On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office revealed its report on the economic impact of the Build Back Better legislation. A vote was expected on Thursday night upon the release of their findings. Although Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats wanted to push forward with a vote, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) spoke on the matter for a record-breaking eight-plus hours on the bill.
Even though McCarthy prevented a vote on Thursday evening as expected, House Dems called the House to order, and a vote was held Friday morning.
The nearly $2 trillion dollar spending bill was passed in the House by a measure of 220 – 213.
No Republicans voted for the Build Back Better legislation.
On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office released its findings on the future financial impact of the bill. The CBO stated that the legislation could add more than $350 billion to the nation’s current deficit of $26.7 trillion.
Ahead of the CBO’s report, the Biden Administration has made statements that the Congressional Budget Office is not always accurate. However, in the past, Joe Biden has been quoted as saying the CBO is the “gold standard.”
Once the measure reached the 218 votes required to pass, House Democrats could be heard chanting “Build Back Better!” in the House chamber. Republican Representative Kat Cammack (R-FL) referred to the bill as the “Build Back Broke” legislation. Cammack is also quoted as saying “Good luck in the Senate!” while the Democrats in the House cheered.
Decorum was lost as GOP lawmakers cheered Cammack’s remarks; however, House Democrats “booed” across the aisle at their Republican counterparts. One Democrat is said to have shouted “You’re an embarrassment!” at Republicans in the House.
The Build Back Better legislation has been a point of hot contention among progressive and more moderate democrats. For months, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has refused to endorse the bill, saying it is not good legislation for the country as a whole and especially for his constituents in West Virginia. Manchin has met with President Biden in private regarding the bill as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. However, Manchin has been adamant that he cannot support the legislation.
Another Democratic Senator shares Manchin’s sentiment. Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema has been the subject of much harassment because she refuses to support the bill. Senator Sinema has been followed into public bathrooms in the Capitol building, filmed and threatened while there. One protestor told Senator Sinema, “We voted you in; we can vote you out.” It is also reported that protestors crashed a wedding at which Sinema was officiating.
Manchin, Sinema and others cite long term financial impact of the bill as reason enough not to support the measure. Now that the bill is headed to the Senate, one cannot predict the success or failure of the bill. As of this writing, there is no definitive voting date set.