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Pelosi expects the House to vote on the Build Back Better act this afternoon
The bill, if passed, would then go to the Senate where it’s likely to be reshaped by moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia who could demand even more cuts for his vote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today during her weekly press conference that the House could vote on the Build Back Better Act, which represents the other half of President Biden’s economic agenda, as early as this afternoon.
Members are waiting for the Senate to complete its “privilege scrub” of the legislation to ensure Democrats can pass it with a simple majority, bypassing a filibuster from Republicans. Once the review is completed, then the House will draft a big amendment with several individual amendments — known as a “manager’s amendment” — to streamline the voting process. (Manager’s amendments are usually agreed to by both parties in advance and pass pretty quickly.) Then, House Democrats will vote on a rule to set the terms for debate followed by a vote on the bill itself.
The Speaker, who called the progress on the Build Back Better “pretty exciting,” was asked about how Democrats will message the legislation so since the party’s recent track record on selling major pieces of legislation like Obamacare leaves much to be desired. Pelosi pointed to the party’s strategy for promoting the bipartisan infrastructure deal President Biden signed into law on Monday — first laid out by Sean Patrick Maloney, the chairman of the committee responsible for electing House Democrats earlier this week and will include Caucus members hosting 1,000 local events in six weeks — as a template for ginning up enthusiasm for the Build Back Better Act.
Pelosi added that “Joe Biden is very committed to messaging [Build Back Better],” a comment some will interpret as a swipe at former President Barack Obama who was criticized for not promoting the Affordable Care Act with more gusto. “There’s no substitute for the bully pulpit of the President of the United States,” Pelosi said.
In case you missed it, the Build Back Better Act currently includes:
Universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds
A seven-percent income cap on child care for most families
Funding to improve working conditions for home care workers
More than $550 billion for climate action
Expanded Obamacare tax credits to provide health care for an additional 3-million-plus uninsured people
A Medicare expansion to cover the cost of hearing for seniors
$150 billion in housing affordability, including public housing, plus rental and down payment assistance
$40 billion for increased Pell Grants and investments in Historically Black Colleges & Universities
$100 billion to improve America's immigration system
The president promised no new taxes for families or individuals making less than $400,000 and he plans to keep this commitment by applying separate 15 percent corporate and global minimum taxes, a one-percent additional charge on corporate stock buybacks and a new additional tax on multi-millionaires and billionaires.
If the bill passes the House, then it will go to the Senate where’s it’s expected to be reshaped by moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia who could demand even more cuts for his vote. Chuck Schumer, Pelosi’s counterpart in the Senate, needs all 50 Democrats in his caucus to pass Build Back Better, which would trigger a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris.