken to care for a new child or other family members or to recover from illness. Biden had initially proposed 12 weeks of paid family leave.

WHAT’S OUT OF THE BILL

– A proposal to expand Medicare to cover dental and vision care is out because of concerns about the cost.

– A proposal to allow for up to two years of free community college is out.

 

 

After adopting a new version of the package, which was less than half of the original $3.5 trillion proposal, debate began on the legislation where Democrats and Republicans began debating their final case for and against the bill.

But Republicans yielded their time to McCarthy – who spoke for more than five hours.

Under the House rules, McCarthy could talk for as long as he wanted before lawmakers vote. The Republican leader was passionate in speaking out against the measure, at times yelling and lamenting that the House chamber was not in order, saying: ‘I can wait.’

‘I don’t care how many times I’m interrupted,’ he said to applause from his side of the aisle. ‘I’m not going to stop ’til the American people hear it.’

He praised himself for remaining silent while Democrats made their case for passing the bill: ‘As I listen to the other side make their comments, not once did I say something.’

‘I know that people might disagree with what I say,’ he continued. ‘But we’re in America, we’re in Congress. I respect their position, even though I think it’s wrong.’

The Republican from California talked about a plethora of failures of the administration – which sparked heckling from Democrats sitting in the chamber. His allies stood behind him, but some nodded off and yawned as the speech carried back midnight

Democrats heckled McCarthy and laughed throughout his speech – with reporters at the Capitol noting on Twitter that Ohio Representative Tim Ryan appeared to be the ‘ringleader.’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a video mocking McCarthy as he made his speech, calling it ‘one of the worst, lowest quality speeches…I have ever witnessed.’ 

‘He has managed to speak for over an hour with one of the lowest vocabularies I have ever heard coming from a member of House leadership of any party. It is stunning to me how long a person can talk … communicating so little.’ 

Fellow New Yorker, Rep. Grace Meng joined in the mockery online, tweeting, ‘I delivered a baby in less time. Now step aside and let us deliver real change, like paid leave and child care, to American families.’ 

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland also slammed McCarthy throughout his speech tweeting, ‘We are hearing rumors that the front row of GOP hostages behind Kevin McCarthy are asking whether they can just be censured instead,’ taking a jab at recently censured Republican Rep. Paul Gosar. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted a video mocking McCarthy as he made his speech, calling it ‘one of the worst, lowest quality speeches…I have ever witnessed’

Democratic representatives poked fun at McCarthy for his lengthy speech

Democrats had been looking forward to passing the Build Back Better Bill on Thursday. Pictured, Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro posing with a makeshift mascot of the delayed bill

‘Nobody elected Joe Biden to be FDR,’ McCarthy said in his floor speech in reference to the overarching social spending plan that the GOP claims would expand the welfare state.

‘I did!’ one Democrat said – later to be IDed as AOC – and another added: ‘Me too!’

Upon approaching the 40-minute mark of McCarthy’s monologue, Ryan sighed: ‘Oh my God.’

‘I know Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi likes to remove people from committees when they don’t meet a higher standard,’ McCarthy said, adding he’s ‘worried’ about Ryan. 

Ocasio-Cortez yelled out that Gosar was ‘inciting violence.’

The comments from McCarthy were directed at Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene being removed from her committees by Democrats earlier this year and Gosar being censured by the House on Wednesday.

Gosar posted an anime video of himself as a character killing the character with the superimposed face of Ocasio-Cortez.

McCarthy suggested Thursday that Democratic representatives be removed from the House floor during his speech for continuing to interrupt him.

He also warned Democrats not to take down their mask to yell at him because they would be fined, according to House rules that do not allow representatives to come into the chamber without a face covering.

Greene and other Republican representatives have been fined for balking congressional mask rules.

McCarthy said people on the other side of the aisle were just getting ‘mad’ over him listing provisions in the bill that ‘they wrote’.

‘All President Biden had to do was nothing,’ McCarthy said.

He said that the last 10 months have been the ‘most incompetent’ in American history.

Biden has vowed that the BBB social spending and welfare plan will not cost a penny.

But McCarthy said that the current state of the U.S. economy is bad enough. Saying from the House floor: ‘Inflation is a tax on all of us.’

Rep. Jared Golden of Maine became the first Democrat to announce Thursday that he will vote no on Biden’s bill, meaning the party can only lose two more to get the package passed.

If the measure passed the House, it will advance to the Senate – where it faces an uphill battle considering the 50-50 split. Centrist Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has already raised objection over the latest version of the bill. 

Not going anywhere for a while? Representatives’ cars fill the East Front of the U.S. Capitol Building as Democrats attempted to vote on the Build Back Better legislation Thursday night at the Capitol 

U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) talks to reporters before the late-night session on the Build Back Better legislation.  A vote was expected on the $1.75 trillion social spending bill Thursday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing forward a vote on the president $1.8 trillion ‘Build Back Better’ Plan. A new CBO score estimated it would add $367 billion to the deficit over a decade

The White House’s latest scoring on the Build Back Better plan, which incorporates new information from the Congressional Budget Office, Joint Committee on Taxation and the Treasury Department, shows that the package will reduce the federal deficit by $112 billion over the next decade.

The White House previously estimated it would reduce the deficit by $36 billion.

The House on Thursday was plowing ahead toward a vote before it faced a swift halt by McCarthy’s speech.

The new cost estimate shows the bill will add $367 billion to the deficit over a decade. 

Pelosi wrote fellow Democrats Thursday evening, after saying earlier in the day that a vote could come today. 

She said a ‘scrub’ for provisions that could implicate a privilege in the Senate had been completed.

‘At the close of the debate, all that remains is to take up the vote – so that we can pass this legislation and achieve Biden’s vision to Build Back Better!’ Pelosi exclaimed. 

The $367 billion would accrue over a decade, as the bill’s spending on climate programs, paid leave, and child care add up and revenue-raising provisions kick in. 

The new number from congressional scorekeepers came despite the administration saying the bill would be entirely ‘paid for.’ 

However, the White House is brandishing an additional estimate from the Treasury Department on the bill’s $80 billion in stepped up IRS enforcement, which the administration claims would bring in $400 billion over the period. However, the CBO’s own analysis is that the enforcement would bring in $127 billion in revenue. 

‘CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would result in a net increase in the deficit totaling $367 billion over the 2022-2031 period, not counting any additional revenue that may be generated by additional funding for tax enforcement,’ CBO said in a release – which pointed to the additional pot of revenue.

The Rules panel went into session to vote on a procedure for the bill, which would then head to the floor for a vote. Then, members began clashing on the House floor over taxes and spending.

The issue for the White House on Thursday had less to do with the need to sell the plan to the public than with the immediate need to make sure a group of centrists were on board and would vote for it. With no Republican vote expected, Pelosi was expected to need nearly her entire caucus. 

A group of five centrists signed a letter shortly before passage of a separate infrastructure bill saying they would back the plan as long as there were only technical changes.  

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tweeted Thursday night, referencing the Congressional Budget Office, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and her own agency’s analysis. 

President Joe Biden is hoping to sign the bill, as he continued to champion a new $1.2 trillion infrastructure law

Treasury Secretary Yellen said it would be ‘fully paid for’

The $1.8 trillion Build Back Better plan comes after a $1.2 trillion infrastructure law and a $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. But it still must pass the Senate

‘The combination of CBO & JCT’s scores over the last week and Treasury analysis make it clear that Build Back Better is fully paid for, and in fact will reduce our nation’s debt over time through $2 trillion+ in revenue raisers and other savings,’ she wrote. 

Pelosi then came in with an updated letter selling the latest numbers.

‘Good news for Democrats – the cost elements came in lower than the White House estimates – in the ballpark of $50bn lower cost,’ she said. ‘The savings from the prescription drug reforms came in $50bn higher – at $300bn compared to the White House’s estimate of $250bn. That means that the bill will be more than fully paid for,’ she said. 

As long understood, CBO’s numbers on tax enforcement are lower than the Treasury’s estimates. Democrats have long known and anticipated this – will not be an issue.

Kevin Glass of the National Taxpayer’s Union issued a statement saying it ‘would add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit – and that’s after its supporters piled on budget tricks and gimmicks put in to game the CBO score.’

Biden’s $1.75 trillion social program and climate change investment bill was finally moving toward a House vote Thursday evening, as the House Rules Committee met to pass a procedure on a bill that makes ‘technical changes’ and budget scorekeepers came in with a price tag.

The panel began meeting Thursday night, with an expected House vote on the new rule later in the evening.  

Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she hoped votes on the landmark legislation could occur later in the day.

The legislation would fund expanded social programs, mainly to help children and seniors, and provide $550 billion to battle climate change. If it passes the Democratic-controlled House, it would go to the Senate for consideration, where two moderate Democratic members have threatened to hold it up.

The Rules Committee was set to meet at 5:30 p.m.

House members also were awaiting the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office’s final assessment of whether the legislation would meet the Biden administration’s promise it would not result in deficit spending.

CBO said it would provide that analysis on Thursday.

Moderate House Democrats have been particularly interested in receiving the CBO ‘score’ of the bill. It is unclear whether any moderates would withhold their support for the sprawling bill if the analysis finds additional tax revenues embedded in the bill would not cover the new spending.

Republicans are expected to oppose the legislation in lock-step following months of attacking it as a wasteful ‘socialist’ agenda that will stoke price inflation.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who also has sounded alarms over inflation, gave his full-throttled support on Thursday for the bill.

‘This is as close to a no-brainer as I’ve seen in decades of public policy analysis,’ Summers told reporters on a call hosted by the liberal-leaning Center for American Progress.

He warned the legislation might be the last opportunity for some time to expand the IRS’ auditing capability and begin collecting billions of dollars of taxes not being paid by mostly high-income Americans.

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