US House passes Biden's $1.7T social spending bill

Bill includes Medicare expansion, renewable energy, universal preschool

Ovunc Kutlu   | 19.11.2021
US House passes Biden's $1.7T social spending bill


The US House of Representatives passed early Friday President Joe Biden's more than $1.7 trillion Build Back Better Act.

The lower chamber voted 220-213, while only one Democrat, Jared Golden from Maine, voted against the measure.

The $1.75 trillion bill, the largest social safety net in decades, includes Medicare expansion and Obamacare subsidies in health, credits for renewable energy, expanding child tax credits for a year and universal preschool, and affordable housing.

The House Democrats planned to pass the bill Thursday night, but the vote was delayed after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a record-long speech that lasted for more than eight hours.

The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote where it is expected to be passed before Christmas, according to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The voting came despite a nonpartisan agency report that showed the bill could cause deficit in a decade.

The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) said Biden's plan would increase the budget deficit by $367 billion from 2022 to 2031, according to its report released Thursday.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, however, said on Nov. 4 the plan would raise over $2 trillion in offsets, making the entire package paid for over the next 10 years and would reduce deficits over the long term.

Shortly after the bill cleared the House floor, Biden reiterated his stance arguing that the plan is fiscally responsible, reducing the deficit over the long-term, and it is fully paid for by making sure that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations pay their fair share in federal taxes.

"Leading economists and independent experts on Wall Street have confirmed that it will not add to inflationary pressures. Instead, it will boost the capacity of our economy and reduce costs for millions of families," he said in a statement.

Biden said the bill would lower your costs on prescription drugs, health care and housing, provides child care and care for seniors, cuts taxes for working families and the middle class, and provides universal pre-Kindergarten for every 3-and 4-year old in the US.

"Together with the bipartisan infrastructure law, it makes the most significant investment in our fight against the climate crisis ever by creating jobs that build a clean energy future for our children and grandchildren," the president said.

Biden on Monday signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, which plans to invest $550 billion in transportation, internet broadband and utilities, in addition to roads, bridges, ports, airports, and water systems and pipelines.

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